News & Updates

What is Aspirating Smoke Detection?

Most suppression systems require the use of a detection system to activate. Matching the performance characteristics of a detection system with a suppression system is a critical component of the fire protection design.  Detection must align with the hazard, suppression system type and fire protection goals.  An increasingly popular detection method is air sampling or aspirating smoke detection, which assists in providing maximum uptime and minimum business disruption.

Aspirating Smoke Detectors (ASD) are active detection systems that use an air sampling pipe network throughout a space to detect smoke particles during the incipient stages of fire growth. A typical ASD system will consist of a centralized detector unit and sampling piping.  The sampling pipes have ports or small holes that are strategically spaced based on the room characteristics.  Within the detector unit, an aspirating fan will pull air from the space through the sampling tubes and into the detector unit.  The air then travels through a filter that is designed to catch dust and debris and allow smoke particulates to move to the detector chamber.  When smoke particulates enter the detector chamber, a laser will scatter light.  As the smoke and light scattering increases, the detector uses sophisticated computer algorithms to recognize that relative smoke obscuration in the protected space.  ASD’s can be programmed to be as sensitive as a spot smoke detector, but are often programmed to have sensitivity thresholds hundreds of times more sensitive than a spot smoke detector.  These programmable obscuration threshold levels can provide a Trouble, Supervisory, or Alarm signal to a Fire Alarm or Fire Suppression control panel.

Though ASD’s are traditionally thought to be most useful in clean environments, they are versatile and can also be used in a variety of applications. Below is a list of typical applications where an ASD may be useful.

  • Data Centers
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Hospitals & Healthcare
  • Records Storage
  • Telecommunications
  • Clean Rooms
  • Cold Storage
  • Manufacturing Areas
  • Power Generation Spaces
  • Pharmaceutical

ASD systems afford customers the ability to get the maximum sensitivity during a fire, which translates into increased time for response. Detection at the incipient stages of the fire allows suppression systems to act quickly and stop the event before it ever becomes a business disruption. When time is money, every second counts.   To learn more about Aspirating Smoke Detection, contact one of our Sales Engineers at Advanced Safety Systems 978-532-5730.