Fire alarms are a very important safety device for your home. They help in alerting you of a fire and enable you to act quickly so that you can escape safely. In this guide our aim is to help breakdown the cost of installing a new fire alarm and what type of fire alarm is best for your property.
This guide looks at some of these different factors so you can use our online tool to find out more about what you need to budget for.
How much does a fire alarm cost?
In general, the cost of a fire alarm is not very significant and is largely determined by the type of alarm and how many you would need around the house.
If you’re looking for a reasonably priced fire alarm, battery-powered ones may be a good option. These devices can be purchased for as little as £10 – £20 and if you need installation services, most companies offer that at an affordable price of £40 – £80.
On the other hand, mains fire alarms would require the help of an electrician to install and therefore may cost between £80 – £140.
Smart fire alarms cost are on the higher end, but they are more useful than the traditional ones. For a mains powered fire alarm it will cost in the region of £125 to £275. We understand this is a wide price range but it depends on several factors such as fire alarm manufacturer, number of units, power supply etc.
Fire alarms installation cost
Fire alarm cost will depend on two things: the type you install and how many you install. The biggest difference is the way they are powered, i.e. battery powered vs mains powered.
|TYPE OF FIRE ALARM||COST PER FIRE ALARM|
|Ionisation||£45 – £85|
|Optical||£40 – £75|
|Heat||£45 – £85|
|Smart||£80 – £220|
|Linked||£45 – £80|
|TYPE OF FIRE ALARM||COST PER FIRE ALARM|
|Ionisation||£75 – £135|
|Optical||£70 – £130|
|Heat||£75 – £135|
|Smart||£125 – £275|
|Linked||£75 – £130|
Additional fire alarm costs
Obtaining an electricity safety certificate
An electrical safety certificate is simply a document which states that all the electrical installations that are present in your home are safe and up to the latest standards. The cost of an electrical safety certificate can range between £150 – £250.
Rewiring your home
It’s possible that while fitting a fire alarm, your electrician may discover that there are problems with the wiring of your home. This may require some attention and is especially the case when installing a mains powered fire alarm. The cost to rewire a house can vary depending on the size of the house and the work required.
Fitting a security system
A new security system will cost around £500 and is a one-time investment. The size of your home is an important factor when determining your final cost.
Labour cost of installing fire alarms
In most cases, you can fit a battery-powered alarm yourself, though for those who don’t feel confident fitting it themselves, there are many tradespeople willing to do this for you. The labour charge will vary depending on where you are and which electrician you choose. The task should take around ½ an hour per fire alarm installation.
However, if you want to install a mains powered fire alarm, you will require an electrician. Most will charge for each alarm that needs to be fitted. The cost for them could be in the range of £80 – £140 per alarm.
Factors that determine fire alarm cost
There are few factors to consider when determining the fire alarms cost. Some of them are listed below.
Type of fire alarm
As noted above, the kind of fire alarm you choose will affect the amount you pay. Assuming that they are mains-powered alarms, then the type won’t have a great effect on your install cost. If it’s battery powered, you can probably forgo on the installation cost.
Where your property is located can affect the cost of installation. Tradespeople’s rates can vary across different cities. Besides, the further you are away from city limits, you are likely to have a cost item included for travel.
Ease of access
Access to consumer boxes above the ceiling may cost more because of time required for extra tasks such as cutting plasterboard, tacking wires into place, and so on. Also, it’s more time consuming to have access to consumer boxes that are positioned beneath the floor.
Number of fire alarms
If you require more fire alarms to cover the area of your property, the cost will increase; however, you can probably negotiate for discounts with your tradesperson on the installation cost component if you have 5 or more fire alarms.
Process to install a fire alarm
Installing a battery-powered alarm is fairly straightforward. However, mains powered alarms require expert installation, as they can cause a lot of damage to your property if not done correctly. Let’s look at each in turn.
Installing a battery powered fire alarm
Installing a new battery-powered alarm is an easy job. All you have to do is figure out where to put it, take off the cover and replace the wires into ceiling beams, screw the base of the installed alarm to the ceiling beam, and then place the batteries in.
Installing a mains powered fire alarm
Unlike installing a battery powered fire alarm, mains powered fire alarm are more complicated to install and is usually left to the electricians to complete the job.
You need to initially ensure there is a dedicated slot on the consumer unit to connect the fire alarm to. The generally recommended one is a 6amp circuit breaker. The wires from the fire alarm will be connected to this circuit breaker.
Depending on the location of the alarms and the consumer unit, the smoke alarm wire may be run above the ceiling, or it may have to be boxed in.
Thereafter, the consumer unit will be connected to the smoke alarm with a wire. Depending on the number of alarms, each one will be linked and connected with the same wire.
The smoke alarm is fixed to the ceiling with screws and the connections checked. Finally, the cover is put back on.
Choosing the right type of fire alarm
When choosing the fire alarm that’s right for your property, you need to think about how it will be powered, and which features you want it to have. To have a comprehensive alarm system, you may need more than one type of alarm.
The choice here mainly depends on the upfront cost and ongoing maintenance. For instance, mains powered fire alarms need to be installed by an electrician and requires little/no maintenance. The average cost can be around £15.
On the other hand, battery powered ones are cheaper, can be installed by yourself but the batteries may need replacing.
There are various features that you could opt for when choosing a fire alarm. These include:
- Ionisation fire alarm: the air inside the alarm here is ionised. This allows a current to flow. When smoke gets inside the alarm, it breaks the circuit and sets the alarms off. These work well in dusty areas and are not affected by cigarette smoke. They are however not suitable to be placed near the kitchen as it could indicate a false alarm.
- Optical fire alarm: The optical fire alarm combines a light sensor and a red LED. The light sensor constantly monitors the LED for changes in light intensity. When there is a noticeable change, an alarm will get activated. These work well in the kitchen and hallways.
- Smart fire alarm: If you’re looking for a fire alarm that not only alerts you when there’s smoke in the house, but that also comes with a host of other features, then a smart one might be the right choice. They are however a more expensive option compared to the other types.
- Hear fire alarm: With a clever electronic sensor inside, heat alarms are clever enough to tell the difference between a real fire and something else.
- Linked fire alarm: Linked alarms give your home extra security by sounding if any one part of it is breached. Linking alarms means that they can work together without the need for wires, which makes installation faster and easier.
Building regulations for fire alarms
A few new fire safety laws have recently been passed by the government. If you plan on doing any work to your home that is subject to building regulations, then you will be required to fit a mains powered fire alarm if you do not already have one.
This is put in place to ensure the safety of your home. However, it is still okay to install as many battery-powered alarms as you like. As long as there is one mains powered alarm in your home, you can do whatever else you want.
To comply with building regulations, your home should be fitted with at least one fire alarm in every corridor. This means that you should have one fire alarm in each hallway of your home. You can refer to this article for more details.
Cost to remove a fire alarm
If you are changing to a completely new system, then you may want to remove the old one. The cost will depend on the type of alarm system you need to remove.
If the old system is battery powered, it can be a very simple task that you can carry out. All you need to do is unscrew them from the ceiling and thereafter patch the holes up with some plastering. However, if it’s a mains powered one, you would need an electrician to get the job done.
The cost will depend on the amount of time it takes to complete the work. Electricians charge between £50 and £120 per hour, depending on your location. The more alarms there are to remove the more expensive it will be.
How often does the fire alarm need replacing?
It depends on the type of system you have, but many smoke detectors need to be replaced every ten years. After this time, they are less sensitive and will not give off an early warning when a fire occurs.
Choosing the right electricians to install fire alarms
In general, you will have two options: hiring a specialist fire safety company or hiring an electrician. Whichever you choose, you will need to look into the following considerations:
- Do they have the right expertise to carry out the work?
- Do they have the necessary equipment/certifications and background to install different types of fire alarms?
- What are past customers saying about their work? Do they have positive reviews?
At Complete Connectrix Ltd, we are very confident about providing you the best fire alarm installation services. If you’re looking for an experienced fire alarm systems installer, call us for a consultation on the options available to you. We’ll keep working with you until you get the outcome that you want.