Monday, November 6, 2017

Why are photoelectric smoke alarms better than ionization detectors?

There's no denying the fact that ionization smoke detectors and smoke alarms are a whole lot cheaper than their photoelectric counterparts. At the same time, it's also a fact that money's is suddenly a non-issue when someone's about to die in a raging house fire. The bottom line is "Do not skimp because of money as your life or that of a loved one may very well depend on it."

The difference in performance between the two detectors is simply this: Where a ionization smoke alarm works best in a raging fire in a commercial environment where the smoke particulates (particles) are relatively small, the photoelectric smoke alarm works better in a residential setting where the smoke particles are relatively big. This kind of fire is usually found in a home where there are carpets, draperies, bed spreads, couches, chairs, tables, clothes, and other household items.

The difference between the two technologies is as different as night is to day. Photoelectric smoke alarms rely on a smoke chamber and the reflective properties of a large diameter smoke particle. A photoelectric emitter at one end of a narrow passage leads to a dead end. A passage that intersects the first at an angle contains a photo receptor capable of receiving light when the same is reflected from smoke particles that enter the chamber.

Because of the nature of the design, it takes a relatively large smoke particle to reflect enough light to the end of the photo receptor passage, thus triggering an alarm. When there's no smoke, the light merely ends within the first passage where there is no photo receptor present. This result in no alarm (see drawing). The design of these detectors is deliberate because residential dwellings contain the kinds of combustibles that create such a large particulate of smoke. This is why the photoelectric smoke alarm is the best type of detector to use in this type of setting.

The other issue that you need to know about is that of fire code, which says, "Unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer's published instructions, single-and multiple-station smoke alarms installed in one- and two-family dwellings shall be replaced when they fail to respond to operability tests but shall not remain in service longer than 10 years from the date of manuufacturer0 (Section 14.4.7.1 of the NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, National Fire Protection Organization, Quincy, MA). For additional information on this subject, read NFPA's final word on the topic here: http://bit.ly/2znx52e.

If you're unsure of the age of your smoke alarms, decide on the side of safety by replacing them now. For more information, send a comment to John Larkin or call the office at 614-754-1393.

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Knowing Fire Code is Essential to the Proper Installation and Maintenance of Fire Extinguishers

ESC of Greater Ohio works hard to get and keep your business. One of our big sellers is fire extinguishers and it’s certainly one area that you need to know about. If you have fire extinguishers in your business, you must follow fire code or risk the wrath of a local city or county fire inspector or State Fire Marshal.
From a service and maintenance standpoint, here’s the meat:

  • NFPA 10, Section 4-3.1, requires that fire extinguishers be inspected when initially installed and thereafter at approximately 30-day intervals.
  • Section 4-4.1 on maintenance says that fire extinguishers should be maintained at intervals of not more than 1 year, at the time of hydrostatic test, or when specifically indicated by an inspection. 
  • In addition, Section 4-4.3 requires that stored-pressure fire extinguishers that require a 12-year hydrostatic test shall be emptied and subjected to the applicable maintenance procedures every six years.
  • This is only part of the story you need to know about. Just as important is the type of fire extinguishers you buy and where you install them throughout your facility. Here’s a short list of all the major types of portable fire extinguishers and what they are designed to do, meaning the types of fires they are engineered to fight:
  • Class A: Fires that involve wood, cloth, rubber, paper, and some types of plastics.
  • Class B: Fires that involve gasoline, oil, paint, natural and propane gases, and flammable liquids, gases, and greases.
  • Class C: Fires that involve all the materials found in Class A and B fires, but with the introduction of an electrical appliances, wiring, or other electrically energized objects in the vicinity of the fire.
  • Class D: Fires that involve combustible metals, such as sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
  • For additional information on fire extinguishers and the fire code that regulates their installation and on-going service, go to: http://bit.ly/1QBV0y4, or call 614-754-1393, or send an email to electronicsystemsconsultants@gmail.com. We’re ESC, we have your back!


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    Monday, September 11, 2017

    John Larkin Responds to the Death & Destruction Caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

    Here at Electronic Systems Consultants LLC (ESC) we're a tight knit family. What effects one of us effects us all in some manner. Whether it's a common lightning storm, tornado, or a hurricane, no one knows more than we do the end result of a catastrophic event like the recent hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, that hit Texas and Florida.

    Whether it's a devastating fire or the weather, the loss of property and lives are things that forever change our lives. Without a doubt, the last few weeks have seen a tremendous amount of destruction, injuries, and deaths at the hands of weather conditions that are totally out of our control. To all of you who have lost your home, a family member(s), or a close friend, please know that the prayers of everyone at ESC are with you.

    It is my hope that the next two hurricanes are less violent and devastating then the last two.

    John Larkin, Senior Partner
    ESC of Greater Ohio


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    Monday, August 21, 2017

    How to Safely View Today's Solar Eclipse

    Today at approximately 1 pm we'll be able to view the solar eclipse. Whatever you do, do not view it without the aide of the right kind of glasses. To do so can damage your eyes. Be especially careful with children so they do not experience any problems.

    For more info on how to view today's solar eclipse, click on the sun's picture below! --John Larkin


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