Electrical Contracting News (ECN) April 2017 - Page 46





Paul Pope , head of systems integration & technical support at Apollo Fire Detectors , discusses the dangers of counterfeit fire detection devices and how to avoid them .

When it comes to

fire detection equipment , the rigorous design process , validation testing , testing before and during production and ongoing quality checks that authentic professional companies carry out is key to the reliability of their life safety products . Counterfeit products may , to the untrained eye , look identical , but no copycat product will ever benefit the end user in terms of protecting and saving life as well as one which has been through the meticulous testing procedures of a genuine and reputable fire detection manufacturer .
Non-compliance and non-compatibility
The two main dangers of counterfeit fire detection equipment are firstly , their noncompliance with industry standards , and secondly , their non-compatibility within an overall fire detection system . In a situation
where every single piece of equipment , no matter how small , contributes to the safe and effective working of a detection system , the consequences of even one counterfeit element can be devastating . The authenticity of fire detection equipment should never be taken for granted and should always be verified at source .
Checking approval logos and relevant certification numbers on the product is the first step in ascertaining a product ’ s authenticity . But what if a counterfeit manufacturer copies these logos and product numbers ?
Chris Ellis , laboratories and validation manager at Apollo , explains how even the small details can give the game away , ‘ Counterfeit manufacturers will try and save money wherever they can , and this scrimping on quality often shows in terms of their products . If you place a genuine fire detector next to a fake one , there are a number of differences which can often be seen . An example of these differences includes the grade , and therefore the colour , of the plastic used – genuine detectors tend to be a bright white , whereas counterfeit products are often a creamier yellow colour . Also , if you take the
Checking approval logos and relevant certification numbers on the product is the first step in ascertaining a product ’ s authenticity .
front off a counterfeit detector , you ’ ll see a marked difference compared to a modern original . It ’ s a bit like comparing a 1980s TV with a modern one – counterfeit detectors often use old technology with cheap boards and lots of copper compared to the modern layered boards used today by reputable manufacturers . Other differences include details such as the quality of the labelling , and even the fact that the font on the labelling may look “ cheap ” – all signs that the detector may be an imitation device .’
46 | April 2017