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Smoke Alarms... and how to shut them up.

Minivanman
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Registered: ‎04-11-2014

Smoke Alarms... and how to shut them up.

Had a couple of those smoke alarms for just over two years now, and first one and now the other just a month later have started to give out a high pitched "bip" every few seconds. No heating on (we have a wood burner) and nothing cooking in the kitchen (the Mrs had her feet up watching telly) so...

Seems from the instructions that it's hard wired lithium battery is getting low but a) I thought these things lasted much longer and B) how do you shut the b thing up? Releasing it from the retaining base should deactivate it from what I have read but nope, it still "bips".

Anyways, put it the porch and it carried on making those "bips", put it outside by the shed - and the Mrs complained it kept going all night so this morning and rather than smashing it to bits with a hammer, I dropped it into our water butt where upon it started screeching... and then it all went quiet.

Phew, sorted. New ones on order from our local Fire Sevice. Thumbs_Up

 


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18 REPLIES 18
shutter
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Re: Smoke Alarms... and how to shut them up.

Well, That`s one way of drowning out the noise  ! ! ! ! Cheesy

Minivanman
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Re: Smoke Alarms... and how to shut them up.

@shutter 

Grin


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Gel
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Re: Smoke Alarms... and how to shut them up.

Shame you expect the stretched Fire Brigade in your area to pay for your smoke alarm replacements.

How about digging into your wallet rather than the taxpayer's?

I was in that industry for several decades, and when I went out with Brigades who at time had some
Home Office cash for such projects, it never surprised me to see many homes they fitted in had wide screen tv/

x box/i phones laying around. They could easily have afforded a tenner for a decent alarm, but didn't

see as a priority.

Surprised they continue to fit (to my knowledge) a make of alarm, that actually caught fire; not an attribute you want in

a smoke alarm.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-15667116

 

HOW TO HUSH YOUR SMOKE ALARM

Because the cheaper smoke alarms widely used had a tendency to nuisance alarm, professional

specifiers & installers (incl Brigades), switched to opticals which are less prone to nuisance alarm.

This type also has an environmental advantage as they have no radioactive isotope within them, and

at end of life (typically 10 years) are easier to dispose of than Ion alarms, which have become an expensive

nightmare to get rid of.

Downside of opticals is that they are more prone to nuisance over time, because of dust contamination.

I'm sad but I clean mine out every 6 months; no need to do that with Ion ones incidentally.

I know how to open them up, and how to open up the optical sensing chamber, as that's where

contamination, can occur both by dust & midges etc.

More expensive alarms have circuitry that desensitises the chamber over time, as it assumes ( quite rightly)

that majority will never be cleaned, and adjusts the thresholds.

Minivanman
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Re: Smoke Alarms... and how to shut them up.

Our local is a retained station only and sure they do a great job - especially as they often seem to do when washing down their Land Rover each week. Wink

Seriously though, no beef with the Brigade. My brother was an officer for many years as was a female cousin of mine but consider this. When they were first issued and despite asking them to post to me a tender with a full crew turned up outside my house to fit 'em. Busy? Maybe. Worried neighbours? Oh yes.

Three years down the line and one went faulty so I phoned through and the girl on the line insisted that they had to send out guys from that local station again (Busy? Maybe) to clip it into the existing holder - I insisted she posted it, which she did.... eventually. Also consider which is cheaper, a smoke alarm or the attendance of a full fire crew? 

And finally, this "pension credit pensioner" did not ask for them. By way of an advert in the local rag they were offered to all households in Carmarthenshire free of charge with the cost covered by the ratepayers and no charge against the Fire Brigade. Are they still issued free? Well I have no idea and I'm sure I'll find out soon enough but at around a tenner each if that's what it costs me, then that's what it costs me so no need to have a pop just because you were 'in the industry for several decades'.

Anyways, "Bravo les pompiers!" as the public used to shout when those brigade students marched around the square in Sancerre!

PS. Clean ours regularly as well, but the Angel ST-620 which these have all been seem prone to play up. All mine have anyway.

Beep beep beep. Thumbs_Up

 


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idonno
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Re: Smoke Alarms... and how to shut them up.


@Minivanman wrote: Seems from the instructions that it's hard wired lithium battery is getting low but a) I thought these things lasted much longer and B) how do you shut the b thing up? Releasing it from the retaining base should deactivate it from what I have read but nope, it still "bips".

 


That's called progress. Hard wire everything, you've got to buy new then. But 2 years is very short. I usually swap them out every 7-8 years. Sensors are usually good for about 10 years anyway. But I make sure the batteries are replaceable. I got some of those smaller smoke detectors, thought they looked much better (about 100mm across) but they didn't seem to last 2 minutes. I now just get the normal size.   

 

Don't think putting lithium batteries in water is a good idea. Tends to go bang!

 

But I think this IS pretty cool

Ever helpful. Grin Sure, I’d love to help you out. Now which way did you come in?
Minivanman
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Re: Smoke Alarms... and how to shut them up.

I usually drop any live rats I catch in there (I know, I know) - they just go squeek. Roll_eyes

rat.gif


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billnotben
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Re: Smoke Alarms... and how to shut them up.

I had a couple of the newer type smoke detectors but had to get rid of them after a few weeks as they kept going off.

Went back to the older type and they're fine. Don't ask me to explain. Just the newer type are no good in unheated/no central heating houses. Something about cold and damp sets them off.

Minivanman
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Re: Smoke Alarms... and how to shut them up.

Interesting as we do not have central heating, just that wood burner for evening or late afternoon if it turns a bit cold. Temperature fluctuations? Certainly not damp.

Maybe these new ones are to clever by half.


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billnotben
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Re: Smoke Alarms... and how to shut them up.

Just had a google I think they were fire angel "toast proof". Looking at other detectors I'm guessing they have ionisation sensors where as the older versions are something else. I could be talking rubbish.

My unheated passage where the alarms were, upstairs and downstairs, gets very cold in winter. Warm breath "huffy" or air from my kitchen shows up which was apparently setting them off.

quelquod
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Re: Smoke Alarms... and how to shut them up.

I have a couple of the ionisation-type alarms in my corridor and one started beeping. I changed the battery even though the voltmeter said it was OK - still beeped. When I had a closer look I noticed that the installation label said to replace by 1/2019. So I replaced them both - no more beeping. Apparently the ionisation chambers wear out and 10 years is their rated life (less however they've sat on the shop shelf I suppose).

 

Mine are EI Electronics make and they also do optical and heat detectors which all suit different locations and can be interconnected. We have the heat type in the kitchen which will catch a fire but isn't bothered by the occasional blast of my hamhanded cooking efforts Wink.

 

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wotsup
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Re: Smoke Alarms... and how to shut them up.

The older type ( ionization type ) have a little radioactive pellet in them that wears out after about 10 years and the latest advice is that they are not considered suitable for domestic properties any more and the particle sensing ones with a laser and light sensor inside are better and are also toaster proof, although heat alarms are normally recommended for kitchens. Also think about fitting carbon monoxide alarms in kitchen if you have gas cooker, and in lounge with an open gas fire.

 

 

You can get wireless linked alarms now, each alarm can be mains powered ( off a constant live in a ceiling light fitting if convenient ) and ones in different rooms or upstairs are linked together by wireless signal so if one goes off they all sound, but the one that originally  triggered has a different  sound to the others.

billnotben
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Re: Smoke Alarms... and how to shut them up.


@billnotben wrote:

Just had a google I think they were fire angel "toast proof". Looking at other detectors I'm guessing they have ionisation sensors where as the older versions are something else. I could be talking rubbish.


Yes I was talking rubbish. Got that the wrong way around. As said here the newer so called "toast proof" ones are optical.

But I am right in that only the older ionisation ones work correctly in the unheated areas of my home.

 

Mine did do the battery beep thing and I found out they are a bit fussy. Tried a few cheap batteries but they only stopped beeping with a decent brand alkaline battery.

 

 

VileReynard
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Re: Smoke Alarms... and how to shut them up.

The so-called ionisation models actually use a radioactive Americium isotope.

According to Wikipedia...

...You might think that a synthetic radioactive element that follows plutonium (94)—and has a significantly shorter half-life—would be some kind of superbomb material, available only to scientists in secret laboratories. Perhaps a mad scientist is studying americium in a lair somewhere, but if you want some yourself you can simply walk into any neighborhood hardware store, supermarket, or Wal-Mart and buy some, no questions asked.

The reason is not that americium is fundamentally less dangerous than the elements around it. In fact, the commonly available isotope, 241Am, is significantly more radioactive than weapons-grade plutonium, and at least as toxic. No, the difference is simply that there is a useful application for americium that requires only a very tiny amount, and for which a company was prepared to go through the effort required to carve out and get a regulatory exception.

So if you find radiation scary, get a dog (or other intelligent life-form that can rescue you).

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Minivanman
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Re: Smoke Alarms... and how to shut them up.

@VileReynard 

How can a dog (which we no longer have) rescue me from a fire, have they got some special fireproof set of  skills which enable them to rescue people from burning buildings? Can they climb up and down a ladder for example or operate a turntable.

Can you recommend any particular breed?

We need to be told. Wink


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