"Best" Smoke Alarm Brand

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by rdtompki, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. rdtompki

    rdtompki New Member

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    Iowa
    I want to run an AC interconnected smoke alarm system while I have the wall above my panelboard opened up. What's a reasonable/affordable brand? I will probably have a heat sensor in the Kitchen and smoke sensors in the hall way and each of the bedrooms. I've got two old units which I will remove. One is a CO sensor which I no longer need since my furnace is now in the attic. The other is a very old AC smoke sensor.

    Rick
  2. molo

    molo New Member

    Messages:
    840
    Location:
    cold new york
    You should still have a CO detector
  3. bjferri

    bjferri DoD Army

    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    Maryland
    I'm doing the same installation and the research I've done led me to "Kidde" brands. Looking at comsumer reports this was the best, which Home Depot and Lowes carry. I think the heat detectors they carry are Fyrnetics which is a Kidde company as well...
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Make sure to replace all the detectors. You should not mix brands, nor should you mix new and old.

    Instead of a consumer brand like Kidde or Firex, why not look at a professional brand like Gentex. Much more capable. You can get units with form C relay contacts to interface with central alarms if desired.
    http://www.gentex.com/fire_protection.html
  5. rdtompki

    rdtompki New Member

    Messages:
    115
    Location:
    Iowa
    I do intend to pick a brand that is capable of interfacing with a central panel than can support smoke and intrusion alarming. I don't currently have anything wired to a central alarm system (ripped out old alarm system), but I might want to do so in the future however. When I bought the house 15 years ago it had a central alarm system, but it was more trouble than it was worth and by now would be unmaintainable old junk. I'll need to pick a brand that supports wireless entry alarming as there is no way I'm wiring up all the windows and doors.

    BTW, I don't doubt for a minute that a CO detector is a good thing, but if you don't have any gas appliances in your house is the CO an additional fire protection measure?

    Rick
  6. alternety

    alternety Like an engineer

    Messages:
    650
    Location:
    Washington
    Actually, consumer CO detectors are not necessarily a good thing. More and more areas are requiring them but they will not provide a proper level of protection. The standards to which they are built specify behavior that can allow levels that will be toxic; particularly to small children and the elderly. I believe this was done after initial commercial units caused way to many false alarms.

    The only really effective ones are sold through heating/plumbing contractors. They will not have the UL certification of consumer units.

    Also remember that both smoke alarms and CO monitor sensors will eventually become useless. Regular replacement is necessary for safety. Also the "test" button only tests the audible alarm; not the sensor.

    For more info http://www.coexperts.com/
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,922
    Location:
    New England
    The recommendation is to replace the smoke detectors at least every 10-years, and anytime they fail the self-test.
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