Aspirating Smoke Detection Systems (ASDs) are incredibly useful systems for businesses where continuity is vital, environments are challenging and time is required to ensure safe and orderly evacuation. Through continuous air sampling, they provide the earliest possible warning of an impending fire hazard, thus buying critical time needed to investigate an alarm and initiate an appropriate response, helping to prevent injury, property damage and business disruption.

At Sovereign Fire & Security, we provide effective, reliable fire detection and alarm solutions to businesses internationally. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of aspirating smoke detection systems, how they work and the businesses who rely on them.

How does an Aspirating Smoke Detection System Work?

Aspirating Smoke Detection systems function by detecting microscopic molecules of fire at the pre-combustion stage. This means that a good ASD will detect that a fire’s about to happen, even before there’s any smoke or flames. On average, this results in up to 30 times faster detection over a conventional smoke detection system.

ASDs (Aspirating Smoke Detection) work by drawing air through a system of pipes, running it through a ‘central detection unit’ which analyses the air’s composition to determine whether there’s any pre-ignition molecules present. This is accomplished by using a fan unit to draw air in, meaning that there’s a consistent flow and regular testing to ensure any fires are detected as rapidly as possible.

What are the Benefits of an Aspirating Smoke Detection System?

An ASD system offers a wide variety of benefits over a traditional fire prevention system. With more advanced technology, ASDs manage to:

  • Offer significantly higher sensitivity – as there doesn’t necessarily need to be smoke or fire; ASDs are substantially more sensitive, all while avoiding false triggers.
  • Reduces costs overall – ASDs are generally installed away from the room they’re protecting, meaning that maintenance is centralised and quicker.
  • Work well in difficult environments – ASDs work well in areas with high levels of dust or dirt, and can be installed in places that are reasonably hard to access.
  • Improve filtration – this ensures that only necessary particles reach the detection unit.
  • Look great – as ASDs usually only require a fan to be present in the room, there’s no need for bulky smoke detection units to sit throughout your building.

Where are Aspirating Smoke Detection Systems Used?

ASDs are being installed in a wide variety of buildings, particularly in places where rapid blazes are more likely, and a fast response is necessary. They’re becoming increasingly popular, and we’ve seen them in:

  • Business-critical facilities – many businesses have rooms that are highly valuable, such as data centres. Data loss can cause a huge amount of damage to a company, so protecting it from fire is crucial.
  • Dusty/old storage areas – using the aforementioned filtration, ASDs work exceptionally well in areas with a lot of dust, which are areas that traditional detection units might not function as well due to the high levels of interference.
  • Restricted access areas – in certain dangerous or sensitive areas, such as clean rooms, laboratories, power plants, etc., it’s often prudent to restrict access to protect your staff. ASDs are used in these situations as they aren’t maintained in the room they operate in, meaning there’s no reason for maintenance personnel to enter restricted areas.
  • Large, open warehouses – for high-ceiling buildings, many point detectors might not function very well, as they’re often restricted to around 10m or so, while beam detectors might struggle to maintain a good line-of-sight to the full room, meaning that a ASD offers the perfect solution.
  • Historically significant buildings – owners of protected buildings might not want to install obtrusive fire detector units. As ASDs only require a small borehole, they provide a discreet, non-destructive alternative for historic buildings.
  • Gas Extinguishing Systems – ASD systems are commonly being used to provide detection for gas extinguishing systems in business-critical facilities, such as data centres.

There are, of course, many other use cases for ASDs, but this small selection of specific situations provides a good overview!

Bespoke Aspirating Smoke Detection with Sovereign Fire & Security

No two aspirating smoke detection systems are the same. Every building presents its own unique challenges and obstacles that need to be addressed. At Sovereign Fire & Security, our work is recognised internationally; businesses trust us to handle their fire and security needs.

Get in touch today to discuss your unique situation with our specialists. We’ll create a tailored plan of action, survey and install your new aspirating smoke detection system, before ensuring that it’s running immaculately, providing you the peace of mind that your building is secure.

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