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Need New Smoke Detectors!


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6 replies to this topic

#1 of 7 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted December 16 2011 - 01:16 PM

Our current ones suck. If we brown a roast on the stove top (with the overhead fan running) they go off. When one goes off they all do. It's a bitch to get them to shut up. Do they make remote controlled detectors that can be silenced via remote? It's a pain having to ge the step ladder to go around checking which one is the problem. We've got one that is so high, only an extension ladder will get to it and it's doing that crappy beeping. Late at night, I can't borrow the neighbor's extension ladder now. Sure would like to shut it up.
Johnny
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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#2 of 7 OFFLINE   Sam Posten

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Posted December 16 2011 - 02:05 PM

Can't help you there, but all I CAN say is whatever you do please do not disable working ones until you have better ones. As a volunteer fireman I can say I've seen tragic results of that all too often... Burnt roast alarms you can live with, bigger losses would be hard to swallow

I lost my signature and all I got was this Nutter t-shirt


#3 of 7 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted December 17 2011 - 03:02 AM

We had this problem when we moved into our condo a couple of years ago. Whenever we cooked, the smoke alarm in the hallway off the kitchen would go off, and the one in the hallway leading to the bedrooms would go off as well. A firefighter friend told us to vacuum the alarm covers periodically because dust interferes with proper function. That worked for the alarm leading to the bedrooms, but not the one off the kitchen. We replaced the alarm off the kitchen with a Photoelectric alarm, which he told us is less prone to false alarms. Seems to have worked as we rarely get a false alarm from that detector. It also has a mute button that you can press if you get a false alarm.
Carl

#4 of 7 OFFLINE   Marko Berg

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Posted December 18 2011 - 08:55 AM

This might be a good opportunity to look into a whole-house security system. The smoke detectors in my house are part of the security system which means you get a text message or a pre-recorded voice call on your mobile phone (in my case, a maximum of six phone numbers) in case an alarm goes off. Naturally, the same applies to e.g. attempts at breaking and entering as well in case a window is smashed or a door is forced open. The text message or voice recording tells you the cause of the alarm -- burglary (including separate messages for someone tampering with the various security system components so you can be sure it's not a false alarm), fire, water leak damage, distress signal you can use to silence the audible alarm but also call for help in case of a home invasion where you're being held at gunpoint, etc. The last one may be overkill unless you're a millionaire and a public figure, but in general the peace of mind such a system offers is unbeatable. I can be travelling on the other side of the world and be notified of a possible problem at home. If I'm not reasonably convinced the alarm is real, I can call a neighbour to check on the house and have them call the authorities if necessary. The system I use includes a feature where you can immediately silence the smoke detector causing the alarm by pushing a mute button to keep you from going deaf. Additionally you do have to cancel the alarm (enter a PIN) at the main user panel as well to let everyone else who got a text message about a smoke detector going off that you were actually at home and cooked the steaks a little too long. No need to call everyone separately as the system will let everyone know the alarm has been manually canceled. All of this is not really expensive at all.

#5 of 7 OFFLINE   Eric_L

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Posted December 21 2011 - 11:10 AM

Most smoke detectors are poorly designed POS devices. For example - the battery... Why the F can't they have rechargeable backup batteries and just run on house power? Then the batteries last for decades! Then there is the 'networked' smoke alarms - where when the battery on one goes out you get to guess which one it is, running though the whole house at 3 AM in your jammies to find it. Why the F they don't put a light detector on them so the low battery alarm does not go off except when people are awake I don't know. I am sure the battery does not suddenly just cease with only five minutes warnings! ... and do we really need a chirp every two mintes to remind us??? FFS - how about once an hour during daylight for the first two or three days THEN every few minutes. Don't tell me bullshit about the battery could fail - after the two-week blackout after Hurricane Charley I heard low battery alarms that ran endlessly for almost the entire time! Finally there is the stupid building code which requires an alarm be placed at the highest point in a room no matter how stupid. I have a cupola with a ceiling 22' off the floor. When that battery dies I call the fire department to come change it (true that!) It is their fucking code that put it there! They hate me for that... Good. Change the fucking building code if you don't like it. Simple issue - if a device is too difficult to manage people won't use it. If the authorities want it to be used - make it effing easy!!! FFS - do we need to wait for Apple to reinvent the smoke alarm business too? /rant font off

#6 of 7 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted December 22 2011 - 10:13 AM

[CaptainKirk]Don't mince words Bones, tell me what you really think.[/CaptainKirk]:laugh: You make good points, particularly about having a light on the offending detector and the frequency of the warning beep. Hell, it's even used in a commercial for one of the hybrid or electric cars.
Johnny
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But a family cat is not replaceable like a wornout coat or a set of tires. Each new kitten becomes its own cat, and none is repeated. I am four cats old, measuring out my life in friends that have succeeded but not replaced one another.--Irving Townsend


#7 of 7 OFFLINE   Paul D G

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Posted December 22 2011 - 07:31 PM



Originally Posted by Eric_L 

Most smoke detectors are poorly designed POS devices. For example - the battery... Why the F can't they have rechargeable backup batteries and just run on house power? Then the batteries last for decades! Then there is the 'networked' smoke alarms - where when the battery on one goes out you get to guess which one it is, running though the whole house at 3 AM in your jammies to find it. Why the F they don't put a light detector on them so the low battery alarm does not go off except when people are awake I don't know. I am sure the battery does not suddenly just cease with only five minutes warnings! ... and do we really need a chirp every two mintes to remind us??? FFS - how about once an hour during daylight for the first two or three days THEN every few minutes. Don't tell me bullshit about the battery could fail - after the two-week blackout after Hurricane Charley I heard low battery alarms that ran endlessly for almost the entire time! Finally there is the stupid building code which requires an alarm be placed at the highest point in a room no matter how stupid. I have a cupola with a ceiling 22' off the floor. When that battery dies I call the fire department to come change it (true that!) It is their fucking code that put it there! They hate me for that... Good. Change the fucking building code if you don't like it.
Simple issue - if a device is too difficult to manage people won't use it. If the authorities want it to be used - make it effing easy!!! FFS - do we need to wait for Apple to reinvent the smoke alarm business too?
/rant font off



Word! When we bought our new build house they went on and on about the networked smoke detectors. Huge pain in the ass trying to find which of our eight detectors has a dead battery. They're apparently linked to the house power (there's a breaker switch labeled 'smokes') but shutting that off doesn't do anything. Why aren't the batteries just the backup? The backup battery in our fancy clock radio lasts many many years.

What's really annoying is when a battery dies in an empty (ie foreclosed or for sale) house. We have a few in our neighborhood and as soon as the dog hears that chirp with turns around and high tails it back the other way. You can hear that chirp half a block away.


We used to have a gas stove that set the kitchen alarm off every time we cooked something with an oven temp above 400degrees. I swear our dog was going to have a breakdown - he'd freak whenever that thing went off. We went electric and haven't had a problem since.