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Chris Padilla
08-21-2006, 1:36 PM
Anyone have some experience with a good brand of smoke, fire, heat alarms?

I'd like to buy a "6-pack" or whatever of alarms and replace all the old one in the house. I heard some of the brands actually communicate with each other, too, which sounds like a good idea.

Oh, these would need be battery powered.

How might some of these perform in a potentially dusty workshop?

Thanks!!

Joe Pelonio
08-21-2006, 2:08 PM
When sawing wood and getting a bind the resulting smoke can set of any smoke alarms. Here I have smoke and heat alarms but out in the warehouse where I do my saw cutting just heat. This is a commercial building so the landlord had the heat sensors installed professionally and are connected to a control center that calls the Fire Department. The
smoke alarms are Linear DXT-72's and the heat sensor alarms are
System Sensor 5600 series model number BK-5601P. Every year they are tested
with aheat gun and have always passed.

Jim Becker
08-21-2006, 2:26 PM
You'll need to check those you have now...they are likely hard-wired if installed by the builder. Your replacements will need to be compatible with the wiring, I would think...

Matt Meiser
08-21-2006, 2:44 PM
My alarm system has heat detectors for my shop. Dale Thompson said that is flat out the wrong way to do it, but they wouldn't monitor smoke detectors in a dusty environment due to false alarms. The house has the hardwired smoke detector system installed when the house was built + detectors wired back to the alarm panel.

I noticed you didn't ask about CO detectors. You already have those, right? ;)

Mark Rios
08-21-2006, 2:53 PM
Here is what I could find from Consumers Reports Chris,

September 2005
Smoke alarms: You need two types of detection
for full coverage

Smoke alarms are another essential for all homes. Alarms with ionization sensing best detect fast-flaming fires, while models with photoelectric sensing best detect smoke from smoldering fires. Yet the battery-powered First Alert SA302 ($30) we tested in 2001 remains the only tested alarm with both sensors. (See our interactive, Which smoke alarm?)

What's more, conventional smoke alarms may not wake children under 16, who have longer periods of deep sleep than adults, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. One photoelectric alarm, the KidSmart Vocal Smoke Alarm, about $70, accepts a recorded message that plays when smoke is detected.

Here's how to help make any smoke alarm work effectively:

Install at least one of each type on each level. Good locations include the basement, central living areas, and inside bedrooms. (See illustration, below.)

For large homes, consider interconnecting alarms, which trigger other alarms even when one in a remote area senses smoke. Most are hardwired into your home's electrical or security system; look for battery backup to keep the alarm working during a power failure.

Put alarms near but not inside kitchens, garages, and bathrooms to prevent false alarms from cooking smoke, exhaust, and humidity.

Mount each alarm at least 4 inches from a corner and 4 inches from walls, but away from windows and heating vents.

Maintain them. Test alarms at least monthly using the Test button. Vacuum out dust and other debris. Replace batteries yearly. Also replace alarms every 10 years; check the date stamp on back.




The only other page on smoke alarms/detectors is the "interactive" one that is mentioned in the first paragraph. It doesn't copy and paste well. :D

A couple of the main points they mention is to get a detector that utilizes BOTH types of dectection, photoelectric and ionization (this being the most important according to them), replace them at least every ten years,and maintain them appropriately.


hth

Andy Hoyt
08-21-2006, 4:06 PM
When I remodeled the barn/shop I included a hardwired system covering all three levels as well as one in the house so we'd hear the one's in the barn/shop.

The one in the shop proper is about 16' from the tablesaw, 10' from the bandsaw, and directly above the spindle sander. When I think of it I'll spritz it with a blast of air to remove the dust.

Never had an issue at all. As a matter of fact it did it's duty this morning when I was grinding a bunch of screw tips off of a mongrelized shelf thingie I just built.

Model/brand used was a mid-price-range unit from a nationally recognized maker, whose name escapes me. When I see it again, I'll let you know.

Ian Barley
08-21-2006, 4:38 PM
Chris

I can't give you advise about brands etc but will pass on my tip from the fire brigade (only learned after a fire destroyed just about everything in our house a couple of years ago).

Put a detector above your TV. Apparently TV's are one of the domestic appliances frequently implicated in the causes of fires and a detector directly above the TV will respond more quickly and give you an extra few seconds warning.

Chris Padilla
08-21-2006, 4:58 PM
You'll need to check those you have now...they are likely hard-wired if installed by the builder. Your replacements will need to be compatible with the wiring, I would think...

Naw, they aren't hard-wired...just old and in need of replacemnt. We've been doing a fair amount of remodeling throughout the house and I've been removing what we've had and thinking they could all use replacement.

Ben Grunow
08-21-2006, 9:55 PM
Hard wired smoke and CO detectors are code here anyway. I wish there was a brand that had a silence button to turn them off after the whole family is up and now you are just getting deaf and aggravated.

Frank Hagan
08-21-2006, 10:19 PM
Naw, they aren't hard-wired...just old and in need of replacemnt. We've been doing a fair amount of remodeling throughout the house and I've been removing what we've had and thinking they could all use replacement.

FirstAlert has a combo smoke / CO alarm that you might consider for two of those places (one near the hot water heater closet and one near the heater closet, if those are connected to your living spaces.) CO still kills about 200 people a year, and unlike a fire, there is no warning that it has started filling up your house. You get sleepy, nauseated, get a bad headache, take some aspirin for your "flu" and go to bed and then die.

John W. Willis
08-21-2006, 11:26 PM
Naw, they aren't hard-wired...just old and in need of replacemnt. We've been doing a fair amount of remodeling throughout the house and I've been removing what we've had and thinking they could all use replacement.
There are several good detectors out there but if you do go hard wired make sure that they have a battery back-up.

Two places that generate the most heat that isn't always thought of are the fridge and the tv, I have smoke detecors over both.

I use an all metal construction heat alarm in my house. They are a little bigger than smoke detectors and are key wound with a fuseable link that is melted by a certain temp which activates the VERY loud bell. You can put in different temperature heat fuses for use in different places such as attic or near a normal heat source such as a furnace that might have a higher than normal heat in the area.

Ask the local Fire Department they usually can point you in the right direction and most will even come do an inspection of your home and give advice on all aspects of fire protection for the home.

Randy Meijer
08-22-2006, 1:48 AM
FirstAlert has a combo smoke / CO alarm that you might consider for two of those places (one near the hot water heater closet and one near the heater closet, if those are connected to your living spaces.) CO still kills about 200 people a year, and unlike a fire, there is no warning that it has started filling up your house. You get sleepy, nauseated, get a bad headache, take some aspirin for your "flu" and go to bed and then die.

Am I under a misunderstanding? I thought smoke alarms needed to be mounted high on a wall and CO alarms needed to mounted low. How could you have both mounted in one box??:confused:

Frank Hagan
08-22-2006, 5:08 PM
Am I under a misunderstanding? I thought smoke alarms needed to be mounted high on a wall and CO alarms needed to mounted low. How could you have both mounted in one box??:confused:

CO is just slightly lighter than air, at a specific gravity of .97, so it will follow any air currents you have in your house. Because the "generator" of the CO is usually also putting out heat, CO tends to rise with the heated air current, so combining with a fire alarm makes sense. First Alert mentions that the CO typically gets distributed evenly in a room on their FAQ page at http://www.firstalert.com/CarbonMonoxideAlarmsFAQs.aspx

Randy Meijer
08-22-2006, 10:22 PM
That information helps, Frank. Thanks. The only CO detectors I have ever seen were units that plugged into receptacles and they were always located in wall plugs near the floor. Just assumed they needed to be mounted low......obviously, now, a bad assumption.