Fire Safety Training | Smoke Alarms


Whether in the workplace or home, a smoke detector will do exactly what its made to do (detect noxious smoke).

Smoke is a critical indicator that a fire has started or is about to start. When in full working order, your smoke detector or fire alarm, will sound off the instant it senses smoke in the air.

In fact, they are so sensitive to smoke that if placed in close proximity to them, even steam from a shower can set them off.


FST Solutions Ireland – Smoke Detection

FST Solutions Ireland - Smoke Detection


At FST Solutions Ireland our primary role as a business is teaching all there is to know about fire safety in the workplace, however; in our roles as active national & county firefighters we know all to well about the paramount importance of having functioning fire alarms positioned in the home.

And so, in this age of modern technology, we feel that using our social media and blog to create as much awareness to all aspects and scenarios of fire safety is very much in the public interest.

Sadly, in the case of house fires we have all to often attended emergencies at which had smoke detectors been properly placed, lives could well have been saved.


Let‘s face it. A smoke alarm is a rather simplistic looking device and besides, who really gives a second thought to the science behind their manufacturing?!

Well, we do, and we can inform you that how they are made reveals an extraordinary and complex story.

For example, americium oxide, radiation and alpha particles. Intrigued yet? These life saving devices also contain precious metals in the specific form of silver and gold!


FST Solutions Ireland - Fire safety training

Alpha particles or a helium nucleus is instantly released from the use of americium oxide isotopes which are radioactive and pose absolutely zero health risk in the amount contained within your smoke alarm plus, this is also where gold and silver play their role.

Americium oxide is manufactured into a gold foil and is then placed upon a silver plate of which there are two. You will find the silver plates in the ionisation chamber where one is negatively, and the other is positively charged.

During the process of their release, a collision occurs with oxygen or nitrogen and alpha particles cling to negative electrons which cause them to ionise.

Ionisation is a process by which neutral particles become electrically charged. So, when smoke promptly enters the alarm module, complex ions are instantly absorbed by it and in turn the electric current falls.

This is exactly what the components of your fire alarm detect and as soon as they do, well, we’ve all heard what a smoke alarm sounds like right?



Smoke detectors in the workplace function no differently to those in the home however, naturally depending on the size of the business premises and in contrast to the standard home where generally speaking, there are normally just two alarms, in a large building there may be multiples of this and on different floors.

Typically they will all link back to a central fire control panel.

It would be needless to point out that it is critical and not least a legal requirement that fire warden fire-marshal-training safety protocols and evacuation procedures are firmly in place in all business settings, with regular refresher training & updates.

An typical Asenware fire control panel

                 A typical fire alarm control panel for businesses.


We have already mentioned the legal requirement to have fire safety protocols and evacuation procedures firmly active in the workplace and indeed that is where the experienced staff at FST Solutions Ireland play our key roles.

We teach company employees critical knowledge in fire behaviour and what they need to do in order to undergo a safe and quick evacuation in the event of an emergency.

But what about the home? Do you have fire smoke alarms? Do you check them? Do you have a fire evacuation plan in place in your home? Well, you should, and you can learn more about that in our next post.

Maybe a quick read of this this article might get you thinking otherwise.

“Part of the first floor of the converted house was damaged by fire, which was tackled by around 25 firefighters. An LFB spokesperson said: “This incident is a reminder of just how important it is to have working smoke alarms in your home”.

Source here

Please feel free to browse our website or contact us in relation to fire safety training in the workplace.

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