Smoke detectors

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RicodJour wrote:

Correlation does not imply causation. Half the defective smoke detectors being over ten years old may be due to other causes:
* They came from dirty homes and the dust-bunnies interfered with proper operation. It's a fact that half the homes in America are dirtier than the median. * Ten years ago, there was a big influx of Chinese smoke detector circuitry made with Melamine. * ALL of the failed smoke detectors had their batteries removed to eliminate the nagging chirp.
It's poor practice to make decisions based on assumptions about cause and effect.
If one gets exercised over the "ten year = failure" business, here's an even more shocking revelation: Virtually ALL of the failed smoke detectors were colored white!
Beware.
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Ummm, yes, it does. Correlation does not establish absolute causation, but it certainly implies a link.

This is true.

This is an attempt at a joke.

This is nonsense.

If you don't have any information to add, you shouldn't.
R
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RicodJour wrote:

You may be on to something. I recently read a report about pickles being dangerous! It was observed that all the people who ate pickles before 1900 were, today, either: a) Dead, or b) Had white hair and no teeth.
To test whether this correlation implied a valid correlation, experimenters force-fed five pounds of pickles per day to laboratory rats. They discovered that the rats developed distended stomachs and became lethargic. (The rats were already white, so they couldn't test that part of the observation.)
Why this discovery has not made it to the main-stream media is a mystery. Obviously there is a conspiracy involving Vlasic and NBC.
Use caution around pickles, particularly eye-protection when drinking pickle juice from the jar before all the pickles are gone.

We won't know for sure until we can tabulate the number of children who ate smoke detectors and developed kidney problems.

Nope.
[Wikipedia] "The first commercial smoke detectors came to market in 1969. Today they are installed in 93% of US homes and 85% of UK homes. However it is estimated that any given time over 30% of these alarms don't work, as users remove the batteries, or forget to replace them."
[Department of Homeland Security, FEMA] " First, the 12% of homes without alarms have more than half of the fires; second, it is estimated that a third of the smoke alarms in place are not working, often due to failure to replace a worn out battery..." http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pyfff/smkalarm.html
[Western Journal of Medicine, National Institutes of Health] "Some failures are due to malfunction of the alarm itself, some are due to a dead battery, and some do not function because the battery has been removed..." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1071009 /
And several thousand other references.

You added: "This is true," "This is an attempt at a joke," and "This is nonsense."
I applaud your significant contributions to the thread and stand in awe.
Your last admonition was somewhat confusing: If I don't have any information to add, I can't very well add any information! I suspect, however, that's there's a hidden meaning which I will eventually puzzle-out.
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I heard that in one experiment, 10 out of 10 lab rats dipped in hot fudge promptly died. Ban hot fudge!
--
Christopher A. Young
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Lab rats cause cancer!
--
To find that place where the rats don\'t race
and the phones don\'t ring at all.
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You know, removing batteries is highly effective at stopping the chirp. Well, except for me.
Several weeks ago, I was about to leave for church, and the smoke detector in the hall chirped. So, I got it down and went to check the battery. Battery was fine, but I put a new one in anyway. And then it chirped, again. I remembered there was a detector in the bedroom, so I checked that one. Also OK. Finally, I took out both batteries from both units, and stood it the hall. The detector chirped, again. By this time I was really puzzled. And late for church.
I did figure it out after a while. When I got the new smoke detector, I absent mindedly took the old one off the wall, and threw it up on top of the shelf in the hall. Figured it was extra protection. Have two in the hall instead of one. What I didn't count on was the low battery confusion.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

I trust, when you eventually DID make it to church, you thanked God it wasn't a chirping pickle.
As an aside, what do you store in your closet that might be the source of spontaneous combustion?
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Oh, that's so true. I hate chirping pickles.
Should be nothing that will spontaneous combust. The only natural oils I have in the trailer are cooking oils in the kitchen. No Tung, Linseed, or any of that.
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Then you must also recommend, and we of course know you practice, replacing motion sensors every 10 years, now that must then mean my alarm panel shoud be trashed, and keypads, after all electronics dont last forever, as you said. You do do this dont you.
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A motion sensor is not a life safety item unless you live in a really dangerous neighborhood. And I have had motion sensors go bad - sealed units, how are you supposed to clean them?
I have absolutely no problem with you testing anything you want in your own house, calling it good and living with it. I think it is bad advice to tell someone to ignore the NFPA and the manufacturers' recommendations because you don't trust them.
If you make comments like, "Decay of isotope, isnt that for Co detectors? Who says 20 years, the Manufacturers of course. I have heard of no independant saying 20 years." where you go zero for two in factual items, I question your viewpoint as it is/was based on notions.
It is also extremely odd that you claim your smoke detectors cost $150 each. A 20 year old smoke detector - is that in 1989 dollars? They still make it...? Give me a model number. A typical Honeywell wireless (more expensive than line voltage) smoke detector is under a $100 anywhere, and since the OP is talking about checking a circuit, the run of the mill detector would be somewhere between $35 and $50. The average three bedroom house can easily be outfitted for ~$300. That's every ten years.
Perhaps you've been fortunate and never lost anyone in a fire. A house on our street at my last house burned down and the wife died and two of the sons were critically injured. I'm not about to tell people, "Eh, don't worry about the detectors - I'm sure they're fine", just so they won't have to open their wallet. http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/ny_local/1995/08/01/1995-08-01_nassau_fire_kills_mom__hurts.html
R
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150 is what my alarm co wants to have their tech do it, I cant believe most folks with monitored alarms will DIY. Replace them in 10 or 20 if you want, and dont forget the alarm system that controls everything, after all you reminded me electroncs dont last forever. But its a waste of money
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Oh, so you mean the installed price is $150 for a new one. Not the 20 year old units you have. You're a handy guy, did you ever see an alarm tech do anything other than hooking up his computer to program your panel that you couldn't do yourself? Like I said - you can buy a quality smoke detector for forty or fifty bucks. How much do you pay a month for your central monitoring? What does that work out to for ten years?
Unless you are in a really sketchy neighborhood, it's rather unlikely that the burglar alarm part of the system will pay for itself. It's also likely that you will not be at home when the bad guys break in, so all that happens is you lose some stuff which is probably insured anyway. Having working smoke alarms doubles the likelihood that people will survive a fire. That's another type of insurance isn't it? It's also another type of risk entirely.
This newsgroup is full of DIYers, and more specifically the OP is asking a specific question that you did not answer. Instead you gave him your opinion which is based on your opinion and nothing more. You find it convenient to ignore an independent testing and standards organization, whose recommendation you were unaware of, because it doesn't agree with your opinion.
Your alarm company has something to gain by installing a new one for you. What does the NFPA have to gain?
R
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Huh? It's early, I was up late and I'm only halfway through my first cup of coffee, so maybe I'm missing something here... I'm holding up the NFPA as some sort of authority? WTF does that mean? They ARE the authority. Have you ever read your state's fire code? Why don't you do a quick search of it and see how many times the NFPA is referenced. It's almost on every damn page!

Why would you assume that that report was the sum total of all of their testing? I love this part - you are "pretty sure" there is no reasonable basis for what an impartial, non-profit testing agency recommends.

Exactly which category does "pretty sure" fall under - science, reason or logic? Again, capitalizing a word doesn't give it more weight.
You choose to ignore something, based on no data other than your personal observation, and assume that an international agency is fabricating data in some Machiavellian scheme? That about sum it up?

The house may be innocuous...now, but the smoke detector is not a dawn- to-dusk sensor on your post light. Risk v. reward and all that.

As soon as I see someone write gummint/guvmint or the like, it usually indicates that they don't trust any authority. Sometimes that's good, sometimes it's not. Let me ask you this - Do you build to code or do you ignore it?
BTW, before you knock something and label it, do yourself a favor and know what you're talking about first. The NFPA is not a branch of the government.
"The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is an international nonprofit organization that was established in 1896. The companys mission is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education."

Thanks! ;)
R
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You misunderstood. I was dumbfounded that you would even bring into question their authority. It has nothing to do with me referencing them. It would be like you saying, "What the hell does the ICC know about codes?"

The NFPA did state it in their recommendation. You choose to ignore the authority because you have issues with authority.

The one with the joke attempts and nonsense?
R
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RicodJour wrote:

Ten years is an exceptional lifespan for consumer electronics. A smoke detector or any other electronic device CAN be produced that would last for decades powered on but you couldn't afford it. The problem has to do with the electrolytic capacitors which will dry out and cease to work or short out the device. Military/aerospace spec electronic components could be used to build your lifetime smoke detector but those parts are very expensive.
TDD
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The Daring Dufas wrote:

Hi, Rather than cap. real issue is sensor getting sluggish with cloudy lens, etc. Test button actually tests beeper. Real test is with smoke or heat. I have mixture of detectors smoke sensing and flame/heat sensing ones. Some detectors starts beeping when it is no longer good. Defferent bep from low battery. Ever watched commercial guys doing annual check up of detectors. Do they push test button? No. All my life I spent time with mil-spec. stuffs.
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I trip the one marked "smoke detectors". If your breakers are not marked, spend some time doing so on all of them. My detectors have a red LED that goes off when the power goes off so it should be easy enough to find going breaker by breaker while someone watches. If yours do not, hook up a tester very carefully. .
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If they have an indicator light on them, you can tell by it. Don't expect them to be on a dedicated circuit breaker, or necessarily all on the same circuit
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wrote:

Thanks. To all
--
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and the phones don\'t ring at all.
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Check for battery backup (remove battery). Or you may be all day flipping breakers, and not find one that darkens the indicator.
--
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