A smoke detector is a sensitive device designed to detect a fire from the by-products of combustion. You can read more about the operation of fire detection and alarm systems and smoke detectors in our popular series of articles titled "Principles of Fire Safety".
Earlier today I received an email from CW (alias) who asked the question "what are the requirements for testing the sensitivity of collective smoke detectors in accordance with Australian Standard AS1851:2012?"
Earlier this evening, I intercepted this email between one of our customers (James) and one of my colleagues (Dennis) on the Subject of AS1851:2012 - Monthly Sprinkler Testing. The email was in response to the publication of Australian Standard AS1851:2012 that was published on December 3, 2012.
Australian Standard AS1851:2012 is a completely new edition of the Standard, published on December 3, 2012.
This new edition has been under review for over three years and has received input from a wide range of contributors including Australian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC), Department of Defence, Department of Human Services (Vic), Fire Protection Association Australia, Engineers Australia, Property Council and representatives from Standards Australia Technical Committees.
The Standard also has a new title, changing from "Maintenance of Fire Protection Systems and Equipment" to "Routine Service of Fire Protection Systems and Equipment".
Unfortunately there are a great deal of other particles that when built up over time can adversely affect the performance of a smoke detector.
This adverse affect can be reflected in two ways;
A VESDA is a brand of aspirating smoke detector designed and manufactured by Xtralis. From a maintenance perspective, an aspirating smoke detector (also known as an ASD) needs to be maintained differently than the common point type smoke detector.
While this article specifically considers the VESDA, there are other brands of aspirating smoke detector available that these general principes apply.