Best Smoke Alarms in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update March 13, 2020
Are you worried about your family and possessions in case of fire? Never neglect safety! There is a simple way to detect a fire in your house, just get a smoke detector. We have picked the best smoke alarms so that you can make the right choice and protect your family and property! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
SENSOR TYPE
SOUND LEVEL
ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS
POWER SOURCE
SPECIAL FEATURES
WARRANTY
 
PROS

The Sleep-easy function allows you to stop the alarm for 8 hours. This function can be activated up to 10 times.

CONS

The white plastic gets yellowish after a while.

OUR VERDICT

Equipped with the advanced Thermoptek sensor technology, this portable alarm responses to fire faster than most other models out there. And what is notable, the unit senses both fast-flaming and slow-smouldering fires.

detailed parameters
SENSOR TYPE

Thermoptek optical smoke sensor (Certified to BS EN14604:2005)

SOUND LEVEL

85 dB at 3 meters

ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS

Temperature: +4°C to +38°C

Humidity: Up to 90% RH non-condensing

POWER SOURCE

Sealed battery (10-year source)

SPECIAL FEATURES

Base plate for wall- or ceiling mount (hardware included), Test and Smart Silence feature, Sleep Easy feature

WARRANTY

10 years

PROS

The device is highly resistant to small voltage drops. And in case of a power outage, it's fitted with a 9V backup battery.

CONS

It can't be used in areas with more than 85% humidity levels.

OUR VERDICT

With the ability to be interlinked with up to 12 compatible units, this BRK hard-wired smoke alarm is perfect for large houses, office buildings and non-residential premises. It produces loud 85 dB warning to reach any room.

detailed parameters
SENSOR TYPE

Ionisation sensor (Certified to BS EN14604:2005)

SOUND LEVEL

85 dB at 3 meters

ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS

Temperature: +5°C to +38°C

Humidity: Up to 85% RH non-condensing

POWER SOURCE

230V mains powered (9 V alkaline battery for backup)

SPECIAL FEATURES

Base plate for wall- or ceiling mount (hardware included), Test and Silence feature, Low battery warning, Multi-alarm interlink

WARRANTY

5 years

PROS

All mounting hardware is included for quick installation. And since the unit is powered by a battery, it doesn't require messy wiring.

CONS

The battery should be replaced each year. 

OUR VERDICT

If you are looking for an inexpensive yet reliable smoke detector, get the Fireangel SB1-R model. The optical sensor detects slow-smouldering fire and is claimed to be toast-proof, meaning it's resistant to nuisance alarms.

detailed parameters
SENSOR TYPE

Optical sensor (Certified to BS EN14604:2005)

SOUND LEVEL

85 dB at 3 meters

ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS

Temperature: 0°C to +40°C

Humidity: Up to 90% RH non-condensing

POWER SOURCE

9 V battery (included)

SPECIAL FEATURES

Base plate for wall- or ceiling mount (hardware included), Test and Silence feature, Low battery warning

WARRANTY

3 years

PROS

The dust-proof design of housing minimizes the risk of sensor failure or inaccuracy due to prolonged use.

CONS

Some users say that mounting takes considerable time. 

OUR VERDICT

This model is perfect for commercial use since its sensor can work at an extreme temperature from 0°C to +55°C. Plus, it's not afraid of high humidity up to 95% RH (non-condensing). One device covers an area of 20 - 40 sq. m.

detailed parameters
SENSOR TYPE

Optical sensor (Certified to BS EN14604:2005)

SOUND LEVEL

85 dB at 3 meters

ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS

Temperature: 0°C to +55°C

Humidity: Up to 95% RH non-condensing

POWER SOURCE

Sealed battery (10-year source)

SPECIAL FEATURES

Base plate for wall- or ceiling mount (hardware included), Test and Silence feature, Low battery warning

WARRANTY

5 years

PROS

It can wirelessly synchronise with other compatible Fire and CO alarms. If one of the sensors detects a hazard, all devices will react.

CONS

It looks a bit outdated. 

OUR VERDICT

The Aico Smoke Alarm is a top choice among UK families for a good reason. It boasts expanded functionality - for example, the Memory function indicates if an alarm has been previously activated, and can be interconnected to up to 20 devices.

detailed parameters
SENSOR TYPE

Ionisation sensor (Certified to BS EN14604:2005)

SOUND LEVEL

85 dB at 3 meters

ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS

Temperature: 0°C to +40°C

Humidity: Up to 95% RH non-condensing

POWER SOURCE

230V mains powered (9 V alkaline battery for backup)

SPECIAL FEATURES

EasyFit™ base plate for wall- or ceiling mount (hardware included), Test and Silence feature, Memory feature, Compatible with RadioLINK™ interconnection base, Low battery warning

WARRANTY

5 years

Fireangel ST-622Q

Made with the Advanced Thermoptek Sensor Technology

FireAngel is a market-leading company that makes high-quality products to save lives. So, if you'd like to get a fire alarm you can trust, we recommend you to consider the ST-622Q smoke alarm. Alongside many other advanced technologies that it uses, this model is best known for the Thermoptek sensor technology, the one that 90% of the UK Fire and Rescue services recommend. More specifically, the ST-622Q uses two separate sensing elements, which means it can monitor two different by-products of a fire - smoke and temperature, and as a result, respond to both fast-flaming and slow-smouldering fires on the instant.

Another highlight of the model is the inclusion of a sealed non-replaceable Panasonic battery. What makes it so remarkable is that unlike any average smoke alarm battery, which usually lasts around a year or so, this one can work for up to 10 years, saving you money on replacements in the long run.

When it comes to installation, the FireAngel alarm can be installed in two ways: you can mount it either to the ceiling or to a wall. It comes with all the hardware included, plus there's an option to attach it to the plate of your old smoke alarm if you have one. The installation process is very easy and takes less than 5 minutes. In case you've not owned an alarm before and you don't want to drill holes in your ceiling, you can affix it by using double-sided adhesive tape. The device is so slim and lightweight it will not come off and remain stable. So, we can conclude it's well-suitable just for any environment. And since the pack includes 2 units, it's a perfect choice for a house with 2 bedrooms.

Review of Fireangel ST-622Q Optical Smoke Alarm

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

BRK 670MBX

Build Whole House Protection System!

The BRK company offers another decent smoke alarm that can become a part of your home protection system. Not only does it quickly detect fast flaming fires and give out a loud 85dB warning, but also it can be paired with up to 12 compatible alarms (including Heat and Carbon Monoxide units) of the same brand, enabling you to create a whole-house protection system.

For the best results, BRK smoke alarms should be located between each sleeping area and potential sources of fire (living rooms and kitchens). If you live in a single-storey house with a single sleeping area, then one smoke installed in the hallway close to the living room will be enough. However, in homes with two bedrooms, a minimum of two units is required. Luckily, the alarm comes at a reasonable cost and getting several devices shouldn't be a problem. It runs from the 230 V mains, though 9 V backup battery is also included.

To check the status of a smoke detector at a glance, the manufacturer has equipped it with handy operating lights - a solid green light means the unit is receiving mains power, while a red light flashing every 45 seconds indicates circuitry integrity. When you need to mute the smoke alarm for non-emergency smoke, you can press the test button that will silence the alarm for 10 minutes. During this time, the red light will start blinking every 10 seconds.

All this makes the BRK 670MBX a very effective and user-friendly alarm for your home. With a loud warning signal and compatibility with multiple devices, it's a good option to protect any house, no matter the size.

Review of BRK 670MBX Ionisation Smoke Alarm

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Fireangel SB1-R

Budget-Friendly Alternative

If you're concerned about the possibility of fire hazards in your home and know you'll sleep better if you install a smoke alarm, the FireAngel SB1-R Smoke Alarm might pique your interest. It's produced by a renowned brand and is perfect for grade F installation where the cost is a priority. Despite a low price tag, the unit incorporates the tried-and-tested optical smoke-sensing technology and does a great job detecting slow-smouldering fire on an instant. What is also great about it is that its built-in sensor is toast-proof, meaning the unit is resistant to nuisance alarms and won't be affected by cooking fumes, which enables installing it anywhere in your house, including kitchens.

Speaking of the installation process, it's all very easy. The alarm doesn't require a mains feed and can be fitted anywhere by simply screwing the base plate, on which you can then twist the main body. To power the unit, the package includes a 9V replaceable battery, which has the average life of around one year, long enough to not bother about replacement. The operating life of the unit isn't as average and can often reach a whopping 10 years, which is really amazing keeping the price in mind.

So, if you need a durable, easy-to-fit and effective smoke alarm at a budget-friendly price, the FireAngel SB1-R might be the perfect choice.

Review of Fireangel SB1-R Smoke Alarm

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

X-Sense SD13

10-Year Non-stop Protection

The X-Sense smoke detector is a premium-quality product that ensures effective, long-lasting protection. Equipped with a 3V 1500 mAh lithium battery, the unit consumes very little power and can uninterruptedly work for 10 years. Plus, it boasts a wide operating range, capable of detecting smoke within the space of up to 20-40 sq. metres.

The remarkable feature of this alarm is its innovative design with the latest photoelectric sensor and intelligent chipset, giving the alarm exceptional sensitivity and the ability to respond to a fire hazard immediately. More specifically, the X-Sense smoke detector is able to detect both smouldering and fast-burning fires and can automatically issue a loud 85 dB horn. In addition to that, a LED indicator will begin flashing rapidly (in normal condition, the light is steady and won't disturb you).

When it comes to mounting, this non-mains smoke alarm is very easy to fit - the included screws, anchor plugs, and mounting bracket allow you to secure it on any wall or ceiling. For optimal smoke detection, it's better to install it in the middle of the ceiling.

The X-sense alarm has passed the strictest TÜV certification and conforms to the EN14604 standard, so it will be capable of providing you with reliable protection for many years to come. What's more, since it's made from eco-friendly, fire-redundant ABS plastic and has a dust-proof design, it will not degrade nor show a sign of sensitivity decrease throughout the entire service life. Long-lasting protection is guaranteed!

Review of X-Sense SD13 Smoke Alarm

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Aico EI141RC

Top Choice

With a 5-star rating and numerous positive reviews on Amazon, the Aico EI141RC mains-powered alarm is a top choice of most UK homes not without a reason. It uses an ionization sensing system, which allows it to instantly respond to fast-flaming fires that are common within houses, making it easier to liquidate the problem at an early stage.

Where it somewhat drops the ball is in its ability to resist cooking fumes. If these fumes are too thick, it might go off occasionally, sending false alarms. However, this issue isn't a problem, as you can easily solve it by simply placing the unit in the hallway near the kitchen.

Now, where the Aico EI141RC shines is that it can be connected to up to 20 other alarms, including CO-detecting ones, which enables you to build a large protection system to cover your entire house. To pair the unit, you can use either wiring or Aico radio wireless bases. No configuring or setting required.

Speaking of installation, you get clear instructions with detailed diagrams on fitting and location as well as schemes for multi-storey buildings, showing a recommended alarm layout (positions, types of alarms and areas that should be avoided), which will make the process of setting it up a breeze. Plus, you won't need to put the alarm together since it is delivered as a whole unit.

To sum up, if you look for a mains-powered smoke detector to ensure reliable protection against fire hazards, the Aico EI141RC should be right up your alley. It can be paired with up to 20 units and it triggers on an instant giving you enough time to eliminate the threat.

Review of Aico EI141RC Mains Ionisation Smoke Alarm

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

What Is a Smoke Detector?

Taking care of safety is essential, and this argument is hard to refute. Today, we have lots of advanced technologies and smart devices designed to help us to protect not only our lives but also our property, including surveillance systems, security cameras, smart locks, etc. Smoke detectors, though not that smart, are just as important. They can detect smoke, fire, and poisonous gases in the shortest time and notify you about it on the instant by triggering an alarm horn or sending a warning to your phone so you have enough time to take immediate action and eliminate the threat at an early stage.

To provide the necessary level of safety and monitor the situation properly, smoke alarms are usually installed on the ceiling or walls in the places where the risk of fire is the highest. Basically, these places are located near stoves, boilers, and electric wiring. Some smoke sensors can be connected to the central fire warning system and if the fire is detected, they will instantly send a warning signal to the rescue service.

What Features to Compare

Type of Sensor

When choosing a smoke detector, first things first, check out what type of sensors it uses. They can be of two types:

  • photoelectric. Sensors of this type can sense particles as small as 0.3 to 10 micron, which allows them to detect smouldering fires almost instantly. They are also good at detecting thick white smoke and can even sense volatile black smoke, although for the latter the detection time might be a bit longer.
  • electrochemical. The advantage of this type of sensor is that it allows not only detecting smoke but also measuring the concentration of gasses, which makes them absolutely a must for private houses and other premises that use the gas heating system.

Keep in mind that the detection of carbon monoxide should be the priority since this gas poses a real threat to human life. As CO is invisible and odourless, you won't be able to feel it and therefore, it will be able to quickly spread around your place. To avoid this, using a smoke detector with electrochemical sensors is highly recommended.

In addition to the aforementioned sensors, smoke detectors usually come fitted with a sound alarm, which goes off when smoke's being detected, and light indicators. Some models may also include additional motion, occupancy, humidity sensors, expanding the functionality of the device and making it more versatile.

Temperature Range and Power Source

The next thing to consider is the temperature range in which the device can effectively operate. Opting for the right range will help to prevent the device from sending wrong signals should the weather in your area change and provide accurate operation. If you live in a moderate climate with cold winters and hot summers, the best decision would be to opt for an adjustable model, allowing for changing/varying this range depending on the weather conditions.

Another thing worth checking out is the power source. If you don't need a permanent fixture, look for battery-powered smoke detectors - the market offers them aplenty. The advantage of battery-powered models is that they can be installed pretty much anywhere in the house without needing a power outlet. You can also find models working off the mains, plus, there are units that can operate using either. Here the choice pretty much comes down to your personal preferences and convenience.

Extra Features

Though smoke detectors don't usually strike as multi-function devices, they might have some extra features. For example, some models can be fitted with a Wi-Fi module, letting you control them remotely via a smartphone. The main perk of owning such a device is that if a fire hazard emerges, it will notify you about it on the instant by sending a notification straight to your phone and you will have an opportunity to take immediate action. There are also models that can be controlled by gestures - once you wave your hand, the alarm will be switched off. By extra features, we also mean ergonomic buttons that can make calibration and self-testing easier and the presence of a display that will inform you of the battery status and other important data.

Sources:

1. How to Choose a Smoke Detector, wikiHow.

2. How to Choose the Best Smoke Alarms for Your Home, Kidde.

3. Smoke and CO Alarm Buying Guide, Consumer Reports. February 2016.

4. Joanna Pearl How to Buy the Best Smoke Alarms, Which?

5. Chris Barnes Smoke Alarm Buying Guide, choice. August 28, 2014.

6. Kimberly Kurimski Best Smoke Detector: Ionization, Photoelectric Or Dual Sensor? A Secure Life. May 12, 2016.

7. How to Buy a Smoke Detector, ConsumerSearch. April 2016.

8. Timothy Dahl How to Buy a Smoke Alarm that Provides the Most Protection, WORKSHOP. September 9, 2015.

9. B. ONeill Not All Smoke Alarms are Equal: Knowing the Difference Could Save Your Life, The Allstate Blog. April 3, 2013.

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Publish Date: 2020-03-13 19:28:12