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Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Old 06-09-2019, 11:57 AM   #1
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Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Itís time to replace the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. It appears the various options are:

dedicated smoke alarms
dedicated carbon monoxide alarms
combo smoke/carbon monoxide alarms
leaving all the doors and windows wide open

and yet another option: Battery Operated or Plug-in or Wired alarms

Anybody have opinions about this stuff?
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:13 PM   #2
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Last time I replaced all the smoke alarms in the house I went with mostly just battery operated smoke detectors. We also have a combined smoke/CO detector on each floor. Costco sells cheap four packs.

It really is worthwhile to have some CO detectors in your house. A local family didn't and, sadly, all perished recently when they had a leak from a poor installed water heater.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...aths-home.html
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Old 06-09-2019, 03:16 PM   #3
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The CO detectors in my house go off if you use a cell phone under them. Scares the crap out of us occasionally when we forget. They are First Alert brand.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:02 PM   #4
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Leaving all the doors and windows open feeds the fire plenty of oxygen to really get it going so that option is generally not recommended. Unless, perhaps, you live in Hawaii and are in a first-floor dwelling so you can climb out a window on the side of the room opposite the fire.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:47 PM   #5
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I had the wiring, so I went with the hard wired version with the non-replaceable lithium battery that is to last ten years. One advantage to this is that both of my detectors are wired together so that if one goes off, they both go off. Giving that one is near the kitchen and one is near the bedrooms and they're are either end of the house, it provides better alarm coverage.

The detectors are smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors (combination), but I also added a stand alone CM detector near our bedroom. It is ten year lithium battery powered. Once the ten years is up, they are to be replaced (same with the smoke detectors).

I also have a plug in natural gas detector in my kitchen. I had a couple instances where DW left the burner on just enough to emit some gas, but not enough to initiate the spark igniter. Walked into the kitchen and smelled gas. Obviously not good and I'm not sure that this doesn't equal a faulty design. However, I got the detector for natural gas, and DW did it again, but this time, the alarm went off. We were in the kitchen so I know it detected the gas quickly and I couldn't even smell the raw gas. I'm real happy with that detector.
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Old 06-09-2019, 04:56 PM   #6
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Check with your fire department too about current code. Just in case you want to sell. I am told that in my former town they would even install them for people over 65. And CO detectors are a must. I like the combinations but I got extra plug in CO for the bedrooms
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
Last time I replaced all the smoke alarms in the house I went with mostly just battery operated smoke detectors. We also have a combined smoke/CO detector on each floor. Costco sells cheap four packs.
Yeah, I guess it's off to Costco I go. Since you have both the combo and stand-alone, do you see any advantages/disadvantages to one over the other?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry1 View Post
The detectors are smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors (combination), but I also added a stand alone CM detector near our bedroom. It is ten year lithium battery powered. Once the ten years is up, they are to be replaced (same with the smoke detectors).
Since you have both the combo and stand-alone, do you see any advantages/disadvantages to one over the other?

I think I'll just go with the battery types unless someone comes up with a good reason not to.

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Check with your fire department too about current code. Just in case you want to sell. I am told that in my former town they would even install them for people over 65. And CO detectors are a must. I like the combinations but I got extra plug in CO for the bedrooms
I'll have to check out if the fire dep't installs them for people over 65. However, since my town is Los Angeles, I'm guessing not. If they do, I'll get the wired type.
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Old 06-09-2019, 05:34 PM   #8
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Only have 1 alarm, it's hard wired with battery backup, combo smoke and CO
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:12 PM   #9
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Since you have both the combo and stand-alone, do you see any advantages/disadvantages to one over the other?
I have the combo and stand alone for redundancy more than thinking one is better than the other. One thing that I believe, but may not be true, is that carbon monoxide is heavier than air and so I have the stand alone CM detector at a lower level than the combo unit which is on the ceiling. If CM is lighter, it may still be better to be lower since my heat registers are at the floor level.

Who knows? I just know a family that got wiped out in one night from CM and it scares the crap out of me. Get an extra one near your bedrooms.
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:54 PM   #10
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We have hard wired and battery units. Far more than we need. CO2 on each level, fire and smoke detectors in every bathroom and entrance way.

We change the batteries at the same time every year. Jan 1.

I am a nervous nellie when it comes to this. But heck it is very inexpensive peace of mind.

CO2 detectors are now code for all gas fired homes where we live. New and for any furnace replacement. There is talk of making sprinklers code for residential within the next few years.
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:54 PM   #11
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Mine are combination smoke and CO. The smoke alarm part is combination ionization and photoelectric sensing. If I had to choose I'd go with the PE over ion. PE are more sensitive to smoldering fires such as would typically be expected in a residence in the middle of the night. See NFPA's description of the technologies, here.

Mine are hardwired with battery backup and are interconnected so that when one goes off they all do (as required by code in new construction). They are voice alarm, so they bark a message as to which one is in alarm (e.g., "basement," or "hallway.") Not the cheapest choice, but why skimp? Got them at Lowe's.
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Old 06-09-2019, 07:59 PM   #12
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peace of mind.

CO2 detectors are now code for all gas fired homes where we live.
https://www.vaildaily.com/news/repor...pen-area-home/

For good reason.
Upper middle class white people (my neighbors) died.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by redduck View Post
Yeah, I guess it's off to Costco I go. Since you have both the combo and stand-alone, do you see any advantages/disadvantages to one over the other?
Given that we have a few CO detectors around the house, that seems adequate. So the rest are just smoke detectors, which are cheaper than the combo units.

I don't want to be overly cheap on this, but I don't think they all need to be CO detectors for good coverage.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:28 PM   #14
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https://www.vaildaily.com/news/repor...pen-area-home/

For good reason.
Upper middle class white people (my neighbors) died.
What is going on with this board that race is becoming a topic everywhere?

People died.

I would not live in a home without a CO2 detector. We have multiple. Even with electric heat. There are other possible wonky sources that can get you, like perhaps a brain glitch and you set your backup generator too close to a window or something.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:06 AM   #15
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I posted this thread a while back. We use that model as it detects nat gas and I don't.

I don't know who here recommended this detector. Thank You!
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:51 AM   #16
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What is going on with this board that race is becoming a topic everywhere?
People died.
Colorado changed its law because of these deaths.
Before that, it was all "we really ought to do this, but..."
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:57 AM   #17
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The last time I changed my detectors, I used separate smoke and CO units. This is because the rated lifetime for smoke detectors was ten years, and the rated lifetime for CO detectors was seven years (at the time I purchased).
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:09 AM   #18
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Colorado changed its law because of these deaths.
Before that, it was all "we really ought to do this, but..."
Ah, land lord issues. I think that extends beyond race. But I better stop because we have a lot of land lords here and I don't want to be political for them.

If you value human life, your own or your tenants, for God sake get a working CO detector in the living area.
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Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Old 06-10-2019, 12:00 PM   #19
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Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

I recently replaced my almost 24 year old smoke-only detectors with combo smoke/CO detectors. The old units were hard-wired and my replacements are battery only. I have a Ring Alarm System (monitored) and the detectors are integrated into the system. I can check battery levels on my phone.

DW recently burned something she was cooking and we received an immediate call from the monitoring company. They were about to dispatch the fire department but cancelled it when we told them what was happening. I like having this type of response to a potential emergency.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:15 PM   #20
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I would not live in a home without a CO2 detector. We have multiple. Even with electric heat. There are other possible wonky sources that can get you, like perhaps a brain glitch and you set your backup generator too close to a window or something.
The situation that hit my circle of friends was an older couple. All the police could surmise was that they pulled in their attached garage and somehow forgot to shut off the car (distracted?). They went to bed and never woke up. Car was on empty. No reason to expect suicide. Sad.
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