• Last Updated:
  • Jan 4th, 2006 7:02 pm
Sr. Member
Aug 11, 2004
605 posts
1 upvote

Smoke alarms

I heard that all homes in 2006 will be required to have smoke detectors/alarms. Can anyone recommend some good ones and the features they have - I checked ones at [rfdlink=/forums/autolink/redirectpage.php?linkid=24]Canadian Tire[/rfdlink] and they seem to range from 19.99 to 29.99. Prefer a battery operated one if possible.
7 replies
Deal Expert
Oct 20, 2001
18709 posts
Just FYI...

http://www.ofm.gov.on.ca/english/Public ... 005-35.asp
The Fire Code currently requires that smoke alarms be installed near all sleeping areas in a home. Ontario Regulation 650/05, which was filed on December 12, 2005, amends the Fire Code by adding the requirement that, effective March 1, 2006, smoke alarms must also be installed on each storey of a dwelling unit that does not contain a sleeping area.
[rfdlink=/forums/autolink/redirectpage.php?linkid=24]Canadian Tire[/rfdlink] has a good selection and decent prices. If you want one with all the features, get the Kidde Photo/Ion Smoke Alarm for $35.

Some info from http://www.cityofclovis.org/artman/publ ... _197.shtml
Not all fires are the same. There are two kinds of smoke alarm technologies in common use: Ionization and Photo-electronic, that detect two different types of fire.

Ionization Smoke Alarms: Ionization smoke alarms monitor 'ions,' or electrically charged particles in the air. Air molecules in a sample chamber of ionization smoke alarms, are 'ionized' by a radioactive source. This allows a small electrical current flow. Smoke particles entering the sensing chamber change the electrical balance of the air. The greater the amount of smoke, the higher the electrical imbalance. When combustion particles enter the smoke alarm, they obstruct the flow of the current. An alarm is pre-programmed to sound when the current gets too low.

Ionization smoke alarms respond first to fast flaming fires. A flaming fire devours combustibles extremely fast, spreads rapidly and generates considerable heat with little smoke.

Ionization alarms are best suited for rooms, which contain highly combustible material. These types of material include:

1. Cooking fat/grease 2. Flammable liquids 3. Newspaper 4. Paint 5. Cleaning solutions

Smoke alarms with ionization technology are the most popular types sold in the United States.

Photo-electronic Smoke Alarms: Photo-electronic alarms contain a light emitting diode (LED), which is adjusted to direct a narrow infrared light across the unit's detection chamber. When smoke particles enter this chamber they interfere with the beam and scatter the light. A strategically placed photodiode monitors the amount of light scattered within the chamber. When a pre-set level of light strikes the photodiode, the alarm is activated.

Photo-electronic smoke alarms respond first to slow smoldering fires. A smoldering fire generates large amounts of thick, black smoke with little heat and may smolder for hours before bursting into flames.

Photo-electronic models are best suited for living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens. This is because these rooms often contain large pieces of furniture, such as sofas, chairs, mattresses, counter tops, etc. which will burn slowly and create more smoldering smoke than flames. Photo-electronic smoke alarms are also less prone to nuisance alarms in the kitchen area than ionization smoke alarms.

The use of both ionization and photo-electronic smoke alarms will provide a home with maximum protection and an ample warning in the event of a fire.
The "hush button" is also a handy feature, for saving your ears when the false alarms occur.
Sr. Member
Aug 11, 2004
605 posts
1 upvote
Thanks for the excellent information!!
Uh- not to be too much of a jerk about it but does anyone know of any deals on these things (I know - it's not something we should necessarily be looking for a deal for but if we have to buy 4-5 of these it can add up :D )
Deal Addict
Aug 16, 2005
1867 posts
home depot mainly carries smoke/CO detectors from the kidde product line. They offer many different options:

-sensor: photo and/or ionization, carbonmono/smoke combos
-power: battery backup, plug in, direct wire, or combos of some
-optional hush button

They have like 20+ different models available...and are a bit on the pricy side. If u need a few good quality ones, try costco. Not much in terms of selection, but I recall seeing a 2pack kidde for around $20.

If u just want the cheapest possible detector, I believe CT, walmart and homedepot has a very basic battery powered model for around $6-7
Sr. Member
Nov 24, 2005
697 posts
Southwestern Ontario
Some local fire departments have alarms for sale at good prices. Also check with your insurance company, ours offers alarms and fire extinquishers for sale.(then get a discount on your policy) Even if you only buy one per month, get good ones; most have a 10 year life span.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 1, 2005
1858 posts
I have attended fire training seminars in the past. The fire officials told our class that the cheapo $8 alarms from CT are just as good as the $30 ones. There are standards that all alarms must meet.
October is fire safety month, alarms generally go on sale then. Guess you will have to suck it up and spend a few more dollars now.... That shouldn't wait till October.

In regards to the lifespan. Generally 10 yrs, but I usually test it every 6 months. I light an incense stick and let a little smoke drift into the sensor. It the alarm doesn't go off within a second or so I replace it.

Note: Carbon Monoxide detectors are only good for 5 yrs.