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Thread: Smoke Detector selection for Shop ?

  1. #1
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    Smoke Detector selection for Shop ?

    I have searched but still unclear on which type of Smoke is overall best for wood shop.

    Photo, Ionization, combo, something different ?


    Typical home shop, often fine sanding dust floating.

    Certainly can accumulate inside of device between vacuumings.


    Second question - I could pull alerting wire to house, I would prefer wireless signal.

    Detached shop has 26 gauge steel siding, then wood sided house, total 60' distance to my evening couch from the detector.

    Experienced suggestions ? Thank you, Marc
    Last edited by Marc Jeske; 07-31-2017 at 2:27 AM.

  2. #2
    The company that installed our security system told me that the fine sawdust would be a problem for a smoke sensor and recommended a heat sensor. We went with that and haven't had any problems. The system has been in operation for about 8 years.

  3. #3
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    My security company put a heat sensor in my shop. It detects temperatures over a certain point and also looks at rate of rise.

  4. #4
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    I'll "3rd" the heat sensor recommendation for the reasons already stated.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
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    Heat sensor makes sense, I guess pretty impervious to ambient dust, and accumulation.

    But doesn't it take longer to trigger after a fire starts?

    I mean by the time the temp increases, (and I understand the rate of rise figured in), Hey, by then, you got a real fire going, and it's basically Insurance Co calling time.


    I'll tell ya, I had a CRAZY weird thing happen a year ago.

    I smoke.. .........Perfect otherwise ... and, I have a terry cloth towel in front of my keyboard to like rest my wrists on.

    Long story short, one night I go to bed.. and shortly feel compelled to get up and check on the Pups sleeping on the couch.

    Open door to LR, and what the HELL !!!!!!!!!!!

    Damn towel has a 4" diameter and spreading slowly smoldering spot.

    Very slowly advancing, but obviously NOT gonna extinguish by itself.

    DEFINITELY supporting consumption, albeit slowly.

    All kinds of loosely stacked papers on perimeter of towel.

    Room filled w light smoke.

    God only knows what could have happened.. I think He got me up, but that's another story......


    Anyway, I want to know when I am in house for eve, if some errant spark from grinding a drill bit or something is starting a same thing in my shop.

    So, re Heat detector, in the LR case above, there was no notable heat increase, BUT still ignition had started.

    So, I understand the heat thing is relatively impervious to dust, but I think I want something that detects an ignition earlier.


    Please... Don't EVER be overly polite to not argue w me.

    If I'm wrong, don't be shy to tell me w/o sugarcoating.

    Thanks Guys, Marc
    Last edited by Marc Jeske; 07-31-2017 at 3:03 PM.

  6. #6
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    You had written: " Second question - I could pull alerting wire to house, I would prefer wireless signal. Detached shop has 26 gauge steel siding, then wood sided house, total 60' distance to my evening couch from the detector."

    I don't recommend going wireless. I think that the steel siding will greatly interfere with the signal getting through to the house with 100% reliability. If you want to experiment, try using a laptop on wifi in your shop or try using your cordless phone out there.

    As to the type of detector to use, you could also consider IR, and UV and a few others. They are expensive. Do a google search for smoke detection in dusty areas.

    I think that there are 2 issues related to a detector in a shop: (1) Saw dust will make them ineffective to the point that they may not work when you want them to and (2) they are liable to give you a lot of false alarms. But, the detectors that you can get at Home Depot are cheap. Why don't you try a couple and see if the nuisance of having to clean them every week or two works for you. When you get tired of it, then you can switch the thermal rate-of-change and absolute temperature sensors.

    Good fire insurance wouldn't be a bad idea either. An overhead fire sprinkler system is another option if you have ten thousand bucks (or more) to spend.

  7. #7
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    Now you've got me thinking about my shop. I have ordinary residential FirstAlert smoke detectors. I've never had a false alarm due to dust, but now you're making me wonder if it would work if there were a fire.

    Don't forget a carbon monoxide detector, as well.

  8. #8
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    Wayne - No need for me for the CO detector, far as I understand, in MY situation, I would never have any possible source for that.

    Re your First alert - I would blow it out w like gentle 10 lb regulated air, and then wave a cigarette under it to test.

    Marc

  9. #9
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    ??????????

    So, still don't know what to buy. Marc

  10. #10
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    I have a detached 2 car garage and have no fire detectors nor plan on getting them. Unless your home to call the fire dept or have it hooked to a security system it may get the fire dept their quicker but how much. I upped my insurance on the garage so I can rebuild it and the the tools are under the house policy. I like cigars and am very careful with ashes, etc.

    Best recommendation is to make sure your insurance is updated and will cover a total loss (the shop plus everything in it) and he careful
    Don

  11. #11
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    There can be small smoldering fires..like started with an errant spark from a quick tool grind... that can easily be put out w/o being too late.

    Such as the situation I described in Post #5.

    I will experiment w detectors in situ, understanding the "Heat" type detector seems to be preferred.

    Thank you All, Marc

  12. #12
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    I have a Kidde wireless ionization type in my shop. It replaced a 10+ year old ionization type that never failed to remind me that I forgot to remove the smoke detector before using my branding iron to mark a project. That small puff of smoke was enough to set it off. I never noticed any dust inside whenever I replaced the battery each year.

    My whole house and detached garage have the Kidde wireless units now.
    kidde.jpg
    Lee Schierer
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Jeske View Post
    Re your First alert - I would blow it out w like gentle 10 lb regulated air, and then wave a cigarette under it to test.
    Smoke detector tester in an aerosol can:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001B3BL0S

    JKJ

  14. #14
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    Greeley, CO
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    Necro thread but right on subject. I'm looking at this exact interconnected fire alarm setup for home and attached garage/shop. It's the most reasonably priced system with interconnect. Four bedrooms, 2 kitchens, two living areas and the garage.

    Model: Kiddie RM-SM-DC

    Lee, how's your Kidde interconnected smoke alarm system working after more than 2 years?

    Anyone have input on an interconnected smoke alarm systems?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    I have a Kidde wireless ionization type in my shop. It replaced a 10+ year old ionization type that never failed to remind me that I forgot to remove the smoke detector before using my branding iron to mark a project. That small puff of smoke was enough to set it off. I never noticed any dust inside whenever I replaced the battery each year.

    My whole house and detached garage have the Kidde wireless units now.
    kidde.jpg

  15. #15
    Anyone have input on an interconnected smoke alarm systems?

    I have one in my house and have never had any false alarms including the workshop sensor. The entire system is hardwired not wireless. They are all Kidde dual-sensor units. I think the possibility of a sawdust-triggered-false-alarm is small enough that smoke detectors should be installed in all workshops.

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