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BRE (Building Research Establishment) have published a study which finds multi-sensor fire detectors can reduce unwanted fire alarms.
Multi-sensor fire detectors are detectors which look for two or more combinations of products of combustion (e.g. heat, smoke (optical), smoke (ionisation), Carbon monoxide). The idea is they are more resistant than ‘single point’ detectors to reacting to non-fire events (e.g. burnt toast, shower steam, aerosols).
Unwanted fire alarms reduce confidence and trust in automatic fire alarms and signals which result in undesirable consequences like reduced sensitivity to alarms by building occupants and changes to Fire and Rescue Service response policies.
This finding was as expected, but data to evidence the theory was lacking.
BRE say "New research has demonstrated the ability of multi-sensor fire detectors to reduce false fire alarms. Supported by the Fire Industry Association, fire detector manufacturers and the BRE Trust, this study included tests on thirty-five multi-sensor detectors. The research report and a video summary can be freely accessed here."