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What is VESDA Smoke Detection?

Posted on September 08 2016

Vesda VEP

Vesda is a brand of an Aspirating Smoke Detector manufactured by a company named Xtralis and distributed to Fire & Security companies by

The name Vesda is an acronym meaning Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus. 

An Aspirating Smoke Detector differs from a standard smoke detector by implementing a fan within the detection unit to draw air samples from a protected environment. The air samples are drawn through a series of ABS plastic pipes known as a Vesda Air Sampling Pipe Network or Aspirating Pipe Network. Holes or capillary sampling points in the Vesda pipework permit air samples to be taken from specific locations within the monitored area and sampled for smoke particles back at the detector.

Unlike conventional type smoke detectors, a Vesda detector does not have to be physically located within the area it is protecting. The detector can be located away from the protected area with only the aspirating pipe network installed within the area being monitored. Being able to locate the detector outside of the detection environment allows the Vesda detector to be used in environments not practical for standard smoke detectors.

Vesda Aspirating Smoke Detectors are considered to be ‘Active’ smoke detectors as opposed to a normal smoke detector which is considered to be ‘Passive’. The difference between the two is due to the fan, or aspirator as it is called, within the Vesda detector. The aspirator actively draws smoke from the protected environment into its smoke sensor chamber whereas a standard smoke detector relies on the smoke physically passing its sensing element through natural airflow.

A standard smoke detector usually has a fixed alarm threshold requiring a preset amount of smoke to be detected before an alarm condition is raised. The amount of smoke required to trigger an alarm condition on a Vesda detector can be programmed with up to four separate alarm levels. This allows a Vesda detector to detect smoke from a point some 200 times more sensitive than a smoke detector down to a point approximately 5 times less sensitive. 

The design of a fire alarm system relies on the correct placement of smoke detectors to meet the required local codes and standards. The installation of the air sampling pipework follows the same rules as for the placement of smoke detectors. Everywhere a smoke detector is positioned, a sampling hole or capillary point in the Vesda pipe network should be present.

There are various models of Vesda detectors available, each with differing facilities and functions. Essentially each particular model is capable of covering different size detection areas from 100 sq/m to 2000 sq/m. The primary method of model selection is by area coverage followed closely by feature requirement.


The table below identifies the area size that the different models of Vesda detectors will cover.


Vesda Detector

Model Name

Area Coverage






















VESDA-E Ultimate



1 comment

  • Nick coates: August 23, 2018

    Please call me tomorrow 01485 544528.


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