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My rented out house (in UK) currently has basic battery smoke detectors in hall and landing, CO detector in utility room (boiler is there) and can't remember the kitchen. My agent is pushing me to provide white goods and, post-Grenfell, I'm nervous about some of these, especially the tumble drier. So I'm looking to upgrade the smoke/fire detection to mains powered, battery back-up, wirelessly linked.

My house is 1980s so I'm hoping that the light fittings have an unswitched live that I could connect the base units to, conveniently near the places where I should be putting the detectors. If not, it will need a general re-think. But I'm not in the UK to check at the moment.

I've been recommended to look at an AICO radiolink system but am struggling a bit with which parts I need. As I understand it, there is a radio base unit that is common to all, and you plug in a detector as required, either basic battery backup or Li rechargable etc.

For example, I'm seeing an Ei168RC base but also an Ei168RC "easi-fit". Is it the same thing? If different, will all the detectors fit either base or do I need to get an easi-fit detector for an easi-fit base?

I also don't quite get which bit has/needs the battery back-up. Do both the Ei168RC base and the detector both have/need battery backup for their respective functionality? Or does the battery back-up in the base also back up the detector? For example, Amazon has both:
Aico Ei 168RC Easi-fit RadioLINK Base 230V + Lithium Battery Back-up
Aico SEI166 EI166RC 160 Series Optical Smoke Alarm c/w Surface Mounting Kit & Lithium Battery
So do those two go together to make one detector, each part with its own battery back-up and wirelessly communicating with others, at about 2x£50 per location?

Which kind of smoke detector is recommended, ionisation or optical? I think that smoke detectors are needed for hall, landing and utility (which has the boiler but also the tumble drier); and heat detector for the kitchen (e.g. Ei164). Also there is an option to link the CO detector into the same system, but only if I can find a source of mains power for it. Can this also go in the middle of a ceiling near the smoke/heat detector?

Some help with model numbers really appreciated. Likely route is for me to check that light fittings have unswitched live before buying everything, then use a forum member to fit.

Thanks
 

littlespark

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Arms Access
Go the expensive route and get the aico battery powered units.
No mains needed and radiolink between everything.
You can also get a heat detector/ Co detector combined to save on costs.

I believe aico are a forum sponsor, and they might offer a design service or at least tell you which ones you need.
 
Aico are the best, imho.
Also, although the specs and model numbers may seem a bit confusing, they do change the range continuously, but have a compatibility table which helps you to choose.
Frankly, I would suggest you phone them...I have done so in the past and got great advice. Nice people to deal with!
 

Lou

Admin
Staff member
Aico are a forum sponsor, I would suggest getting in touch with them on [email protected] and mention that you are a forum member, they should be able to sort you out :)

Let us know in the thread if they manage to. They're the only forum sponsor that doesn't have an account directly on the forum! Something we need to sort out I think. :)
 

Paignton pete

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Arms Access
Agree accio the best on the market.

I did try another make( competitor) recently. Won’t be using them again, should of stuck with accio.
 

GMES

Admin
Staff member
Agree accio the best on the market.

I did try another make( competitor) recently. Won’t be using them again, should of stuck with accio.
They cant be that good , Pete if you cant get the name right, twice:D:D:p:rolleyes:
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
OK, I've asked. Interestingly, the alarm selector function on their website doesn't seem to offer the battery only models. Anyway, we'll see what they suggest. Thanks all
 
The company I work for have standardised on Aico.
Ei650RF RadioLINK+ Battery Optical Alarm (10 year battery , no mains wiring to be done) for hallway and landing Ei603RF RadioLINK+ Battery Heat Alarm (also 10 year battery no mains) for kitchen if a kitchen alarm is to be fitted. You can also get radiolink C0 detectors but most places do not link them into the smoke alarms.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10
Ei650RF RadioLINK+ Battery Optical Alarm (10 year battery , no mains wiring to be done) for hallway and landing Ei603RF RadioLINK+ Battery Heat Alarm (also 10 year battery no mains) for kitchen if a kitchen alarm is to be fitted. You can also get radiolink C0 detectors but most places do not link them into the smoke alarms.
I worked through the brochure, I think those three are the only ones available that are fully battery powered. All the multiple sensors (combined CO/heat or optical & heat) are only mains with battery backup.

But the new standards (BS EN 50292:2013) more or less come down to a CO detector in every room "where people sleep" and "spend most time" and a smoke detector in most downstairs rooms, all linked up. So it looks like I will go from 2 alkaline smokes and 1 CO to about 10 mains powered multiple sensors or about 16 individual battery powered sensors. Ouch!

And what's strange to me is that this is regulations/standards for rented houses, but not for newbuild houses for owner-occupation. I wouldn't dream of putting so many detectors in my own house.
 

JK-Electrical

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Arms Access
For example, I'm seeing an Ei168RC base but also an Ei168RC "easi-fit". Is it the same thing?
Yes. They're the one and the same.
If different, will all the detectors fit either base or do I need to get an easi-fit detector for an easi-fit base?
The Ei168RC RadioLINK base is compatible with all of the 140RC series alarms: Ei141 and Ei146 smoke alarms plus the Ei144 heat alarm.
I also don't quite get which bit has/needs the battery back-up. Do both the Ei168RC base and the detector both have/need battery backup for their respective functionality? Or does the battery back-up in the base also back up the detector?
The Ei168RC is a mains-operated unit that comes with a rechargeable lithium cell back-up. The lithium battery provides the base with a supply in the event of mains failure. Each alarm also has its own separate back-up battery. The Ei141 utilises an alkaline battery and the Ei146 a lithium battery. The main advantage of choosing lithium batteries over alkaline is that the latter will need to be replaced at some future point whereas the former are charged by the mains supply and don't require replacement.

In rented properties, lithium would be the better option as in this scenario a second advantage is that the tenant can't remove the batteries as they often do when the battery needs to be replaced and begins to 'chirp'.
For example, Amazon has both:
Aico Ei168RC Easi-fit RadioLINK Base 230V + Lithium Battery Back-up
Aico SEI166 EI166RC 160 Series Optical Smoke Alarm c/w Surface Mounting Kit & Lithium Battery
So do those two go together to make one detector, each part with its own battery back-up and wirelessly communicating with others, at about 2x£50 per location?
You can buy the Ei168RC cheaper than £50.00!
Which kind of smoke detector is recommended, ionisation or optical?
Ionisation smoke alarms are recommended for stairwells and landings, optical alarms for bedrooms, lounges, and hallways. As optical smoke alarms are less prone to false alarms than ionisation, they are the better option.
I think that smoke detectors are needed for hall, landing and utility (which has the boiler but also the tumble drier); and heat detector for the kitchen (e.g. Ei164). Also there is an option to link the CO detector into the same system, but only if I can find a source of mains power for it. Can this also go in the middle of a ceiling near the smoke/heat detector?
I would suggest that you consider using mains-operated alarms where possible and utilise the Ei168RC RadioLINK base in conjunction with the AICO EI650RF RadioLink battery-powered, wireless optical smoke and EI603RF heat alarms where required. This arrangement will provide you with a hybrid of mains and battery-operated alarms that are all interlinked.

Regarding the CO alarm, you could consider using the AICO EI208DW or EI208W, both of which are powered by a lithium battery. If you would like to interlink the CO alarm with the rest of the system, the Ei208WRF is the one to select.

I've uploaded the Aico Expert Installer guide for you read through. Everything you'll need to know can be found in there.
 

Attachments

Wilko

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Arms Access
Hi - I’ve heard that Scotland has approved the 10 year battery powered radio linked detectors for use (?). I’ve not heard anything for England. These detectors would appear to be classified as Type F but there’s no installation showing use of Type F in Table 1 of BS5839-6 2013 that I can see (?). So I’m thinking in England (at least) we still can’t make a standards approved D LD2 system from them(?).
 
Last edited:

Dan

Admin
Staff member
Yes. They're the one and the same.

The Ei168RC RadioLINK base is compatible with all of the 140RC series alarms: Ei141 and Ei146 smoke alarms plus the Ei144 heat alarm.

The Ei168RC is a mains-operated unit that comes with a rechargeable lithium cell back-up. The lithium battery provides the base with a supply in the event of mains failure. Each alarm also has its own separate back-up battery. The Ei141 utilises an alkaline battery and the Ei146 a lithium battery. The main advantage of choosing lithium batteries over alkaline is that the latter will need to be replaced at some future point whereas the former are charged by the mains supply and don't require replacement.

In rented properties, lithium would be the better option as in this scenario a second advantage is that the tenant can't remove the batteries as they often do when the battery needs to be replaced and begins to 'chirp'.

You can buy the Ei168RC cheaper than £50.00!

Ionisation smoke alarms are recommended for stairwells and landings, optical alarms for bedrooms, lounges, and hallways. As optical smoke alarms are less prone to false alarms than ionisation, they are the better option.

I would suggest that you consider using mains-operated alarms where possible and utilise the Ei168RC RadioLINK base in conjunction with the AICO EI650RF RadioLink battery-powered, wireless optical smoke and EI603RF heat alarms where required. This arrangement will provide you with a hybrid of mains and battery-operated alarms that are all interlinked.

Regarding the CO alarm, you could consider using the AICO EI208DW or EI208W, both of which are powered by a lithium battery. If you would like to interlink the CO alarm with the rest of the system, the Ei208WRF is the one to select.

I've uploaded the Aico Expert Installer guide for you read through. Everything you'll need to know can be found in there.
This kinda post is what we need the 'Winner' reaction (like) for!!!

Nice one.

It'll also get a good response so contribute towards getting the esteemed tag if peeps are that way inclined.
 

Andy78

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TA
Arms Access
Esteemed Member
But the new standards (BS EN 50292:2013) more or less come down to a CO detector in every room "where people sleep" and "spend most time" and a smoke detector in most downstairs rooms, all linked up. So it looks like I will go from 2 alkaline smokes and 1 CO to about 10 mains powered multiple sensors or about 16 individual battery powered sensors. Ouch!

And what's strange to me is that this is regulations/standards for rented houses, but not for newbuild houses for owner-occupation. I wouldn't dream of putting so many detectors in my own house.
The smoke alarm and carbon monoxide (England) regulations 2015 apply to rented accommodation. They require a minimum of one detector per floor and CO detection in rooms with solid fuel burning appliances. These can be battery operated but the landlord is urged to fit the best system they can afford and mains operated is preferred. I don't know of any other mandatory requirements.

Unless the property is HMO and under instruction from local authorities for the level of detection and alarm system, then there is no requirement to go above the SAACOR requirements that I know of.

 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
The smoke alarm and carbon monoxide (England) regulations 2015 apply to rented accommodation. They require a minimum of one detector per floor and CO detection in rooms with solid fuel burning appliances.
This I already have, albeit alkaline batteries and not linked. But it gets really confusing when BS EN 50292 appears to say that you need CO detectors in:
  • Rooms that have any fuel burning appliances – such as an open fire, gas cooker or boiler
  • Rooms where people spend the most time – such as a living room
  • Rooms where people sleep
  • Any room that has a flue running through it
In my case that could mean a total of 8 - lounge, dining room (maybe), kitchen (gas hob), utility room (boiler) and all 4 bedrooms (even though there are no sources of combustion, unless my tenants smoke in bed).

That's a huge gap between the legal minimum and best practice - which should surely apply not just to landlords but owner-occupiers too. I live in (own) a 2 year old house and don't think there are CO detectors in any of the bedrooms.
 

Andy78

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TA
Arms Access
Esteemed Member
This I already have, albeit alkaline batteries and not linked. But it gets really confusing when BS EN 50292 appears to say that you need CO detectors in:
  • Rooms that have any fuel burning appliances – such as an open fire, gas cooker or boiler
  • Rooms where people spend the most time – such as a living room
  • Rooms where people sleep
  • Any room that has a flue running through it
In my case that could mean a total of 8 - lounge, dining room (maybe), kitchen (gas hob), utility room (boiler) and all 4 bedrooms (even though there are no sources of combustion, unless my tenants smoke in bed).

That's a huge gap between the legal minimum and best practice - which should surely apply not just to landlords but owner-occupiers too. I live in (own) a 2 year old house and don't think there are CO detectors in any of the bedrooms.
You are currently complying with the law.

The key to requirements may lie in the dates of the regulations/standards in question. If BSEN 50292:2013 was statutory then surely its requirements would have been included in SAACOR:2015, which is statutory.
The description of BSEN50292 on the BSi website states it is to provide information, so recommendation only.

BSEN 50292 is cited on the Aico website as recommendation. Bear in mind they have a new range of detectors that feature combined smoke and CO detection so any information on their website may slant toward upselling of devices. I will say their information is quite clear though and I rate them as the best manufacturer on the market.

I would always encourage landlords to fit a mains powered system and I always fit the Aico 160 series as they have 10 year sealed lithium batteries. No annoying beeping for tenants as PP3 batteries run down.
For non HMO I would recommend a grade D LD2 system which in a typical house would have detectors in escape routes(landing and hallway) and areas of high risk (heat detector in kitchen and smoke detector in main living room)

It may also be worth checking with your insurance and/or agent to see if they have any minimum grade of system they require.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18
So the reply from AICO was:
"As per legislation for rental properties in England, the legal requirement is only one smoke alarm per floor & CO alarms for solid fuel burning appliances. (Meaning in the eyes of the law you could use battery only detectors).

However, best practice would stipulate a Grade D1 (Mains powered, rechargeable battery back-up), LD2 system. This would require you to cover all escape routes, circulation spaces, high risk areas (kitchen) as well as principal habitable room/s (living room, could potentially include bedrooms).

Note – if you have followed best practice & something were to happen one of your tenants in the event of a fire, due to the duty of care for your tenants you would be culpable for this."

So it seems they are not recommending their battery only models!

You are currently complying with the law.
But the last para from AICO is a bit worrying - that even if I go way above the legal minimum (1 CO detector) all the way to "best practice" (about 8) I could still be held liable.
 

Andy78

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TA
Arms Access
Esteemed Member
So the reply from AICO was:
"As per legislation for rental properties in England, the legal requirement is only one smoke alarm per floor & CO alarms for solid fuel burning appliances. (Meaning in the eyes of the law you could use battery only detectors).

However, best practice would stipulate a Grade D1 (Mains powered, rechargeable battery back-up), LD2 system. This would require you to cover all escape routes, circulation spaces, high risk areas (kitchen) as well as principal habitable room/s (living room, could potentially include bedrooms).

Note – if you have followed best practice & something were to happen one of your tenants in the event of a fire, due to the duty of care for your tenants you would be culpable for this."

So it seems they are not recommending their battery only models!


But the last para from AICO is a bit worrying - that even if I go way above the legal minimum (1 CO detector) all the way to "best practice" (about 8) I could still be held liable.
Like I say, they are in the business of selling detectors. They are hardly going to recommend the minimum level of protection in a written document.
My own opinion is that the minimum legal requirements do comply but are a poor choice for a conscientious landlord. I would recommend a mains powered interlinked system every time. I don't think that CO detection in every room is needed, but if you do go down this route then stand alone battery models can be purchased for not very many pennies. I would put them in rooms with gas fires, boilers, solid fuel burners, and be happy with that as long as they are regularly checked. Interlinked systems that incorporate CO detection will soon rack up the cost and are probably not needed.

I think the last paragraph from Aico might be a typo ? Seems strange they would tell you that you are absolutely responsible for any injury to a tenant no matter what measures you put in place.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20
So here is what I'm thinking...
1) Master bedroom EI208WRF battery CO, wireless - not for any big reason except that it's the main tenant's bedroom and it will go off if anything else in the system triggers
2) Three other bedrooms - nothing (but maybe...another 3 CO detectors and I can say it's BS EN 50292 compliant)
3) Landing EI161e & EI100MRF mains ionisation, wireless
4) Lounge EI208WRF battery CO, wireless and EI650RF battery optical, wireless - not sure if I can pick up mains in the ceiling easily as the light has a plaster surround. But this would be not quite BS 5839-6 compliant
5) Hall EI166e & EI100MRF mains optical, wireless (next to the kitchen)
6) Dining room - nothing (infrequent use, but maybe another CO for BS EN 50292)
7) Kitchen with gas hob EI3028 & EI3000MRF mains CO & Heat combo, wireless (about the same price as 2 separate detectors)
8) Utility with boiler and tumble drier, maybe fridge EI208WRF battery CO, wireless AND EI3024 & EI3000MRF mains heat & smoke combo, wireless. This is the room I am nervous about because of the tumble drier and fridge, shades of Grenfell...
9) EI450 Controller for easy testing
 

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