AICO Smoke and Heat Detectors recommended product review

by Editor on February 28, 2015

Every home or workspace should have a smoke detector fitted. I can definitely recommend Aico… The best fire detection system on the market?

Aico EI141 Smoke EI144 Heat Detector

Check availability of AICO Mains Voltage Fire Detectors

In the course of carrying out electrical inspections I’m still amazed at how many installations still don’t have any smoke alarms. Not even a cheap battery operated device in many premises!

One of the most useful installation features of the Aico devices is that the bases are interchangable and the devices slide off so there’s no disconnecting of wiring when changing them over or replacing the PP3- 9 volt back-up battery. Insert a screwdriver in the slot and the unit just slides off the base and you slide on the replacement.

How Long Do The Aico Detectors Last?

The life expectancy of a smoke detector is just over 10 years because the sensor degrades over time. After 10 years the effectiveness is diminished and it should be replaced. Each device is date labelled and supplied with a 9 volt alkaline Duracell battery which will last for about a year. It’s not recommended to use rechargeable batteries because they normally have a slightly lower terminal voltage for most of their discharge cycle than the corresponding alkaline equivalents. This means that you are likely to get ‘low battery’ bleeps after a much shorter period than if you use top quality Duracells. This could be every 3 months or so. Although rechargeables would work out cheaper in the long run most people would probably prefer not to change them that regularly.

Ionisation or Optical?
The type of smoke detector should be selected for its ability to detect different types of fires. The Ei141RC Ionisation type works well with fast flaming fires and is best suited to hallways and landings. Where a fire is likely to smoulder, an Optical (Photoelectric) alarm like the Ei146RC is a better option. Finally in areas where you may often have smoke like the kitchen a heat alarm like the Ei144RC is your best bet. The Aico alarms can be interlinked either by hard wiring or by adding the Ei168RC Radio Link base. Interlinking can give you extra advance warning because if one alarm goes off, they all sound after a 5 second delay.

Aico have an excellent helpline for installers and users. Also their literature (which is available online) gives useful essential advice about ‘The Code’ on siting and best application for their fire detection devices.

Typical Fire Detection Installation In Small Flat

I recommend that at least one smoke detector is installed on the landing (within 3 metres of every bedroom).
Personally I would install mains ‘linked’ type detectors with battery backup as follows:

Kitchen- Heat detector EI144
Lounge- Smoke detector EI141RC Ionisation
Landing- Smoke detector  EI141RC Ionisation
Near boiler- Carbon Monoxide CO Alarm EI208

Don’t install detectors within 300mm of a wall or light fitting.
Install a detectors within 3 metres of each bedroom.

More About Detector Selection
The fire detection installation code recommends that Optical smoke alarms should be installed in circulation spaces, such as hallways and near kitchens. They should also be considered in areas where a likely cause of fire is ignition of furniture or bedding by a cigarette.

Ionisation alarms are recommended more for use in living rooms or dining rooms, where a fast burning fire may present a greater danger than slow smouldering ones. That said, due consideration must be given to the potential for false alarms such as from cooking in smaller properties. The Code (2004) does not recommend the use of ionisation types in escape routes.

Main features of the mains powered inter-linkable smoke detector:

  • Mains 230/240V AC Ionisation Smoke Alarm with 9V alkaline battery back up (included)
  • Interconnectable with up to 20 other alarms, if one sounds all sound.
  • Built in Test / Hush button. Memory function indicates if an alarm has been previously activated
  • One person test feature. Low battery warning. Kitemarked to BS EN14604:2005
  • Can be interconnected by hard wiring (cable) or used with Aico radio wireless bases
  • Easy to slide on and off of the universal bases used by all AICO detectors which makes it very simple to replace heads and remove for battery replacement or in the rare case that an alarm should become faulty.

Radio links systems

We’ve also used the AICO radio link systems on several jobs where installing the hard wired links between devices would not have been cost effective. To install a radio linked system all you need is a mains feed to each device.

Some devices such as the Ei605CRF smoke detector and Ei407 call point don’t even require a mains voltage feed because they are equipped with a 5 year long life battery.  The devices are then interlinked by setting up the RF signals so there’s no need to run wiring between them.

Check for prices of AICO Mains Voltage Fire Detectors

More info from the Aico website.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Barney August 26, 2015 at 16:11

Been sent a Aico ei144RC heat alarm. Problem is, the heat alarm i have is a Aico ei144, not the RC model. Can i still fit the ei144RC to the ei144 base?

Thank you

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