house smoke alarm false warning

Have an ordinary house smoke alarm. It's about twenty years old and it has recently gone off in the middle of the night for two days running and for no apparent reason.
I've heard that it might need a vacuum cleaner applied to it. Is there likely any truth in that, or is there anything else i might usefully do?
Or does it probably mean that I have to replace it?
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On 11/11/2011 15:36, john east wrote:

Assuming it is an ionisation style detector, then just throw it away and install a new one.
These things have a maximum useful life of around 10 years. (modern alarms are marked with an expiry date)

Definitely. Your life may depend on it.
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On Fri, 11 Nov 2011 15:42:22 -0000, John Rumm

Too true - not worth the, umm, candle.
Given the long life batteries - that is, no cost or effort replacing every so often - you might even save some money.
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Most of the time the Fire service will probably fit you one for nothing if you ask for a free fire inspection. I guess this makes sense from their point of view as a smoke alarm saves lives and gives early warnings. Bit worried though to note that the ones they fit are merely stuck somewhere with sticky pads, but I was told this was fine as by the time the sticky failed due to heating, you would probably have been dead anyway. Brian
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Hmph, I bought some and the duracell battery lasted for a month. I tried lithium super long lasting ones and they lasted 4 months.
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On 13/11/2011 10:32, Lieutenant Scott wrote:

Something wrong with the alarm then...
Personally I use mains powered interlinked ones, saves worrying about batteries etc.
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wrote:

And if it's an electrical fire that blew a fuse?
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On 13/11/2011 13:14, Lieutenant Scott wrote:

They have internal rechargeables (which is a building regs requirement if they are powered from a dedicated circuit).
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wrote:

Rechargeables have a lifetime too.
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On 13/11/2011 13:43, Lieutenant Scott wrote:

Indeed - but so do smoke alarms, so as long as the former outlives the latter, there is no problem.
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John Rumm wrote:

It's the other way around. A dedicated circuit needs no battery back up.
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On 13/11/2011 14:21, ARWadsworth wrote:

Yup sorry, my bad, missing a "not" there....
Building regs Approved doc B1 sections 1.17 - 1.18 for anyone interested.
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John Rumm wrote:

But only a fool would fit smokes without battery backup regardless of the dedicated circuit rules:-)
I still prefer to put the smokes on a lighting circuit, and with the 17th edition rules this would actually be powered by a RCBO not a RCD side of the CU.
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wrote:

I thought it sounded a little silly, even for building regulations.
I know of a tosser that declared a building unsafe because there was 1 FOOT too far to walk to the nearest fire exit.
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On Sun, 13 Nov 2011 13:14:49 -0000, Lieutenant Scott wrote:

ours are mains powered interlinked with battery backup on their own circuit (non rcd side of split consumer unit) so even if the mains fuse/mcb for the smoke detector circui goes there is still some cover but I cant remember how long for.
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Lieutenant Scott wrote:

It was a pretty standard setup before the 17th edition came out.
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wrote:

Are we still talking domestic installations?
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Lieutenant Scott wrote:

Yes.
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wrote:

Jesus christ. That sounds more like something in a commercial building. Do you also have an air raid shelter?
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On 13/11/2011 13:44, Ghostrecon wrote:

Usually several months IME.
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