Ionization Smoke Detector In Toddler's Room: How Safe ?

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On 9/30/2014 8:21 AM, Pico Rico wrote:

protect us and our children.
Bill
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On Tuesday, September 30, 2014 12:45:04 PM UTC-4, Bill Gill wrote:

The children! Won't someone please think of the children?!!! I'd say when you have codes that go nuts and require crazy numbers of smoke detectors, you'd have to be an imbecile not to realize that it's going to lead to non-compliance. If the guy lives alone, who's children exactly is he supposed to protect?
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On 9/30/2014 12:07 PM, trader_4 wrote:

How can you expect any body to do that just to be safe.
Of course you could simplify the battery problem in couple of ways. Replace the batteries Spring and Fall or replace all the batteries when one detector starts beeping. That is so difficult.
Bill
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On Tuesday, September 30, 2014 6:46:27 PM UTC-4, Bill Gill wrote:

It's not what I expect anybody else to do. It's what I would prefer to do.

It is when you have 8 of them and some of them are in high ceilings that you can't reach with a small step ladder. I can see you're one of the guys that believes in big govt and more regulation, rather than personal choice.
And obviously you have no explanation for the question I posed, which is that since these are both AC and battery powered, why does the battery go out in a year, just as fast or faster than battery only powered ones? How about thinking about that instead of what I should do?
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On 10/1/2014 7:47 AM, trader_4 wrote:

more important point than whether there is some mild inconvenience. How many television reports have you see where somebody died in a fire and "there were not working smoke detectors"?
Bill
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On Wednesday, October 1, 2014 9:31:39 AM UTC-4, Bill Gill wrote:

I believe in personal freedom. It's a much more important concept than inconvenience and guys like you insisting that we all have to live by your rules in our own house.
And the strawman nonsense is so typical. It's not an issue of not having smoke detectors. It's just that I said I'd prefer to just have AC powered ones that don't have battery backup. Is that so radical and unsafe? For the record, since you brought it up, despite all the laws and all the ruminating, there are still plenty of fires where people die where there aren't working smoke detectors. Evey one of them that I've seen, it was a case where there were either no smoke detectors, or battery smoke detectors with dead batteries. Not a single one where it was an AC only detector and the cause of the fatality was that it didn't have a battery backup. Since you have such strong opinions in favor of requiring battery backup you should be able to provide us with those numbers and examples where a battery backup would have made a difference.
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On 10/01/2014 7:47 AM, trader_4 wrote: ...

'Cuz they're a poorly designed (read "cheap to build") and don't actually cut the battery (completely) out when A/C is on nor use rechargeable batteries would be the likely cause...
I've not looked, but I'd think such a unit would be readily available altho undoubtedly at a somewhat higher price point. There are just the minimal one each floor of the old battery-powered type here as nothing's been modified since all the recent Code changes. So, that's just three and the once't a year deal isn't so bad as there are no cathedral ceilings, etc., ...
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On Wednesday, October 1, 2014 9:33:57 AM UTC-4, dpb wrote:

A diode that costs maybe 10 cents has a big impact on price?
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On 10/01/2014 8:51 AM, trader_4 wrote: ...

_Every_ component has an impact on price for consumer-priced goods when amplified by the numbers.
I don't _know_ it's the case precisely with the particular units but I'd venture it's a reasonable conjecture.
Do you have the actual vendor/model number handy?
--


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On Wednesday, October 1, 2014 9:33:57 AM UTC-4, dpb wrote:

I think that a unit that used a LSD NiMH 9v battery and integral charger would be a great idea. (such a thing exists, I use them, Tenergy and Maha at least make them...) however the higher price would likely drive off contractors from using them.
I am not certain if that would violate code as currently written, I'd have to research that. Something like that would likely have to go through a NRTL testing/approval process...
nate
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On Wednesday, October 1, 2014 1:45:22 PM UTC-4, N8N wrote:

Good to see that apparently someone has a better solution. Curious though, if they are selling them and you are using them, why would you think it wouldn't meet code? IDK what the code says exactly, but I'd expect it to say that you have to have AC+battery, but not be so specific to rule out rechargeable.
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On Wednesday, October 1, 2014 1:48:46 PM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:

a at least make them...) however the higher price would likely drive off co ntractors from using them.

a NRTL testing/approval process...

I meant that I have used LSD NiMHs, but not in smoke detectors, not that th ere were any detectors on the market that were designed to use them. It wo uld seem to be a nice maintenance-free solution that would last 5-6 years i f a detector were specifically designed to utilize and float charge the NiM Hs. Or why even limit to that? Li-Ions would be a nominal 3.7V so two of those (16340? or even smaller?) would be 7.4V or thereabouts which hopefull y would be enough to run a smoke detector if designed around it.
In the meantime, does Energizer still make a lithium 9V battery? That woul d be my solution for difficult to maintain smoke detectors; those batteries have higher capacity and longer shelf life than alkalines. At a higher co st, of course...
nate
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On 09/29/2014 3:03 PM, Bob wrote:

You'd have difficulty in discerning its presence at any distance from natural background radiation without very good measurement technique.
The 241Am isotope used is primarily an alpha emitter and the range of alpha particles is only a few inches in free air plus they can't even penetrate a single sheet of paper owing to their size and charge (they're a He atom w/o the two electrons so have +2 proton charge).
There's a plethora of gammas, but the dominant is only about 60 keV which is pretty weak and the overall source intensity of a typical detector source is only about one microcurie, and the exposure as long as you don't remove the source from the device would be less than about 1/100 of a millirem per year.
To put that in context, average background in the US is about 300 mrem/yr.
In order to even know the device was in the room from any practical standpoint of concern you'd have to remove the source from the device itself and bring it near you and keep it there indefinitely. Even then your exposure would be under any occupational or general public limits.
Annual Radiation Dose Limits Agency
Radiation Worker – 5 rem (NRC, "occupationally" exposed) General Public – 100 mrem (NRC, member of the public)
General Public – 10 mrem (EPA, air pathway)
At roughly 0.01 mrem from the device, you can see the fractional relationship to established exposure limits is in the noise level.
Upshot--don't worry about it; radon even with a mitigation system is likely _far_ higher than the amount given off by the smoke detector. Or, as another comparison -- would you not take a transcontinental air trip over concern for the extra radiation dose you'd give the infant? That would add from 0.1-0.5 mrem/hr depending on the route (higher on polar, higher elevation long-haul routes), roughly 10-50X the exposure rate from the smoke detector.
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I have an old baby Ben clock I now use for a radiation calibrator. Used to sleep next to it. Second most powerful radiator in my house. An old pentax lens has the highest count with uranium oxide coating.
Greg
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On 09/30/2014 9:37 AM, dpb wrote: ...

BTW, to get the above I took the easy way out and used the calculator at <http://www.radprocalculator.com/Gamma.aspx Selecting Am-241 Gamma (the alpha as noted above can be discounted entirely as a contributor as long as the source is in the device), and an estimate of 10-ft average distance from a 1-uCi source, the dose rate is ~1.5E-6 mrem/hr. Multiplying by 24*364 and assuming an occupancy of <1/2 time in a given room, the annual dose works out at ~0.0066 mrem which I rounded to <0.01 mrem. This is still an upper estimate as there's no shielding at all from the source containment material nor the materials in the detector between the source itself and the exterior; only the 1/r-squared geometric factor is included.
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On Monday, September 29, 2014 4:03:20 PM UTC-4, Bob wrote:

http://public-blog.nrc-gateway.gov/2013/06/11/do-not-fear-your-smoke-detect or-it-could-save-your-life/ says that it's a fraction of a percent of what you're getting anyway from earth and space.
If that still doesn't let you sleep nights, put in a photo-electric instead .
Assuming nobody's smoking in the room (which might deliver more radiation t han a smoke detector: http://www.epa.gov/radiation/sources/tobacco.html) th e most common source of fires in bedrooms is, I believe, electrical arcs fr om mis-wired outlets and plugs and cords getting crushed behind and under f urniture. These can produce slow, smoky fires that overcome the room occupa nts as they sleep, before the smoke ever reaches the hallway, which is why smoke detectors are recommended for *inside* the bedrooms.
But the risk of such fires can be greatly reduced with the use of arc-fault breakers, which have been mandated on bedroom circuits in the US & Canada for several years. Check to see if your place has them.
Probably more common than any of the above are injuries from shoddy drop-si ded cribs, suffocation under ill-fitting mattresses, and strangulation from nearby power or phone cables or drapery draw cords.
Chip C Toronto
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I'm glad that at least in the USA, there doesn't seem to be the tendency to use public safety to support the economy.
Here in Manitoba, we have an NDP government, which is what Americans would probably call pro-socialist, or borderline communist.
Whenever Manitoba falls on hard economic times, the government swings into action finding ways of making the rich provide jobs. And, the easiest way to do that is to pass laws requiring even higher safety standards than we already have. For example, you simply pass a city by-law requiring all apartment blocks to be retrofitted with sprinkler systems. That keeps all the plumbers busy fitting old buildings with water sprinklers. And, you pass a city by-law requiring smoke barrier doorways to be installed on every floor before the stairwells so that smoke can't get into the stair wells in the event of a fire. That keeps all the carpenter's busy. And, of course, you pass a city by-law requiring all smoke detectors to be hard wired rather than battery operated, and that keeps all the electricians busy.
I'm all for safety, but from what I've seen, safety has been abused where I live, and it's purpose has been to create jobs rather than protect people, and it's a sickening situation where the government is looking for ways to make the rich waste their money on unnecessary improvements. Already Winnipeg has the highest fire safety standards for apartment blocks in North America, and come the next economic downturn, we will undoubtely have the highest earthquake safety standards for apartment blocks in all of North America too. The fact that Winnipeg is thousands of miles away from the nearest fault line and has never had an earthquake is no arguement against ensuring that people are safe if we do get one, and anyone who disagrees is just too greedy to realize that safety should come before profits.
--
nestork


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Then why stop at 8? Why not 15? Why not a personal one you carry on your belt?
Four smoke detectors within 10 feet for a guy who lives alone, and has two bedrooms which are not capable of housing anyone (one is an office, the other is a storage room)? That has nothing to do with safety. It has to do with "one size fits all".
I bet you report your neighbors who tear off their mattress tags.
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think of the voltage drop, too.
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On Wednesday, October 1, 2014 11:12:28 AM UTC-4, Pico Rico wrote:

I don't see .6V diode drop from a 9V battery being a design challenge. The electronics is going to work on 5V or 3V anyway.
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