Important info smoke detectors!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SearchingForRainbows, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Please check your smoke/fire detectors. I read something yesterday that said that the most common type, the type most of us probably have in our homes (ionization only), doesn't give enough warning to get safely out in time. It stated that we should have a duel sensor, both ionization and photoelectric.

    I can't remember the exact article I read but if you google this topic, lots of info pops up.

    Hope everyone looks into this! Stay safe! SFR
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    SFR - very good info!!! Ours are (mostly) good, they are also the tamper-resistant kind thanks to Onyxx. I did notice the other day that we have one at the top of our stairwell. I had never seen it before. We've lived here for 7 years... husband was surprised, too!

    We have: 1 in dining room (it goes off more than any other, close to kitchen is why); 1 in Jett's room, 1 in Onyxx's, 1 in ours; 1 in the main hallway; fire extinguishers in kitchen and laundry room (need to check those, thanks for the reminder). Probably should put a detector in the laundry room, and of course replace the one in the stairwell...
  3. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Went to a fire prevention info session 2 weeks ago, and found out something I didn't know. Residential smoke and CO2 detectors have a shelf life from the manufacturer of 10 yrs. The manufacture date is on the detector itself, but once it's up on the wall, good luck seeing it. The fire chief said that when he replaces his detectors, he writes in magic marker in large writing, the month and year they will expire right on the side of the device.
    I figured as long as you keep changing the batteries twice/year, they last indefinitely . Not so.
  4. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    NBC did a story on this yesterday, definitely very disturbing. They tested the most common kind of smoke detector, an "ionization" kind, and it took over 30 mintues before it went off, even though the room was filled with smoke. Pretty frightening to watch. A "photoelectric" detector goes off more quickly.
  5. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    YES!!! CJ is 100% correct. Smoke detectors lose their ability to "sniff" smoke after about 8-10 years. If you push the "test" button, the smoke detector will appear to test ok - but you are only "testing" the batteries/electrical connection and the siren. The sensor may very well have gone bad!

    Replace your detectors every 5-8 years. Many fire departments give out free detectors when the clocks are changed to/from daylight savings time.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Good to know, since I need to go buy some.

    We had to take ours down because the darn things were so sensitive they were going off for no reason every few seconds and I just couldn't take it anymore. I don't like not having them though.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Our fire department recommends having both types - as there are some forms of fire that don't produce so much smoke but which the ionizing type would pick up.

    They also recommend having "interconnected" smoke detectors. Much more expensive. We have it... as part of a security system built into the house. If ONE detector goes off... they ALL go off. (plus call-out goes directly to fire-hall, as part of alarm system)

    You can test your smoke detector with a candle or other smokey object - better test than the "test" button.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Shoot IC, all I had to do was turn on the stove. omg And it was no food burning on it or anything. There were times when the furnace set the darn thing off. (upstairs one was placed right over the register) The ones we had were also temp sensitive. Never again with that option. (I hope they don't make them anymore, I don't want to buy one by mistake)
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    WHERE it gets placed is also critical... as you've noticed.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Lisa, Wal-Mart has some really good ones. I'll find out the brand etc for you - they're not that expensive either.
  11. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    IC - we have 13 smoke detectors wired in a series, so if 1 goes off- they all go off. They all have battery backups PLUS we have 3 as part of our alarm system.

    At 3:00am, a few days after we moved in, all 16 detectors went off. Coincidentally, our alarm was installed that day. We blamed them. We finally silenced them after a lengthy phone call, only to have them start up again. All 16. Again, silenced them and killed the power forgetting that they has battery back ups. It went on all night. H tried to yank them down - near impossible to do 16 in close ear splitting range at 4am. (He's climb the ladder, hands over his ears) we didn't even know where all of them were at that point!

    Needless to say- he called the builder, the alarm company & the electrician and INSISTED they make a 5 am service call!

    My ears are ringing just remembering it!

    (The original part of our home is from 1950, we put in a huge addition in 08 and have quite s few corridors as a result. The crazy building code required 13! detectors)
  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    They are First Alert, apartment type and they were $15 each.
  13. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    If you watch the video I linked to, they show a couch smouldering (they laid something on it to do this). A firefighter in a gas mask sits in the room with the smouldering couch, with 3 brand new ionization smoke deterectors in the same room. The room fills with more and more smoke, but none of them go off ... until the couch finally ignites. Like I said, over 30 mins later. If anyone had been sleeping nearby, they would have already inhaled a ton of smoke before hearing anything, and it might have been too late.

    Scared the koi out of me. Age of detectors and placement clearly didn't matter in the test they ran. The ionization detectors just aren't designed for the smouldering type of fire.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member