Questions tagged [smoke-detectors]

Device for detecting smoke and/or fire.

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24
votes
3answers
6k views

Why should we replace smoke alarms every 10 years?

I'm having a hard time understanding a requirement to replace smoke detectors every 10 years (or whatever the manufacturer suggests). With previous generations of ionization based detectors, I ...
17
votes
5answers
17k views

How do I choose between ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms?

I need to change my smoke detectors but I don't know how to choose between ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms. I guess that there are pros and cons to choose one or the other. Should I buy a ...
15
votes
5answers
8k views

CO detector starts beeping every morning at 6am

My 2-years old CO detector (small, wall-mounted device with battery, no other power source) started beeping every morning for at least few minutes, sending sharp chirps once every 10 sec. It starts ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Are rechargeable 9-volt batteries suitable for use in smoke detectors?

Lithium-Ion rechargeable 9V batteries are now readily available. Are they appropriate for use with hardwired smoke detectors, which typically use 9V batteries as battery backups? What about for use ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

What happens when you test a smoke detector?

When you press the test button on a smoke detector it obviously beeps, but I'm assuming it doesn't just test the speaker. So, how does the test work? I can't see a practical way to release smoke ...
11
votes
7answers
9k views

How to PROPERLY test that your smoke detectors work?

I installed two new smoke detectors in my house a few months ago and have been testing them using the 'test' buttons. Today I decided to give them a more realistic test by placing a burning and then ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Where should smoke detectors be located?

In the past, you might have a smoke detector on every floor outside of a bedroom. Now you see a separate smoke detector in each bedroom. Should there also be a detector outside of the bedrooms? What ...
9
votes
4answers
6k views

Can I replace an electric smoke detector with a combined smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detector?

My house has electric smoke detectors wired into an ADT alarm system. I'm not using the alarm system but the smoke detectors seem to work anyway. I'd like to have carbon monoxide detectors too. ...
8
votes
2answers
29k views

If I do not have any fuel burning devices, do I need a carbon monoxide detector?

Is there any reason that a home without any fuel burning devices would need a carbon-monoxide detector?
7
votes
1answer
7k views

Is it OK to mount a smoke detector vertically?

In my basement I have several lolly columns attached to wooden beams that are supporting the floor joists. On one of these wooden beams I have attached a smoke detector vertically on the side of the ...
6
votes
9answers
14k views

Why does my smoke detector chirp when my bathroom lights are turned on?

We have an wired smoke detector that is right outside a bathroom. Often, when we turn on the lights in the bathroom, the smoke alarm will chirp. The bathroom used to have a fixture with 4 40-watt ...
6
votes
7answers
24k views

Should a smoke alarm be installed in the attic?

I installed hard-wired and interconnected smoke alarms through the house. I wondered, though, if a fire spread through my attic I might not know about it until the ceiling or roof collapsed. Should I ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What should I do about this smoke detector that beeps constantly?

My smoke detector beeps constantly when connected. Looks like I need to change the battery. But I have no clue where to put in the battery or how to change. Your help will be appreciated. The unit ...
5
votes
5answers
11k views

Why are my smoke detectors going off when I cook?

Seems like every time we cook anything in the oven the fire alarms (in-home system, all connected) go berzerk. is there any way to make them "less sensitive"? We do blow/vaccuum them out gently here ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

What's the signalling voltage on hardwire smoke detectors? Mix and match?

What is the signalling voltage on hardwire smoke detectors? Is it acceptable to mix brands? Is it acceptable to have detectors on different electrical circuits, connected only with an interconnect ...
4
votes
2answers
826 views

Is this smoke detector safely connected?

I recently bought this house (built in 2000), so it went through inspection. I assumed everything was fine. I realized the smoke detector in one of the rooms was not showing the green light that the ...
4
votes
6answers
45k views

How to open this smoke detector in order to change battery?

I need to change battery for my home smoke detector, but I have no idea how to open this model. I found many video tutorial on google, but have not seen any model similar to this one. Does anyone ...
4
votes
5answers
59k views

What besides smoke might trigger a hardwired smoke detector?

Sometimes my hardwired smoke alarm goes off for a few seconds for no apparent reason. For example I am not cooking or burning any substance. It is 3 years old and has a new battery. Other than ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I install a wired smoke detector without compromising the fire rated sheetrock?

We have a connected garage with a bedroom above. It has proper fire rated sheetrock and a fire rated door. We use it for storage (including some paint and other normal chemicals). For this reason I'...
4
votes
3answers
13k views

What type of electrical box do I use for a hard-wired smoke detector?

I am considering adding hard-wired smoke detectors to my house. Due to other in-process remodeling projects and the structure of the house, I have access to get behind the drywall at each location ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

What could cause the battery in a smoke detector to heat up?

One of my smoke detectors was chirping and when I removed the 9V battery, I found it was hot. In fact, it was making a 'cooking' sound. Was it the smoke detector causing the battery to cook itself ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

How do I cap the wires in this electric smoke alarm?

I want to cap these wires with a wire nut so that I can stuff them back up in the ceiling and install a regular, battery-powered smoke alarm. What wires get capped and do I need to do anything with ...
4
votes
1answer
826 views

Install fire/smoke alarm directly to stud or in electrical box?

I am installing (6) brand new smoke alarms in my home, including running all new 14/3 wire to each alarm. I have purchased "old work" electrical boxes for all of the alarms. However, the existing ...
4
votes
2answers
164 views

Can central alarm smoke detectors be used instead of 120v smoke detectors in a new residence?

Code requires that new residential construction have a smoke alarm in each bedroom and outside of each bedroom, and that the smoke alarms be interconnected. (They all go off at once). If you plan to ...
3
votes
2answers
134 views

Nuisance smoke alarms

Recently, four of the six battery-operated smoke alarms in our house have started going off every few days, for no obvious reason. The four that have been going off are of three different models, ...
3
votes
2answers
327 views

Do modern energy saving light bulbs class as “fluorescent lighting”?

I am about to replace an ageing smoke alarm. The current one is battery powered, but I was thinking that it might be good to replace it with a mains powered one (no need to change battery, cannot be ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What do I need to do to safely reconnect an A/C-powered smoke detector?

In an unfortunate incident, the plastic plug for one of my A/C-powered smoke detectors became detached from the wires coming out of the ceiling. My ceiling now looks like so (click for full size): ...
3
votes
3answers
195 views

Continue to use hardwired smoke detectors?

I am going to replace all the old hardwired smoke detectors in my house. In my research I have found some of the features available include 10-year batteries and dual sensor types (photoelectric &...
3
votes
2answers
28k views

What should I do about water dripping into my smoke detector from the attic after a heavy rain?

I live in the Midwest of the United States, and we not-too-rarely get a large amount of rain coming down at one time both in the spring and sometimes in the fall. Last night was no different (aside ...
3
votes
2answers
758 views

Can an electrician run wiring to convert battery powered smoke alarms to wired alarms?

I recently purchased a 2001 built condominium unit with original battery powered smoke and CO2 alarms. Since I have to replace all the alarms at this point anyway, I'm curious how invasive a procedure ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I tell where water is leaking from?

I live in Wyoming and for the past few days we had below zero temperatures and tons of snow. Many people reported pipes breaking but we seemed to be fine. Today it also warmed up a bunch to around the ...
2
votes
3answers
7k views

What to do with these tiny exposed wires?

We discovered a non-functional smoke detector that's hard-wired into the electrical system of the house we recently bought. I removed the smoke detector and am replacing it with a battery operated one....
2
votes
1answer
498 views

How can I open this smoke detector to change the battery?

I don't know the model of this smoke detector, but it's beeping from low battery and needs to be changed. I can't figure out how to open it, so hoping someone can help! Here are some photos of it: If ...
2
votes
2answers
145 views

Explain different type of fire detector?

I bought a house and just replaced 8 hardwired smoke alarms that were 10+ years old units like this. They had the typical high voltage red/white and red interconnect wires, with thick wires. However ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Integrating hard-wired smoke detectors with fire sprinkler waterflow sensing

If you are in a house with interconnected smoke detectors (hardwired or hardwired/battery combo), can you interconnect them with the waterflow switch for a home fire sprinkler system, or do you need ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What would cause a hardwired smoke alarm to give one short beep when appliances are turned on?

I have hard wired smoke detectors. I've noticed that when I plug my tablet into a power strip connected to an outlet in my living room it caused the upstairs detector to emit a quick beep. I now ...
2
votes
1answer
171 views

Wired fire/smoke alarms not communicating with each other

After replacing the wired fire alarms in my house with new ones, when testing any of them, that one beeps but not the others. Model is BRK First Alert 9120B6CP. Each alarm came with three cables. ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Removing 1 connected smoke detector ok?

We have a 2 story house that currently has the following interconnected Firex smoke detectors: Basement First Floor Second Floor Unfinished Attic We've been having issues with the one in the ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Need help with correct wiring when replacing a hardwired smoke detector

I was wondering if someone with some electrical experience or experience with these particular smoke detectors can assist with the replacement process. I have a home security alarm system that has ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Should smoke alarms be on AFCI circuit?

I'm migrating my smoke alarms from the main panel to a generator-backed-up subpanel so I'll have fire protection during a power outage. I'm simultaneously replacing the old smoke detectors. I read ...
2
votes
0answers
369 views

Smoke Detector wiring - impacted by 2 breakers?

dig if you will the picture of one of my smoke detectors and the curious (for me) wiring. Actually, I've taken many pictures, but each is just a mess and I think will make it harder. We have ~7 ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

install smoke/fire detector in basement

I would like to install smoke detector in the basement, which has the following layout: +----------------------------------------+ | | Small ...
1
vote
3answers
305 views

Are all of these smoke detectors required?

My house has eight smoke detectors; one in the basement, one in an upstairs bonus room, and six on the main floor. The main floor is "T" shaped; the bedroom area forms the top of the "T", and the ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Chirping from a hard-wired fire alarm

I know that when you hear a periodic chirping noise from smoke detectors, it means the battery needs to be replaced. I had been hearing such a chirping noise in my apartment building for a few hours, ...
1
vote
3answers
465 views

Smoke detectors & backup generators

My home was built in 2014; California code requires hardwired smoke detectors. I also have a 10kW Generac whole-house standby generator. Whenever I lose power, every smoke alarm in the house gets ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Combine Lights on one switch and remove smoke detector from switch

Experts, I've got a weird wiring situation in my kitchen (just bought the house). "A" (a dimmer) in the picture controls both a light (let's call it light "X") and (wait for it) the smoke detector! ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Over-enthusiastic smoke detector

The hard-wired smoke detectors in my house all were well beyond their rated expiration. So I replaced them all. I now need to keep a broom handy whenever I use my oven or broiler -- the smoke detector ...
1
vote
3answers
116 views

Is it permissible to install a low-voltage fixture over an existing ceiling box?

I inherited an installation of several wired AC smoke detectors. They're three-wire units (AC hot/neutral, plus an interconnect wire). At some point a previous installer removed one of the detectors, ...
1
vote
1answer
897 views

electrical - preparing smoke detectors for rough inspection

To get past the rough inspection, should I have the wiring for smoke detectors just pulled through the ceiling box (and stripped, pigtailed etc) or should I have the mounting bracket (for the detector)...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

4-Wire smoke detectors with home runs

Our house has 10 wired smoke detectors. They are currently 2-wire sensors - but each is on a separate home run back to the panel...each has an EOL resistor at the detector. The old panel (a DMP I ...