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The responsibility to actually plan and schedule the installation and maintenance of any fire protection equipment lies solely with the ‘Responsible Person’ (as named in the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005) – usually the care home itself. So, whilst those contracted to the care home aren’t necessarily in the immediate firing line, so to speak, if something goes wrong, there is a duty for technicians and contractors to follow standards and best practice in order to ensure that the highest possible levels of safety are maintained and that the blame cannot be shifted in the event of a fire.
Where thermal detection is the only option it is again essential to maintain as high a sensitivity as possible. Heat detectors come in two basic types, Fixed Temperature & Rate of Rise. Fixed temperature devices only respond when the temperature at the detector reaches a pre-defined limit. Typically, this is 58oC but higher temperature devices are also available. Rate of rise heat detectors have a fixed temperature limit in addition to a response based on a temperature increase over a certain period of time. The rate of Rise heat detector is normally faster in its response than fixed temperature and should be used as the next best alternative. Occasionally RoR detectors can still false alarm (for instance when an oven door is opened directly below a detector). This can normally be handled by careful positioning of the detector.