They sell 90db (the point at which hearing is damaged) smoke alarms
with a strobe light so you can't say there are no solutions available.
If you can't hear a 90db horn in your bedroom 100db probably won't
I argued against the "NEVER" under any circumstances not the specific.
Saying there are always solutions available is like the guy arguing that
the patent office should have been closed because everything had already
NFPA 72. I don't have the reference in front of me, but it states that no
modifications are to be done to life-safety devices.
Smoke detectors and all other parts of a fire alarm go through a rigorous
testing by UL to get listed. Once you tamper with one, it's no longer the
same device - hence not to code.
I'm not saying a DIY'er with a good handle on electronics can not make it
work. But for practical purposes, it's just not a good idea. You may end up
with a device that does not do it's job, and when lives are at stake.... Well,
you get the picture.
Yeah, and in specific circumstances one may end up w/ a device that
serves the purpose better than the original would have...well, you get
the picture... :)
Again, I'm not saying it's a wily-nily sorta' thing and I'd certainly
not recommend futzin' around w/ grandpa's auxiliary breathing
Agreed. Even when I thought my only choice was to hook a louder, lower
frequency sounder to an existing alarm, I was thinking of coupling it with
an audio sensor of some kind triggering a relay when it "heard" the alarm
sound. Since it was his only smoke detector in the room, I wanted to make
sure there was no alteration of the circuit. It's possible to couple the
smoke alarm's output via a mic or in induction pickup like an old suction
cup telephone tap.
The problem I ran into is that I knew that the unit he needed was $300 and
way over budget for a guy who got shown the door at a company he/we helped
build when he got sick.
If the choice was a hacked smoke detector he could actually hear, v. one
that was code approved that he couldn't hear, I would hack. There were some
other options, though, like finding a smoke that closed dry contacts when it
sounded and then hooking a louder sounder to that one.
I am not sure what to do now that I've found out he sits in his chair with
full cup noise-canceling headphones on, often falling asleep. It's time to
step up to a chair shaker. Now here's the "moral" issue. He's already got
two smoke detectors now. One he can actually hear with his high frequency
hearing loss. While it's not code, buying a third detector and somehow
connecting it to a relay to control a bedshaker would mean he was already
overprotected. Since he at least meets minimum standards with two, is
hacking a third to control something I could attach to his chair that would
vibrate it that much of a sin? I've see the little off-center load motors
they use to make cellphones vibrate, so there's got to be some "home
brewable" or even reasonably priced commercial unit out there.
The real problem is that he definitely won't spend the money for any of the
horribly overpriced systems sold commercially. I understand that they mark
that stuff up tremendously to avoid getting whittled to nothing by insurance
reimbursements, but to him it's real money.
The best technical solution may be a wireless mike with a telephone pickup
placed on the alarm. When it sounds, it will be transmitted via the pickup
to the wireless mike receiver. Then, I can use Y-cables to combine the
signal from the alarm into the headphone feed from his stereo/TV console. I
could use a microphone with a very high squelch level to filter out any
noise except the detector. Hmmm. I guess the first thing to do is
research bed shaker smoke alarms. The fun never stops.
Thanks for your input, Mr. Morgan.
Another option is to use an off-the shelf detector with auxiliary contacts
built-in. They are far for common and much less expensive than the unit you're
mentioning. You can then trigger any device you want (UL listed for fire or
not) to make the appropriate signal tone.
The way I read the site is if you have smoke alarms and CO detectors
wired together to common-alarm, one relay module will alarm only for the
smoke detectors and one relay will alarm only for CO detectors.
Some other smoke alarm manufacturers must have similar relays.
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