Kidde Firex KF20 Optical Smoke Detector and Alarm with 9V Battery Backup - Replaces Firex 4973, PADC240, PADC230

  • 230V Hard Wired Mains Powered Alarm with Battery Backup
  • Interconnects to 23 alarms
  • Combined Test & Hush Button
  • Guaranteed for 6 Years
  • Comes with its own base, screws and wallplugs for fixing.
SKU
4973
Excl. VAT
£26.41 Regular Price
Special Price Excl. VAT £16.20
£19.44 Incl. VAT

There are two types of smoke alarm currently on the market - ionisation and optical (also described as photo electronic)

Ionisation: These are the cheapest and cost very little to purchase. They are very sensitive to small particles of smoke produced by flaming fires, such as chip pans, and will detect this type of fire before the smoke gets too thick. They are marginally less sensitive to slow burning and smouldering fires which give off larger quantities of smoke before flaming occurs. 

Optical: These are more expensive but more effective at detecting larger particles of smoke produced by slow-burning fires, such as smouldering foam-filled upholstery and overheated PVC wiring. They are marginally less sensitive to free burning flaming fires. 

Each type looks similar and is powered either by a battery or mains electricity (or a combination of both). Some are inter-connectable so that any smoke detected at one point can raise the alarm at all others.

In a standard smoke alarm, the battery will need to be replaced every 12 months. You can buy alarms fitted with 10 and 15 year batteries. The advantage is that you don't have to replace the battery every year. 

Mains-powered alarms eliminate the problem of checking the battery. But to be really safe you need a battery back-up (which costs extra). They need to be installed by a qualified electrician. 

Some people find their alarms are frequently set off when they're cooking or when the toast burns. This is partly a problem of positioning (the alarm shouldn't be in the kitchen or right outside it). But it can be made less annoying by a button that quietens the alarm temporarily. 

The alarm lets you know it's been silenced by "chirping" or by displaying a red light - and a real fire producing lots of smoke will set it off anyway. 

When deciding which type of alarm to buy you should consider which type of fire is most likely to occur in your home. Generally, both types of fire are common so the best form of protection would be to choose at least one smoke alarm of each type. Ideally, and to ensure continuity of supply, mains powered alarms with a back up power supply (e.g. battery, rechargeable capacitor) are the best option but simple battery powered alarms of either type will give good minimum protection. 

The number of smoke alarms to fit in your home depends on your particular circumstances. Fires can start anywhere, so the more that are fitted, the higher the level of protection. 

For maximum protection an alarm should be fitted in every room (except kitchen, bathroom and garage) You should choose the type most suited to the risk in each room. For minimum protection the number to be fitted will depend on the type of home you live in

The 4973 is an optical sensor type of smoke detector, up to 36 additional Firex detectors can be linked to it for a total alarm system for complete piece of mind. 

Smoke alarms need very little maintenance. A few minutes of your time during the year will ensure that your alarm is working and could help save your life and the lives of your family. 

You should: 
Once a week test each alarm by pressing the test button till the alarm sounds. 
Once a year change the battery (unless it's a ten-year alarm). 
Twice a year open the case and gently vacuum the inside using the soft-brush attachment to remove dust from the sensors. If it doesn't open, vacuum through the holes. 
After 10 years it's best to get a whole new alarm. 

Buying and fitting smoke alarms and ensuring they are carefully and properly maintained, could give you those precious few extra minutes in which to make your escape safely. 

Plan an escape from your home in advance and talk about it with your family. If a fire occurs you may have to get out in the dark and difficult conditions. Escaping will be a lot easier it everyone knows where to go. Make sure your routes remain free of any obstructions and that there are no loose floor coverings that could trip you. 

Always check the battery regularly, replacing it when necessary and never remove it for other purposes. 

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