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Old 11-22-2010, 02:06 PM   #1
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hard wired smoke alarms question


hello everybody this is my first post !! this is the situation, i own a 3500 sq.ft. victorian built in 1887 and it was converted into a 2 family at some point in time. i am finally at the stage of wiring up my smoke alarms and previously roughed in the electrical (14-3) and then went and sheetrocked and finished everything. i want the entire house on the same circuit because if it did go up it would go up quick and every second is crucial for survival. from what i understand in order to reset the system you have to reset the alarm that went off and not just any of the other alarms. would tripping the breaker reset all of them in case you cant access the other apartment ? i would think the battery back up would prevent that from happening. any ideas ?

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Old 11-22-2010, 02:48 PM   #2
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hard wired smoke alarms question


? Assuming we're talking about the 3-wire line-voltage-with-battery-backup interconnectable smoke detectors you'd buy at one of the big box stores, I haven't yet seen one that required manual resetting. They always stop screaming a certain amount of time after they stop detecting smoke.



And, if I may ask, why would you want to reset it after an alarm caused in the other apartment, without gaining access to said apartment? It would seem to me that you'd WANT to go in a window, kick down the door, etc., to see what set off the alarm!



I'm not sure why, in the event that the neighboring apartment catches fire, you'd simply want to reset the alarm, go back to sleep, and DIE!

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Old 11-22-2010, 03:06 PM   #3
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i was thinking the same thing but you never know. there has to be a possible circumstance that would be an issue here . i dont know much about smoke alarms. i usually reset them because they drive me nuts. never gave them the chance to turn off by themselves. if that be the case there shouldnt be a problem at all. i could kick down the door finding the wife in the middle of an affair with the mail man and they let the chocalate sauce on the stove for too long !
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:27 PM   #4
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hard wired smoke alarms question


If the adultering neighbor can't be bothered to interrupt her rompfest and turn off the stove when she hears the smoke detector blaring, she deserves to be interrupted by the landlord.

Seriously, any time one of those things makes noise, it needs to be attended to by SOMEONE. And nobody should ever reset one unless that person knows exactly what it is screaming about.

Once you're into the neighboring apartment to investigate the fire, you now have access to the button. If it's due to the neighbor's cooking, then the neighbor can reset it. This is, of course, assuming you've managed to find the one model out of three billion that actually requires human intervention to reset.

I personally doubt the issue will ever come up.
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:32 PM   #5
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hard wired smoke alarms question


I've set off smoke alarms with excessive bacon cooking, that sounds like a circumstance to me where if my excessive bacon was setting off the neighbor's smoke alarms they might want to be able to reset it. Of course, I'd want to reset it but then again if I had a deaf neighbor and they were setting off my alarm with their excess bacon we might have an issue.

And yes, the battery backup will keep them going, but the reset button is only temporary anyway - if whatever caused the alarm to begin with isn't cleared out the alarm will go off again.
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:36 PM   #6
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When mine go off its due to the occasional smoke from the fireplace
I hit the silence button
If the smoke persists then it goes off again
I'd check with the local FD to see what is required in a dwelling with Apts
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Old 11-22-2010, 03:40 PM   #7
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the whole fire thing makes me nervous with this house. it has solid wood sheathing and subfloors. i put in fire stops but man this house would go quick. it has ancient cedar shake siding. the siding will be replaced sooner or later and ill feel a little better about it. so you guys are saying you can reset from anywhere or the alarm that triggered ?
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Old 11-22-2010, 04:40 PM   #8
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If the neighbor's excessive bacon is setting off the smoke detector, the neighbor is the one who needs to deal with this, every time - per the instructions included with the detector, which probably include fanning the smoke away from it and pressing the SILENCE (NOT RESET) button.

Why the heck are people not seeing the obvious here?

It's dinner time. The smoke detector goes off. You say "Oh, it's the neighbor's bacon again," and reset it.

Your neighbor hears the alarm also, knows they aren't making bacon, but the alarm stops quick enough (due to you resetting it), and the neighbor simply says "Wow, the landlord is making his own bacon tonight!". Both of you go back to eating (neither of you eating pork products, mind you), and the smoldering fire in one of the bedrooms proceeds to torch the entire house with all of you in it.



The underlying point is, DON'T IGNORE ALARMS, AND DON'T RESET THEM UNLESS YOU, PERSONALLY, YOURSELF, KNOW EXACTLY WHAT CAUSED THEM.



It is, plain and simple, a flat-out STUPID idea to have the ability to altogether CANCEL an alarm from a section of a structure YOU CANNOT CHECK ON. That defeats the entire purpose of HAVING an alarm to begin with! I say it again, if an alarm is caused by a detector in the neighbor's apartment, SOMEBODY NEEDS TO CHECK THE NEIGHBOR'S APARTMENT. If the neighbor is HOME, it ought to be him/her. Elsewise, it should be the landlord, the fire department, or in a pinch, another tenant. IN ABSOLUTELY NO CASE should it be reset by someone who does not even have access to the apartment to find out why the alarm is screaming!



Maybe you'd be better to just not install smoke detectors at all. Save yourself the money, since you obviously do not feel you need the protection they are designed to provide!
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Old 11-22-2010, 05:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseyjohn View Post
so you guys are saying you can reset from anywhere or the alarm that triggered ?
Its always my hallway alarm right outside the main room where the fireplace is located
I've never tried to silence it from any other alarm
As I'm usually sitting right by the fireplace
It only happens maybe 1-2x a year

Mine are Kiddie alarms:
https://portalgb.knowledgebase.net/d...652&tab=search

Quote:
The "HUSH" feature has the capability of temporarily desensitizing the smoke alarm circuit for approximately 7 minutes. This feature is to be used only when a known alarm condition, such as smoke from cooking, activates the alarm.

CAUTION: BEFORE USING THE SMOKE ALARM'S HUSH FEATURE, IDENTIFY THE SOURCE OF THE SMOKE AND BE CERTAIN A SAFE CONDITION EXISTS.
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:08 PM   #10
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hard wired smoke alarms question


Well don't be too hard on the guy, this seems a legitimate dilema. If he has two joined housing units, it seems legitimate to want one unit's smoke alarms to activate the other - on the other hand, he doesn't want one unit to be able to cancel the other.

He can stop unit 1 from shutting off a smoke alarm in unit 2 by keeping the two systems seperate, but then the 2 units don't alarm eachother.

I really don't know enough about smoke alarms to suggest anything other than the kind of straightforward application I'd plan for my own house. With that said, maybe there is some way that you could have 2 seperate alarm circuits, but the circuit in unit 1 could maybe have some sort of slave units in unit 2 and the circuit in unit 2 could have slave units in unit 1?

Or maybe it might be wise to consult an alarm company, then you could probably even add in notification for yourself as landlord for any alarms. It might do your insurance rates good too.
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:29 PM   #11
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hard wired smoke alarms question


He DOES want one unit to be able to cancel the other, that's the problem.
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:04 PM   #12
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look dude i asked a simple question on how these things work because I AM THE LANDLORD AND I NEED TO KNOW EXACTLY HOW IT WORKS. if you dont like the question then please dont answer. and dont try insulting me or my mindset on here because i like the way i do things just fine and some dude from maine on the internet isnt going to change my ways. i will ask the manufacturer because you obviously dont know the answer and i dont understand how you could be careless about how the system works. do you think im retarded? do you think i havent thought of the instance you just brought up ? i just want to know how the system works so i can plan properly and not have any surprises if the damn house lights on fire. if you saw the house you would understand my concerns. please do not reply to my posts anymore .
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Old 11-24-2010, 08:53 PM   #13
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I do know the answer, and I gave you the answer along time ago. They don't require manual resetting at all.

Nice to know your opinion of me. I made a series of (weighed, I admit) statements based on facts. You respond with a personal attack. That's standard arguing procedure for most people when they realize the person they're arguing with is right.

"Oh no, reality is against me, I better turn this into mudslinging, I'm better at that."



For the record, in every state I know of, you aren't supposed to be doing your own electrical work in a multifamily building. I reckon I now know why.
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Old 11-24-2010, 10:07 PM   #14
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hard wired smoke alarms question


so i guess smoke alarms where your at dont have a silence button. whatever you say man. i will get to the bottom of this and it will be done right. . i will post exactly what went down for future readers so they dont have to deal with you if this problem arises again. if your so smart why dont you know if you can quiet the system from any detector or the one that triggered the system ? its a simple question . and fyi we have ran about 5000 feet of wire and everything runs flawlessly. new services and all. we have done $140,000 worth of upgrades to this house so dont try saying we dont know what were doing over here. my house is pimp.
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:22 AM   #15
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SILENCE... is different than RESET.

Yes, I have silence buttons, and on mine, you need to press it on the detector that is sensing the smoke.



and I didn't say you don't know what you're doing - only that you're probably not supposed to be doing it, although I can't think of very many people I'd hire to wire my house who use words like "pimp" in daily conversation, especially as adjectives for construction.

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