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Old 12-12-2005, 05:35 PM   #1
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Smoke Detector Locations


Hi All - Are there typically any hard requirements for smoke detector locations? I have a vaulted ceiling - 1" over 12" - and know reasonably that the detector should be at the high end of the house.

But I also have a beam that projects approximately 12" below the ceiling cutting off the ceiling from one side of the room to the other. Seems like having detectors on both sides of the beam makes good sense, but that may be overkill.

Is it good enough just to place the detector on the ceiling anywhere in a room?

MikeinBurien

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Old 12-12-2005, 06:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Seems like having detectors on both sides of the beam makes good sense, but that may be overkill.
When you're talking $15 (or more...or whatever they cost no matter how much) smoke detectors vs. your family and home, there's no such thing as overkill. (well maybe every 3 feet in all directions would be a little:D )

I'm sure their are standards on placement, quantity, locations (as in what type of room...bedrooms probably...kitchen), but I don't know what the standards are.

If it was me (remember, without knowing what is actually required), I think I would put one in every bedroom, kitchen, attic, basement (maybe even 2 in the attic and basement depending on size of the area).

I think (just think...again I'm not sure) that in new construction you have to use hard wired devices and even in old work, it's not a bad idea. Pulling the 12-3 would be the toughest part.

This makes me realize how much I THINK about this and how little I KNOW about it. With something this important, maybe I should do some researching too.:o

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Old 12-13-2005, 07:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by jproffer
This makes me realize how much I THINK about this and how little I KNOW about it. With something this important, maybe I should do some researching too.:o
Exactly. I started overthinking this as well and decided I had no idea where the detectors should go. :confused:

I checked out the Maple Chase site for the Firex brand smoke alarms and they vaguely state to mount "on the ceiling or wall". When hardwiring is required, recommendations include wiring to a lighting circuit. It doesn't say why. And apparently to make things somewhat more complicated, there are differences between smoke alarms and heat alarms. Where would you place a heat alarm? :confused:

So for now, I'm hardwiring my smoke detector for the new extension to the wall in one place that's convenient to my lighting circuit on the uphill side of the vaulted ceiling. I'll run some wire to the "attic" to allow for expansion as time permits.

In Burien, WA, the permit people have told me two different things: The first guy said that a hard wired detector is required in *all* bedrooms if any renovation/remodel occurs in the house. The 2nd guy said that hardwired detectors are only required in any *new* bedrooms. Although it certainly would be the safest thing - I'm going with Guy #2 - I don't have the time right now to wire all the bedrooms with new detectors. It's not a money thing, but a time thing and in the meantime I have battery operated detectors that work fine.
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Old 12-13-2005, 10:02 AM   #4
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Smoke Detector Locations


Around here, if you decide (or if you are required...as in new construction) to use hardwired detectors, they HAVE TO BE interlocked with the 3rd conductor so that when one sounds, they all sound.
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Old 12-13-2005, 01:13 PM   #5
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You can also mount verticly 12" from the top if that helps you.
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Old 12-14-2005, 02:24 AM   #6
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Hi Donkey - That does help. And thanks Proffer as well.

I just wish there was more guidance from the code and/or the manufacturer regarding best practices for installation besides what's minimally required. For example - based on experience, where is the best location on the ceiling? More towards the interior vs exterior walls, near doorways, windows, away from vents, etc? Should they be more in the center of the room? That's the sort of thing I'm looking for. Technically - all I have to do is have one installed in the ceiling somewhere or on the wall no more than 12" from ceiling. Not much guidance there.

Regarding the interlocking - for new construction in my area, it *is* required that all the alarms be tied together so they all sound if one goes off, but since I'm adding to an existing house, the requirement is that I simply have at least one hardwired alarm for the new bedroom we're adding.

I plan to allow for expansion to other units and according to the manufacturer, I can use 18ga wire or bigger. Doesn't matter what the original cable size was for the first one in line. The way I read that is that I can power the first one with 12ga, then switch to smaller 18ga from then on to connect the rest. The units draw 100ma each. Lots easier to run 18-3 wire than 12-3.
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Old 12-14-2005, 02:30 AM   #7
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Here's a bit of guidance I found from BRK:

"Install smoke alarms at least 20 feet from appliances like furnaces and ovens, which produce combustion particles. Alarms should be at least 10 feet from high humidity areas like showers and laundry rooms, and at least 3 feet from heat/AC vents whenever possible."
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Old 12-14-2005, 07:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeinBurien
Here's a bit of guidance I found from BRK:

"Install smoke alarms at least 20 feet from appliances like furnaces and ovens, which produce combustion particles. Alarms should be at least 10 feet from high humidity areas like showers and laundry rooms, and at least 3 feet from heat/AC vents whenever possible."
Same with rooms with ceiling fans (bedrooms in particular).I generally try to put smoke detectors in the bedrooms inline with the door.If the door is closed the smoke is going to be pulled to the door.
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:25 PM   #9
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this site

and this site

These are just a couple I found so far. Haven't even looked very closely at them yet honestly but researching this is "on the list"...ya know...THE list:D . Anyway, if I find something particularly useful I'll post back and if you would be so kind to do the same it would be appreciated.

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