Smoke detection is regarded as one of the most sensitive means of automatic detection, and aspirated detection systems are the most sensitive of these. Aspirated systems work by using a pump and dedicated pipework to draw a sample of air (and any resident smoke particles) across a very sensitive smoke detector.
Aspirated detection systems are often referred to as “high sensitivity”, “incipient”, or “very early” smoke detection systems. Some product names have become parlance for this type of detector and although there are subtle differences between manufacturers the principle of operation is very similar.
The sensitive nature of this detection method sees it used frequently for fire detection within data centres, computer suites, and telecommunication rooms. Often, the aspirated smoke detection system is positioned such that it is sampling air as it is drawn out of the room through the air conditioning system. Computer software programmes are used to design the pipework routes to ensure that the sample is received at the detector within the time specifications set out by the design codes within the relevant British Standards.
Aspirated smoke detection systems are now available with integrated gas detection modules that will, from the same pump and pipework, simultaneously determine levels of smoke and gas from the sample.
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