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Old 11-06-2011, 07:12 AM   #1
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Smoke and CO detectors

I'm trying to set up Mom's house and need some advice.

Older 2 story colonial. I'm not able to hard wire from floor to floor.

What type of devices and setups are recommended for an existing home?

Are the combination CO and Smoke a good choice?

Thanks for your input


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Old 11-06-2011, 08:34 AM   #2
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Kidde and First Alert both make wireless interconnect smokes. I have not seen a wireless CO from Kidde but both systems are able to be connected to hardwired systems IIRC. Combination units are good, but often are only CO and ionization. I would not trust my mothers safety to just an ionization detector. They can take up to 30 minutes in some cases to alarm for the most common types of fires. Much better to have both even if you have a CO detector next to a combo photoelectric/ionization detector.

You should have a CO on each floor. You should have one near the sleeping area and in the common areas. Stay away from humid areas like bathrooms if possible. CO will mix and rise with heated air so higher is fine. The old eye level rule has been debunked.

Smokes should be place on every floor, every bedroom, and in any common area such as stairs, foyers between floors, and hallways. There are lots of good diagrams online. They should be at least 3 feet from any register including return air vents and at least 3 feet from any ceiling fan. Also do not place them closer than 12 inches from any wall/ceiling transition as smoke can bank a corner.

Smokes should be replaced every 10 years and CO detectors every 5. Change the batteries when you change your clocks.


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Old 11-06-2011, 09:04 AM   #3
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Also they can not be an closer than 4 inches from wall or 4inches ceiling if mounted on wall.
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Old 11-06-2011, 09:56 AM   #4
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All above is correct.

I'm in the process of looking for CO and smoke detectors for my house. I'm doing a 2-story addition but I'm going to go ahead and wire in new detectors in the existing part as well....

On the I understand it, you only need them on floors that have a fire....such as stove, gas oven, gas water place. If you don't have one of those sources, then I don't think you need it....but then again....I'm kind of partial to my family....

I have been looking at the combo units. Both Kidd and First Alert make well as wireless. You also want ones that interlink to each other...that way, when one goes off, the rest do to let everyone know.

On a side note....(does not apply to you), new construction has to be hard wired for power. But they also have hard wired units that talk to each other wireless..saves you having to interconnect them....though I don't see the savings....if you use 14/3.....the red wire becomes the comm.

You might also want to look at the models that support a central message center.....shows which one is going off and displays the CO level....that is the unit I'm leaning towards.

Oh, and one last thing. The CO detector has I believe a 10 year max life....after 10 years you HAVE to replace it. The detector element in it is one of those things that degrades over time. Once it hits the limit it keeps making noise until you replace it.

Go to the Kidd and First Alert sites....ton of info....once you know which one you it from Amazon.
Even if you are on the right track, you will still get run over if you just sit there.

My 2-Story Addition Build in Progress Link ... My Garage Build Link and My Jeep Build Link
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