Special thanks to Stephen Beadle of Detector Testers who has kindly provided his insights into their range of detector testing equipment.
What should people consider when making a decision on whether to go for the Solo vs Testifire range?
A key consideration is really around the types of detector people are testing. We know more heat detectors and multi-sensors are now being installed and owning a Testifire means you have a tester which can test all of these – without the need to change heads and carry multiple tools.
What are the pros & cons between aerosol and capsule driven testers?
Both solutions are detector manufacturer approved, compliant with standards and offer a reliable means of testing, linked to the above answer, the way you view each will largely depend on the type of detectors you are testing and the sites you are visiting.
Aerosol Pros: Extremely easy to use, very much the industry standard for the last 20 years, widely available and compatible with a wide range of detectors.
Cons: can be over-applied causing the detector to remain in alarm, can be difficult to use with modern detectors, hazardous to store and transport, subject to increasing regulations.
Capsule Pro: Generate smoke on demand – less wasted smoke, compatible with the widest range of detectors, easy to store and transport.
Cons: Can take a while to get used to, seen as a more complex tester, battery needed for smoke generation.
Are there any features of the Testifire range which users somehow overlook?
I think there are probably quite a few. Those who seem to get the most from Testifire are those who use it every day as their number one tester. It isn’t just a tester for multi-sensors, it’s equal suitable for testing single sensor smoke and heat detectors. I think it sometimes is viewed as a specialist test tool for multi-sensors so only gets used on certain sites where these detectors are installed.
The biggest benefit it brings is an increase in productivity – it’s one tool that has the ability to test smoke and heat whether within a single or multi-sensor detector.
The clearing mode, which helps eliminate re-alarms (and removes the need for a clipboard to clear the detector!), works just as well on a single sensor smoke detector.
The high heat mode is perhaps something else that is overlooked. By offering a 100°C setting it can reach a higher temperature that the Solo 460 making it more useful when needed to test detector set to this temperature.
What testing equipment would you expect engineers to carry as standard?
I think it is fair to say the Solo smoke aerosol and dispenser, along with the Solo cordless heat detector tester are widely seen as the industry standard. What we are seeing is an increasing number of engineers are now taking Testifire as their standard kit – particularly new engineers and new service and maintenance companies.
We’ve recently launched a kit selector on our website to help engineers find their ideal kit based on their specific needs – https://www.detectortesters.com/kitselection/.
Detector Testers are always proactive with product developments, can you tell us anything about the future?
We’re always looking at ways to improve our range and enhance the experience for users, we’re also now getting more feedback than ever from our customers about what increasing demands they are receiving from their customers. All of this is making for a pretty exciting and full product roadmap. We hope to have more to share in the New Year.