Technical Customer Services

You are responsible for realising the service contract with Pyrexx

Technical customer services acts as an administrative management organ. It monitors the workflow, as well as all running processes of the respective service modules.

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Via our Customer Portal our customers from the housing industry receive access to a scheduling and performance overview, housing stock management, billing and operating costs.

FAQ Technical Customer Service



Who is liable for a fire service call-out if the smoke detector makes a false alarm?
Based on our experience, there are a occasional cases that we know if where, for example, an insect or room spray has been used. As the the smoke detectors permanently measures the transparency of the surrounding air with a photoelectric cell, such spray mist can be interpreted as smoke by the electronics and thereby trigger an alarm. In certain cases other residents have heard the smoke detector alarm and have hastily alerted the fire service without checking whether there is a real fire. The person who does not check if there is actually a real danger and calls out the fire service is always the person liable for the costs of the call-out.
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Is there a quality assurance process?
es. We regularly personally carry out on-site quality controls and record telephone performance profiles at random, in order to constantly maintain the quality of our services at the usual high level for our customers.
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How frequent are service and maintenance call-outs?
Based upon data collected in previous years, we have calculated a very reliable statistical guide value that of 1000 homes, every year around 50-60 service and maintenance call-outs caused by third party action (loss/vandalism) are to be expected. The number of call-outs which relate to a faulty smoke detector (false alarm) are extremely infrequent. Fluctuations in this value depend on the social structure.
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How often does a device go missing or has to be replaced due to vandalism?
Based upon data collected in previous years, we have calculated a statistical guide value that of 1000 homes, every year around 50 smoke detectors are either stolen or have to be replaced due to vandalism/renovation/home removal etc. Fluctuations in this value depend on the social structure.
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How are damages handled?
Each of our technicians has company liability insurance, so that damages for which they are liable can be quickly and straightforwardly dealt with by our service centre.
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Who is liable when it is established that the smoke detector did not trigger when there was a fire?
This very theoretical question is often asked. Such a case has NEVER happened. We do everything possible in the assiduous way we work to maintain the functional readiness of the smoke detectors. For the hypothetical and very unlikely case that all of the smoke detectors in a home stop working and are in involved in a fire, then we are not liable. Smoke detectors support early detection of a fire and can neither extinguish a fire nor prevent one. Our services are not a replacement for insurance. The obligations of insurers remain unaffected by our services.
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Where should a smoke detector be installed? And where not?
As the sense of smell is not active in people an animals when they are asleep, and because two to four breaths of toxic smoke can lead to severed brain damage or death, it is important that a smoke detector is installed in every bedroom on the ceiling and as far as is possible in the centre of the room. Furthermore, detectors should monitor escape routes, such as corridors and stair wells, and be placed every four to six meters. Additional protection can be offered by also installing smoke detectors in rooms which are not used as bedrooms or escape routes, such as living rooms and dining rooms. Smoke detectors do not belong in the kitchen or bathroom, as environmental influences such as large amounts of steam can trigger an unwanted false alarm. The hallway outside of the kitchen is a good place to install a smoke detector, because the proximity to the cooker and at the same time the distance from it means that an alarm is only triggered in real situations. Smoke detectors should always be installed for every 25m² of floor space and the distance between the devices should, if possible, be less than 6m. “In a room filled with smoke the visibility is down to zero. You cannot see your hand in front of your face, let alone the exit. It is therefore important to be aware of a fire early enough, so that you can escape”. Wolfgang Weiden, Chief of Operations of the Bergisch Gladbach Fire Service.
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How are smoke detectors installed?
We have developed the Magnet Hot Glue Fusion Technique (MHF) which allows a smoke detector to be installed, as per DIN 14676, within a minute with the aid of our multifunction telescopic tool. Usually our technicians do not require a ladder. No electricity is needed, as the installation takes place without drilling and this also means neither dust nor noise are caused. The MHF technique employed leaves the building structure completely intact. When redecorating the device can easily be removed from the wall or ceiling. Even after the smoke detector has been removed there are no significant traces of the installation. Through the innovative installation technique described here we have reduced the installation of a battery smoke detector from an average of 8-12 minutes for installation involving drilling to less than a minute.
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Can the costs for the maintenance of smoke detectors be apportioned in the running costs?
Yes. With the corresponding contacts or notifications as per paragraph 560 German Civil Code the maintenance costs for the smoke detectors under paragraph 2, clause 17 R BetrKV (Running Costs Ordinance) can be included in the bill for running costs. As individual initial contractual situation varies, in each case a specialist lawyer should check the contractual conditions and define a path for apportioning the costs.
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How is the maintenance organised?
In order to organise our service as inexpensively as possible for the landlord and therefore also for the tenant, we undertake the following: there are two set dates for the maintenance where we want to reach as many homes as possible by having as many appointments on the same date as possible, so that the costs for transport are kept as low as possible and ultimately therefore be able to offer the tenant very inexpensive maintenance services. - The first date for the maintenance takes place around 14 days beforehand and is announced via notices in the building. These first appointments always have time slots of two hours (e.g. 10 am – 12 noon), always in the period from 8 am to 3 pm and are primarily aimed at residents/tenants who are at home at this time (e.g. those who are not employed, housewives, senior citizens etc.) - If we are unable to see the resident/tenant during this first appointment or access to the flat has not been organised, we leave a notification card with a second appointment, which is set for 14-21 days after the first appointment. This second appointment also has a two hour time slot (e.g. 5 – 7 pm) always in the period from 3.30 pm to 7 pm and orientated to working people and residents who were not able to meet the first appointment due to other reasons (e.g. holiday). If we are unable to see the resident/tenant on the second appointment, we leave behind a further notification card, pointing out our customer service number. The resident/tenant can call our service centre and arrange an individual appointment. Such an appointment means an extra journey, for which we bill the customer at the same cost price, who can then bill the relevant resident/tenant.
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How often is the maintenance carried out?
The maintenance of the devices is carried out once a year as per DIN 14676. In this way, the optimum operational readiness of the smoke detector is always checked. Long maintenance intervals are not permitted in the above standard and would increase the danger of a smoke alarm either responding/alerting late in an emergency or not at all.
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How long does it take to carry out the maintenance for a smoke detector?
Due to the intensive optimisation of the processes in the maintenance workflow and supported by highly developed recording technology, the maintenance of a device today lasts less than two minutes. In our engineering department we have developed special tools which allow our technicians to mainly work without ladders. This saves valuable working time and leads to a clear reduction in the risk of a workplace accident. Due to maintenance methods developed by us, the time needed for the maintenance of a battery smoke detector can be reduced from 5-7 minutes to less than two minutes. The considerable overall time saving is a factor in us being able to offer our services at a very low price.
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Do the technicians remove their shoes in each home they visit?
Our technicians have plastic shoe covers, so that sensitive floor coverings are not dirtied. Equally, the requirements of Muslims are also met.
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How can a Pyrexx technician be recognised?
A technician who works for us will always wear uniform work clothes. Bright red outer clothing with a small printed yellow Pyrexx logo on the chest and a large one on the back, with beige work trousers. They also wear a bright red baseball cap with a yellow embroidered Pyrexx logo. In addition, our technicians also carry ID with their name, a photo, the technician ID number, the Pyrexx logo, and, if applicable, the logo of our customer/of the landlord. In addition, each technician is instructed to carry their national ID card with them.
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What is done as part of the maintenance?
DIN 14676 defines the minimum scope of the maintenance for the user of the smoke detector, along with the installation location. So for example, it needs to be checked whether the device is undamaged, whether its air inlets are free of foreign bodies and the battery voltage is sufficient for another year. In addition, a test alarm should be carried out. With a great deal of care we perform what is demanded by this standard when we carry out our maintenance procedures. We check whether the smoke detector is still in its intended installation location, replace missing and damaged devices, carry out careful cleaning of the exterior of the device, so that no dust or foreign bodies can clog up the air inlets in the housing. We also check whether the device has sufficient battery voltage and perform a test alarm. For devices with a diagnosis connection, we read all of the performance and measurement parameters as well as the event recorder in the device and make the related diagnosis report as well as our proof of performance available to the customer via our customer portal.
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What environmental influences can trigger an alarm in the smoke detector?
As smoke detectors measure the transparency of the surrounding air by means of a photocell, gases which are very dense can trigger an alarm from the device. With dense water vapour and vapour from cooking, roasting, baking and grilling an appropriately high concentration of such gases in the surrounding environment of the smoke detector can set off an alarm as a precaution. Building dust, spray mist from spray painting, insect and room scent sprays which get into the smoke detector can also trigger an alarm and also contaminate the device. In a few cases, it has been known for an alarm to be triggered due to a strong through-draft or great variance in temperature.
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Why do you only use battery-operated smoke detectors?
Battery smoke detectors have the same smoke-detector electronics as 220 volt mains smoke detectors. In both types of device, technically equivalent circuits check if smoke is present in the air. 220 volt mains smoke detectors are, however, around 10-20 times as expensive as battery-operated devices. In addition, the installation of the 220 volt detector takes a lot of time and is therefore costly, as each device requires its own 220 volt connection. Installation costs can easily exceed the costs of the device, so that a one 220 volt smoke detector can costs as much as EUR 100 for purchase and installation. To which is added, that the cable is often installed across the surface of the wall or ceiling and looks unattractive. The installation also involves noise and dust. 220 volt smoke detectors have a 9 volt emergency battery in case of an electricity outage, which has to be inspected once a year, as with battery smoke detectors, as they can discharge due to environmental influences. The lifetime of the sensor electronics for the very costly 220 volt smoke detectors is not better than those in battery-operated devices, which are very inexpensive. With both types of smoke detector, the device should be replaced with a new one after 5 years for low-cost devices and 10 years for high quality devices in order to avoid functional faults, as the electronics can become impaired due to corrosion, material fatigue, and a contaminated environment, which reduces the reliability of the smoke detector over time. In terms of cost and the time required, the maintenance needs of 220 volt smoke detectors is the same as with battery smoke detectors, because both devices and batteries have to be subject to a thorough inspection once a year for their functionality and performance. Also, professional cleaning of the interior and exterior of the smoke detector to maintain the reliable operational readiness is essential. Taking all the relevant aspects into account, the battery smoke detector is the clear winner, as it has the same functional quality and considerably smaller purchase and installation costs. In economic, quality and even ecological terms, the battery smoke detector is the better choice, as in the 220 volt smoke detector components are used for voltage conversion, the production and disposal of which are a heavy burden on the environment. Important tip: make sure that the smoke detector of your choice has a battery with at least 10 years lifetime. This saves you the annual battery change, as well as the related costs for expensive batteries. In this way, you not only save a lot of money, but you also prevent the environmental cost of the resulting annual battery change.
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How does a smoke detector react to cigarette smoke?
As long as large quantity of cigarette smoke is not deliberately blown into the smoke detector from the immediate vicinity, then the device will not send out an alarm. We have intensively tested the sensitivity to cigarette smoke of the smoke detectors we use and have established that even when there are numerous smokers in a small room, the device seldom triggers an alarm.
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How does a smoke detector work?
Inside the smoke detector there is a smoke chamber which contains an infra-red diode which emits a permanent light, which usually does not hit the light-sensitive photocell. If smoke particles enter the measurement chamber, the light from the infra-red diode is reflected is such a way so that it hits the highly-sensitive photo element. The electronics behind the optical measurement process interprets this as a risk of a fire. An alarm is then triggered. Who would go for two years without cleaning their car windscreen? Martin Dohmeier from Pyrexx GmbH. Everyone knows the situation: a film of dirt which impedes vision builds up on the inside of the windscreen after a few weeks. In the same way, ambient gases such as nicotine and particles of grease build up on the light-sensitive measurement components in the smoke detector, which lead to a gradual deterioration of the device's performance. In the worst case, this can mean that the measurement electronics are already heavily impeded after around 18 months and the smoke detector reacts to a fire only with a long delay. The consequence is that people may be injured or even killed! A high quality smoke detector always sends out an alarm at the same level of smoke density, recognises its level of contamination and gives out an acoustic signal which indicates its state at an early stage before its function as a warning device is endangered through a build up of dirt. Despite such technology, checks still have to be carried out as part of a careful maintenance regime to determine whether the device is undamaged, that the electronics are intact and above all that the air inlets are free of foreign bodies.
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What can the tenant/user do if the smoke detector has a fault?
With every installation and maintenance of our smoke detector the tenant/user receives a short set of instructions on how to use the detector from our technician. It contains the service hotline number of our 24-hour service centre, along with other contact information. If a smoke detector shows a fault, the tenant/user can call the service hotline on any day of the year, around the clock. During the subsequent conversation, it will first be determined whether or not there actually is a hazard present and if the fire service has to be alerted, as well as instructions on how to proceed in an emergency situation. If it is merely a case of a fault in the device, the caller, as far as it is possible and appropriate over the telephone, will be given instructions on temporary maintenance. If required, the nearest available service technician will then be assigned with the maintenance of the smoke detector via SMS text message. With our highly skilled staffing and service logistics in combination with our own specially created information technology, it is often possible to quickly and permanently rectify faults within a short space of time.
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