house smoke alarm false warning

John Rumm wrote:

similar, but I don't have lossa outbuildings
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On 22/11/2011 23:58, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Me neither (yet - got some planned though). Got a feed to garden sockets and pond, another to garage/workshop, and one for outside lights/PIRs (+ one low current socket). The garage has its own split load in it, and that also has a feed to a shed.
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Lieutenant Scott wrote:

That's why the alarms on on a completely separate circuit.
And they beep if they lose power, for a while anyway.
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There has been some discussion here before, based on half-lives, as to whether the expiry date is absolute, or just a guideline for people who don't test them. Mine are 20 years old and still detect my burning the toast, so I suppose they're OK. They do beep when the battery is low. This is exacerbated by lower temperatures, as when the heating goes off at night. Was the "false alarm" just a slow series of low- battery beeps or a full-blown screech?
Chris
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    chrisj.doran% snipped-for-privacy@gtempaccount.com writes:

The 10 year live is because you can't clean the ionisation chamber, and sticky dirt will eventually short out the ionisation current flow, causing the alarm to go off.
Don't even think about taking the ionisation chamber apart to clean it (too risky given the radioactive source in it). Just chuck it out and buy a new one.

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On Fri, 11 Nov 2011 15:55:16 -0000,

I had one which used the same beep for both! When the battery went flat it sounded continuously. Pretty stupid really, as if you were out it would be too dead to make a noise by the time you got back.
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john east wrote:

If I may piggyback...
Since these things contain radio isotopes, may they be thrown in the dustbin, or does one need to take special care when disposing of them?
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They are designed to be binnable (even when new)
S
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On Fri, 11 Nov 2011 17:03:23 +0000, Frederick Williams wrote:

They contain a tiny (0.3 micro grams) amount of Americium 241 principally an alpha emitter. Alpha particles are big (a Helium-4 nucleus) and don't travel very far, even in air, before being absorbed. A sheet of paper will stop them.
Having said that you don't want to ingest an alpha emitter and have it lodge somewhere. It will damage tissue, in it's immediate vicinity, over a period of time.
I've not heard of special collection or disposal facilities for smoke detectors in the UK. But then I haven't been looking.
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Frederick Williams wrote:

If they came from a nuclear power station, they would need to be disposed of with men in leads suits and breathing aopparatus.
Since they don't, basically no one gives a shit.
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Actually, the Americium 241 in them does come from nuclear power stations. That's how it's made.
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Frederick Williams wrote:

They come under the WEEE rules. Class 9 or mixed, depending on your local facilities. Your local recycling centre will be able to take them.
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Just throw them in the bin unless you want the local council to spend thousands on "legally" getting rid of them.
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Well there seem to be two kinds, ones with radiation hazard stickers and ones without,both seem to give false alarms at times. I think the former can decay so they just don't work at all once the radiation reduces to the point where nothing gets ionised.
Brian
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On 12/11/2011 09:25, Brian Gaff wrote:

Yup, Optical and Ionization types typically. (you can also get heat alarms for traditionally smoky rooms)

If its using Americium 241 as a source then that has a half life of over 400 years, so probably not too much to worry about. I think ingress of crap into the detection chamber is more of a problem.
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John Rumm wrote:

yep.
anything that blocks that will cause an alarm
in our case, even a steamy bathroom..
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On Sat, 12 Nov 2011 13:35:29 -0000, The Natural Philosopher

Everything sets the pesky things of, which is why I removed them all.
Why would I want to be warned of a fire right next to me anyway? The only alarm I have now is in my indoor aviary (well the detector is, the sounder is in the house) so I know if the parrots are on fire.
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Lieutenant Scott wrote:

In my case no, only two things set them off. Falsely. fat frying and visible 'steam'.
But they don't exist in the kitchen or bathroom, so that's a matter of keeping the door closed.
I was deeply grateful they DID go off when a log rolled out of the unattended fire into the hearth...
And, as fire officer in my business years ago, and as someone who has watched his brother in law's house burn to the ground, fought by a friends who happens to be the part time fire chief, there is no way I am taking mine out, even if it did NOT invalidate my house insurance.
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On Sun, 13 Nov 2011 11:23:45 -0000, The Natural Philosopher

Keeping the door closed is a hassle.

Good reason for not having unattended fires. It's why I use gas central heating. If that wasn't here I'd get a gas tank or use electricity. Flames in your house is BAD.

Oh. House insurance? Didn't think they had such as clause.
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Surely you don't let parrots play with matches?
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