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Too-sensitive smoke alarm


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Smoke detectors are made with two different types of detection technology, photoelectric and ionization. Any individual detector may use either technology or both. The ones that use both technologies are much less prone to false alarms, unfortunately they also cost more so most builders (and homeowners) buy the cheaper ones that only use one technology and thus complain about false alarms. Go to a reputable dealer and ask for one that uses both technologies and your problem will go away!

As for heat detection some smoke detectors also contained a heat detector that is separate from the smoke detector, these are normally set to go off at 135° but are available for up to 185° for use attics and other high heat areas.

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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... I'm in a private home with high ceilings and a poorly located battery operated detector. Sounds like I should relocate it around the corner to the laundry room or something. Prolly a better option than ripping the damned thing out, huh ?  :laugh:

Battery operated ones are usually mounted with just a couple of screws.

Being quite light weight they don't even have to be big screws, let alone into anything seriously solid.

So, they are really pretty easy to install or relocate.

Having such alarms installed, yet without a battery kinda defeats the object...

... and the object of an *audible* alarm is to save life, by alerting people in time to make an escape.

Not to protect property.

For that you would have a sprinkler system installed!

As to where a good place for a smoke alarm might be -- that depends on the house!

If there were a fire, the smoke would be trying to rise.

Smoke tends to travel along the ceiling, looking for a way out.

So any staircase provides a chimney for the smoke and therefore a prime location for an alarm (or two, or more). Another reason for alarming the staircase is that it is probably the primary means of escape from upstairs. You want to know the moment there's any smoke anywhere near a staircase!

For a flat I'd locate smoke detectors on my exit route, and anywhere the ceiling was higher than average - as that's where the smoke will try and flow to.

A single storey building isn't quite as critical, since people should be able to escape through the windows. But if you have bars over the windows, you might as well be 10 storeys up -- you'll need to exit via the doors... But outside occupied bedrooms sounds very sensible.

As a general comment, I'd suggest that trying to ensure that the airflow through the kitchen (hey, and the bathroom) should be to the outside - rather than to the rest of the house. You'll probably need some definite form of active or passive extraction, but you'd like the house to vent through these rooms, rather than have them vent into the core of the house.

This will have the effect of reducing problems with damp (and greasy dirt), as well as with smells, AND smoke alarms.

If the airflow goes the wrong way, it might (quite apart from smoke alarm questions) be worthwhile trying to turn it round!

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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