Hair Dryer and Smoke Detector?


Something I never knew or even thought about...
One of the ladies in our office lost her electricity yesterday thanks to Katrina and by this morning it wasn't restored.
She took a shower at home and came into work early bringing her hair dryer with her.
She began drying her hair in the office, about eight feet away from one of the smoke detectors around a corner on an eight foot high ceiling.
You guessed it, the detector went off, alarms started ringing all over our office building and the few people who were there that early bailed out into thankfully mild sunny weather.
The Fire Department showed up shortly and turned off/reset the alarm system.
I knew that curling irons could cause the release of vapors which could set off smoke detectors, but hair dryers? The smoke alarm system in the building was replaced a couple of years ago, so I suppose the detectors can detect things other than classical smoke.
One of the smoke detectors in a hallway of our home will go off if someone showers for a while in a nearby bathroom and then exits without shuutting the bathroom door. So, I guess water vapor can set off a smoke alarm and maybe our worker's hair drying did the same thing.
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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On Mon, 29 Aug 2011 11:28:18 -0400, jeff_wisnia

About a month ago I got about 6 inches of water in my basement. A day later the water was gone but it was still very damp. CO detector on the basement ceiling near the furnace and water heater went off. Neither furnace or water heater had been running. Had to pull the battery. Thanks for reminding me. I just put the battery back in and the detector seems to be fine. Seems moisture got to it. But I don't trust it now so I'll get a new one.
--Vic
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Vic Smith wrote:

Smart move.
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jeff_wisnia wrote:

6 years and her power is still off?!! :-)

The blow dryer likely blew dust and other particles (powder, etc..) into the sensing chamber. In a commercial environment they are to be inspected every year, and cleaned/replaced if necessary by a licensed technician.

That's because you probably have ionization detectors in the home, rather than the preferred photo-electric type.
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G. Morgan wrote:

I used to have CRS, but I think it's turning into CRAFT (Can'r remember an effing thing.)
Goodnight Irene,
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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G. Morgan wrote:

I used to have CRS, but I think it's turning into CRAFT (Can'r remember an effing thing.)
Goodnight Irene,
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
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Two things come to mind that might have caused it. Knocking around in a bag on the way to work dislodged a bunch of dust particles that ignited and set off the detector. Your work outlet might deliver slightly more juice and cause plasticizers that hadn't vaporized at the slightly lower temp to also get into the air stream when heated to a slightly higher temperature. My office outlets always ran a few volts higher than compared to home.
She might have used a higher heat setting at work. When I switch a space heater from 500 to 1000W, a different coil is energized that has been sitting in the air stream collecting dust that then incinerates as the coil heats up.
It's why the VFD siren across the street sounds all through the fall as people turn on their heat for the first time. All the dust accumulated from the AC months burns off and it can be quite a stink, especially for those stupid enough to run without filters. I always start up the heat when my wife's TDY. It bothers her for days. This is a person who can smell people smoking 10 car lengths ahead in the winter with the windows rolled up!
I run the furnace full tilt for an hour with the windows open and the fans on, usually on the day I put the fans away for the season. Even with filters the condensate water gets muddy and the furnace creates quite a stink because the filter is AFTER the heat exchanger which is after the A-coil. Not the best design, but it burns off pretty quickly.
This year we went with 2 window ACs instead of the CAC and the electricity bill dropped by $50 for most of August. Didn't like the slapping noise the new units make, but we've survived. Before, the basement would drop into the 50F's with CAC because the house is old and the ducts are very small and exposed. They end up giving off most of their "cool" to the basement.
-- Bobby G.
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On Mon, 29 Aug 2011 11:28:18 -0400, jeff_wisnia

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On Mon, 29 Aug 2011 14:32:18 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

...and it was George Bush's fault!
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