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Old 09-08-2011, 03:51 PM   #1
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Interconnected smoke detectors


As per current codes, all my smoke/CO detectors are interconnected. That means if one goes off, they all do. So I wonder, how will I know where the smoke or CO leak is coming from if all the alarms go off?

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Old 09-08-2011, 04:37 PM   #2
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Interconnected smoke detectors


Check your instructions for them. Some have a distinct chirp or a different pattern of flash(es) of the LED on the unit that initiated the alarm. Some won't indicate until they are silenced.

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Old 09-08-2011, 04:54 PM   #3
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Interconnected smoke detectors


There are also some that have "voice alert" and will announce where the smoke is.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:06 PM   #4
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Interconnected smoke detectors


I do have a talking alarm, a Kidde model# KN-COSM-IB. That will differentiate between smoke and CO no problem. I just don't know how it differentiates which detector at what location triggered the alarm. The manual has no mention of it, only that there is an interconnect feature that triggers all alarms.

When I hit the test button on one detector, all detectors will produce the voice alert "fire fire" or "warning, carbon monoxide". If this is the way it operates normally, that is when I start to wonder if there actually was a fire or CO leak, how will I know where it is coming from. Short of testing it with actual smoke and CO, I can't predict what will happen. This is the first time I've used an interconnected system, so I'd like to be prepared to know what the alarms will do in an actual fire.

The only mention regarding this that I see from the manufacturer is this line, but it doesn't really answer the questions: "When any one interconnected alarm is triggered by smoke or heat, all interconnected alarms within the home sound an immediate warning."

I do see other brands that operate like SD515 says, using different LED flashing patterns. I feel that is a flawed design because it does not instantly alert the occupants of where the hazard is. If I lived in a large house, going to every detector to visually check the lights can consume valuable time in a dangerous situation.

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Old 09-09-2011, 06:30 AM   #5
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Interconnected smoke detectors


I am going to make a guess that the manufacturers don't want you looking for the source. They want you to leave the building and call the fire department...Probably CYA on their part.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:31 AM   #6
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Interconnected smoke detectors


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1910NE View Post
I am going to make a guess that the manufacturers don't want you looking for the source. They want you to leave the building and call the fire department...Probably CYA on their part.
I agree. Get out, call 911 and call your insurance company.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:04 AM   #7
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Interconnected smoke detectors


Most new home have inter-connected smoke detectors as this is fire code in most areas. Builders are looking to meet code in the most cost-saving manner possible. The basic inter-connected smoke detectors sound off so that all occupants in the house know of a danger situation. You would not want a smoke going off in a down stairs MBR and guests in an upstairs room not knowing about it.

You would need to install a full-featured alarm system to monitor your whole house and make whatever alerts you want as part of the system. Installed and monitored alarm systems can run from $99 to $2,500+ depending on what options you specify. Fire alarms are classified as "life saving devices" and come under strict code guidelines as you expect.

It is all about dollars and cents and how much you are willing to pay above basic requirements that home builders comply with. The basic detectors you have are powered by 120vac and may or may not have a battery backup. During a power outage....you may not have any protection? Full-featured alarm systems can not be inter-connected with your existing smoke detectors as this would be a mixture or high voltage and low voltage devices which is not allowed by code.

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