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Old 03-16-2012, 03:50 PM   #1
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Combo CO & GAS alarms

I have two Kidde Nighthawk model KN-COEG-3 alarms. One is in the dining room, on the wall next to the door to the kitchen, and the other is on the wall next to the door to the laundry room in the basement.

The one in the basement has falsed on GAS several times. It happens especially if someone uses a spray can of Lysol or something. Even when the spray is used in the bathroom, 20ft away, the alarm will eventually sound after 10-20mins. It is always easy to silence the alarm, pressing the Reset button, and usually it remains silent.

The one in the dining room alarmed this afternoon for the first time.
We were using the oven, baking bread. But when the alarm went off, reading GAS, there was no smell of gas, or anything burning at all. I was not able to reset the alarm, so I temporarily disabled it. I did consider calling the FD, or gas co, but wasn't smelling any gas, and it was not the CO alarm, so I figured the unit must not have liked something that came past its nose...
Knowing how sensitive and prone to falsing these alarms are, I wasn't worried.

After about 10mins I re-enabled the alarm in the dining room. It didn't alarm again.
Then, a few minutes later, the alarm in the basement went off. I wasn't very surprised, thinking that there must have been something in the air upstairs, and it drifted downstairs after about 10mins.
I was able to silence the basement alarm quickly, just one push of the Reset button.

I started asking around as to who might have used what, and learned that a can of PAM cooking spray had been used on several baking sheets. More than is usually used in fact, and the pans were warm when they were sprayed.
Reading the can of PAM, I was alarmed myself to find that the propellent used is flammable. I am sure that this is what set off both alarms. The cloud of gas from the can drifted from the kitchen into the dining room, setting off that alarm first, and then it eventually drifted down the stairs and into the nose of the alarm down there.

Why is a flammable gas used as propellent in a cooking spray? Then, I've never heard of anyone having an issue with this. Normally, one wouldn't be spraying the PAM onto an open flame.

As for the alarms, both are of the same model, and doing a search revealed that many people who own these have trouble with falses. I don't know whether it's just this model, this brand, or a general issue with most combo alarms.

Our alarms are 6yrs old, so shouldn't be bad just yet, but maybe this type of alarm doesn't have the 10yr life that a normal smoke alarm would have.

On the light side; I once set off the alarm in the basement when I passed gas standing next to it. IMO, that is too sensitive!

Any suggestions/advice?





Last edited by Ultrarunner2017; 03-16-2012 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:49 AM   #2
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CO senors go bad in about 5 years on those. Time for new ones.


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Old 05-22-2012, 04:36 PM   #3
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I ditched the natural gas option on those detectors due to the same annoyances. I just have combo smoke/CO's now and have yet to get a false positive.
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