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Old 10-24-2008, 10:28 AM   #1
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AC Smoke alarms - Nuisance Alarms


I just learned a bit about the AC smoke alarms and they sound like a smart thing to do. I have wall / ceiling open now in a number of rooms and I think it would be smart to install these.

My biggest single concern is that we have some nuisance alarms now once in a while, mainly from starting a fire if it don't get a good draft going right away, sometimes we get the room Smokey and it takes a little while to clear. Right now, we sometimes end up taking the alarm down from the ceiling to get it to stop. The new AC alarms I have looked at say you can silence a nuisance alarm for up to 15 minutes. So if the alarm thinks it is too Smokey for longer than that, does every alarm keep going off until you can the smoke cleared? I would suspect that it would be fairly rare that we would have enough smoke in the room that it isn't clear within 15 minutes. But if it wasn't, then do I have to go take batteries about of 8 alarms and turn off the circuit to get the alarms to stop?

Anyone have a fire place and have any of these problems at all with AC fire alarms?

Jamie

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Old 10-24-2008, 11:22 AM   #2
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AC Smoke alarms - Nuisance Alarms


If the smoke doesn't allow the 15 minutes nuisance silence, why can you just take down the one in the room that is causing the alarm, until the smoke clears?

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Old 10-24-2008, 11:43 AM   #3
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AC Smoke alarms - Nuisance Alarms


because they're hard-wired together, when one goes off they all do. i installed the same thing here, and this morning in fact had the same 'smoky room' and the alarms went off. the wife had not allowed time for an an updraft and ...... but the 'hush' button worked fine and they did not go off again. just make sure you buy the kind that has the second 'hush' button next to the 'alarm test' button. i also have extinguishers in every room.... but that's just me.

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Old 10-24-2008, 11:48 AM   #4
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AC Smoke alarms - Nuisance Alarms


Two things need to be corrected. I assume you mean smoke from starting up a fireplace. Smoke should not be entering the room when starting up a fire. Get that corrected.
Do you have photo electric smoke detectors or Fire detectors? It makes a differance. With photo electric smoke detectors, there must be visable smoke at the detector location to set them off.
With fire detectors, the ions of combustion will set them off. These ions will travel throughout the whole house and you won 't even know it. So they are not a good choice if one has a fireplace operating.
Today's detectors may have a sensitivity adjustment, so look for it. Also check the manufacturers website to see what the recommended settings should be under various enviroments. My home has the photoelectric type and I never had a false alarm in the 12 years of operation. But I do not have a fireplace.
And another thing, many years ago, I recall that fire detectors can be affected by rapid changes in humidity. That may have been corrected by now, I just don't know.
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Old 10-24-2008, 11:56 AM   #5
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AC Smoke alarms - Nuisance Alarms


I know that they are hardwired together, my point is if you take the alarm down, remove the electrical connector and the battery from the one, the others will not see it and will not go off.
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:30 PM   #6
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AC Smoke alarms - Nuisance Alarms


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Originally Posted by rjordan392 View Post
Two things need to be corrected. I assume you mean smoke from starting up a fireplace. Smoke should not be entering the room when starting up a fire. Get that corrected.
Do you have photo electric smoke detectors or Fire detectors? It makes a differance. With photo electric smoke detectors, there must be visable smoke at the detector location to set them off.
With fire detectors, the ions of combustion will set them off. These ions will travel throughout the whole house and you won 't even know it. So they are not a good choice if one has a fireplace operating.
Today's detectors may have a sensitivity adjustment, so look for it. Also check the manufacturers website to see what the recommended settings should be under various enviroments. My home has the photoelectric type and I never had a false alarm in the 12 years of operation. But I do not have a fireplace.
And another thing, many years ago, I recall that fire detectors can be affected by rapid changes in humidity. That may have been corrected by now, I just don't know.
Yes, I mean when starting a fire and sometimes after it is burning if I add alot of wood. I have a large 3 sided fireplace and normally it drafts pretty darn well and we don't have any issues. However, sometimes when it is really cold or the wind is too strong, etc, we have a harder time getting a good draft going. I also suspect that at times our fresh air supply runs a little low and we start to induce a negative pressure environment. I try to open a window if I suspect this is happening. I plan to add a heat exchanger to our system eventually to help ensure proper air flow.

Other than that, I don't know what I can do to make sure we don't ever get back draft. The chimney is nice and large, and very clean.

I just upgraded the detector upstairs that is in the room with the fire place to a combo photo / inoz type detector. It is actually much better than the old one was, but we have still set it off when there is too much smoke in the room. I did have to take it down once when it didn't want to go silent (it does the will allow you to silence it once thing), but it thought we still had smoke in the room.

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Old 10-24-2008, 03:32 PM   #7
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AC Smoke alarms - Nuisance Alarms


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I know that they are hardwired together, my point is if you take the alarm down, remove the electrical connector and the battery from the one, the others will not see it and will not go off.
That seems to defeat the point. I just don't understand why you can only silence them once, and they will "not allow you to silence them if the conditions do not allow it (i.e. too much smoke)" according to a couple manufactures sites I read. It's my smoke alarm, why can't I just keep silencing it if I want to, without having to unwire it and take it down?

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Old 10-27-2008, 07:47 AM   #8
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AC Smoke alarms - Nuisance Alarms


I do not know why they will only allow one nuisance silence. Maybe it is for product liability and they are concerned about the lawsuits.
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:56 AM   #9
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AC Smoke alarms - Nuisance Alarms


now that i did not know.... we've only ever had to silence one time to get the smoke out.... hmmm..... perhaps that's why?

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