It took me probably more than a year to choose and finalize the purchase of a fire alarm system for installation in our home. The search started, of course on AliExpress and eBay, whereby one can find a really large choice of devices at a range of prices.
While some fire detectors are designed to be stand alone units, there are also good number of models providing fire detection systems along with alarm sensors, capable of sending comms through SIM cards or internet network connections. And sometimes, you can have devices which can provide the best of both worlds.
Some people might also opt for a battery powered system rather than something connected to your house mains electric supply while geeks can build their own fire alarms with fire sensors connected to a programmable board.
Or, you can continue reading this post…
Unless you hire a fire specialist to install, maintain and test your devices, it can sometimes be a challenge to have one in your home. On top of having to choose reliable device(s) within your budget, these devices need
- Regular maintenance to make sure they are working and since fire detectors are best placed on the ceiling, be prepared to do some acrobatic moves.
- Battery powered ones need replacement probably every few months or year.
- Wired devices might require skilled people to run the wires over your house and to your electric mains.
Introducing Fire Angel
In my quest for the ideal fire detection system to purchase for my house, I stumbled upon Fire Angel, a registered UK based company specialized in fire alarm solutions. With a large range of products, they provide wired devices as well as the following :
- Wireless fire detectors with a 10 year battery.
- Interlinked devices
- Internet gateway
- Email & Mobile app notifications
The reviews about the company and their respective products were very good overall and I was quite impressed by videos I watched prior the purchase. This made me quite confident about the quality and reliability of the products.
Wireless fire detectors with a 10 year battery life.
Yes, you read it right. No hassle for the next 10 years. So, after 10 years, you just throw the device and purchase a new one. There you go for another 10 years of service!
I must add this, the 10 year starts from the date of manufacture and since the battery’s life depends on number of times you tested the device (as the alarm’s beeping alert will definitely use up battery juice), it should be less than 10 years and the device should beep when it is reaching its end of life.
Type of detectors
We always just say fire alarm or fire detector but it is good to know that there are various types of detectors using different detecting techniques. This might defer from companies / brands but at Fire Angel, they have
- Smoke alarms monitors any scattered infrared light in the device’s chamber when smoke particles hit that beam.
- Heat alarms detects any “rate-of-rise” in temperature
- Carbon monoxide alarms measure levels of the carbon monoxide.
- Gas alarms measure natural gas levels
For info, I purchased 2 smoke alarms (Ref : WST-630) and I plan to grab a heat detector soon.
Very cool thing. If you need multiple devices, you can choose to either buy
- The stand alone 10 year battery powered devices or
- The Wi-Safe enabled devices which enable the latter to communicate in between themselves in order to create a meshed network of up to 50 devices using their proprietary technology at 868 Mhz.
The advantages of going for the more expensive Wi-Safe devices are :
- If any one of the alarm goes off, this will trigger all alarms to sound their built in siren.
- When you press the silence button on any of the alarms, all other devices will go on mute except the device which detected a fire or smoke. This allows you to know exactly the source of the problem.
Once you have your Wi-Safe interconnected network at home, you can choose to purchase the Fire Angel Pro Connected Gateway. After connecting the gateway to your router through a LAN cable, you need to do some syncing in between your fire alarm detector and the gateway so that the gateway can recognize the devices attached to it.
Once done, the will all regularly sync and your Wi-Safe devices will be visible onto your Fire Angel account. This magically makes everything beautiful by sending you email and mobile application notifications when events are triggered.
Email & Mobile app notifications
As briefly mentioned earlier, you can go for fire alarm detector systems fitted with sim cards so that you are informed of any event on your system but this gateway does the job neatly using your existing internet connection.
Events which trigger email and mobile notifications:
- Fault warning
(1) You removed the base off the fire detector alarm device
(2) Gateway offline : On one occasion, I had inadvertently switched off the power of the gateway. Surprisingly, I got an email shortly informing me of this specific event.
- Fire / Smoke / Carbon monoxide alert
The device detected the presence of fire, smoke or carbon dioxide, depending on the type of device.
There exist two different apps : one for personal usage allowing monitoring of one gateway and another one intended for professionals which allows monitoring of multiple gateways. Additionally, the second app gives you details such as device battery status, last tested date among others.
When installing the devices, I reached Fire Angel’s support team several times as the device is mainly targeted for usage within UK. The guys there have been very helpful all the time. So, if you run into any issues, just get in touch through their web site.
By now, you have probably guessed that the Fire Angel setup will definitely be pricey as compared to the basic ones you can find on sale in general.
Back in February, I purchased
- Ebay : 2 Wi-Safe2 Smoke Alarms WST-630 at approximately GBP 25 each (At time of purchase, $1 = Rs35 : So, roughly $30, Rs 1, 100).
- Amazon UK : 1 Pro Connected Gateway at GBP 50 pounds
(At time of purchase, $1 = Rs35 : So, roughly $60, Rs 2, 100)
When I just had a look at eBay for the same device, same seller, the price is now nearly $60 each!!! It doubled, probably we should blame Covid-19? However, the price of the gateway is still the same on Amazon UK.
But one very important aspect : Since we are talking about your own home and people, safety comes first. Of course, we are not talking about investing huge sums of money but still, reliability and durability of your installation should be the first concern.
I still have some more plans ahead as I first need to order one heat alarm, which is more suitable for kitchen usage. But with the hike in prices, I will probably wait for some time, or a good deal.
Next, I need to connect my Fire Angel Gateway and my internet router to a UPS to protect both of them against power surcharges and for continued operation in the event of a electricity cut.
We must keep in mind that in an event of a fire, especially involving electrical wires or devices, the mains fuse can blow, causing a blackout. Hence the importance to connect both of them to a UPS, enabling the alarm gateway to get alarm signals and raise any alarms as needed through the internet connection.
I’m truly excited about this fire protection set up and I hope that it will prove to be efficient in the event of a start of a fire.
Hope that this post has been helpful. Please like and share on social media, or even comment if you want to ask questions or add anything.