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What kind of detectors do you need? Smoke/CO

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[OP]
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What kind of detectors do you need? Smoke/CO

The buzzer on my fire alarm on the main floor stopped working. It's powered by AC current. I also have some First Alert CO battery/AC alarms (not sure if they are working, but they are about 5 years old now)

Thinking of taking this time to replace both of these alarms at once.

Any recommendations? Is Smoke+CO good enough? or should I get other alarms as-well? We don't have natural gas appliances in the house besides the furnace, but I would like to get a natural gas stove at some point.
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CO is good if you have combustion in the house, but better if the detector is near the source.

I just installed 4 detectors that date from before 2012 (never used them, some still in packaging) but don;t have any combustion in the house other than the gas stove and we always run a range hood.
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PerformingAzura wrote: The buzzer on my fire alarm on the main floor stopped working. It's powered by AC current. I also have some First Alert CO battery/AC alarms (not sure if they are working, but they are about 5 years old now)

Thinking of taking this time to replace both of these alarms at once.

Any recommendations? Is Smoke+CO good enough? or should I get other alarms as-well? We don't have natural gas appliances in the house besides the furnace, but I would like to get a natural gas stove at some point.
Nest Protect

I have three that are wired (one on each floor ... 2nd floor common area ... main floor foyer ... basement by the furnace) ... and two wireless (one in the basement rec area ... one in the living room)
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Fire and CO alarms are what is required by law (depending on location).
How many and placement you can look into in your location.

Natural gas has an odour added to it so if it is leaking you will know. Unless you have an impaired sense of smell.
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This isn't a question that's easy to answer without more information. Both the fire code and building code apply depending on where you live. So here's some advice that will keep you alive and complaint with the laws.

You can never downgrade what was installed in your house when it was built. So if a detector stops working, it must be replaced with the same type (such as wired, strobes, interconnected, etc.) If your house came with detectors in the rooms, you cannot remove them and only have detectors in the hallway. Whatever was in the house when it was built cannot be downgraded.

Smoke detectors need to be installed on every level of the home, including the basement. Install smoke detectors outside of all sleeping areas, if not in all bedrooms as well (the law may require this depending on your area and age of home).

If you have any fuel burning appliances or an attached garage, you must have a carbon monoxide detector as well. Put one on every level and ensure there is one outside of every sleeping area.

There's no need for any other type of alarm. If you have a natural gas leak, you'll smell it. They add a chemical to it that stinks to high hell
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jdmfishingonly wrote:
Nest Protect

I have three that are wired (one on each floor ... 2nd floor common area ... main floor foyer ... basement by the furnace) ... and two wireless (one in the basement rec area ... one in the living room)
Despite suffering from a terminal case of techno-lust I've never been a fan of IOT devices. If this went on sale under 50$ and was open source I would consider it, but I doubt this will tick either box.

Shaner wrote:

You can never downgrade what was installed in your house when it was built. So if a detector stops working, it must be replaced with the same type (such as wired, strobes, interconnected, etc.) If your house came with detectors in the rooms, you cannot remove them and only have detectors in the hallway. Whatever was in the house when it was built cannot be downgraded.

If you have any fuel burning appliances or an attached garage, you must have a carbon monoxide detector as well. Put one on every level and ensure there is one outside of every sleeping area.
Thanks
I was not aware of many of these rules. I was going to replace the smoker detectors that came with the house with battery powered ones. Will need to take a multimeter to see what the current smoke detectors are running off.

The carbon monoxide sensors were my addition. Currently on each level of the house, but they aren't near any sources.

I guess I'll replace each of the Smoke alarms that came with the house with wired Smoke+CO and then move the existing Co sensors to move appropriate locations
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Oct 19, 2020
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Though not required by code, you should get alarms with a photo-electric sensor outside (and in if u choose) the bedrooms.

Ionization does not respond fast enough to smoldering fires, there are countless videos of tests on youtube showing this.
Ionization alarms are also prone to false trips from cooking.

What ionization alarms are good for is detecting fast flaming fires, but this type of fire is unlikely to start at night.

Nest protect looks pricey, considering a smoke/co combo alarm is $50 to $65 and a basic photo-electric, around $30.
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It's good to have CO and smoke on all levels (even if it's not bylaw), wired with battery backup if possible. Also good to have both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms on sleeping level, if not in each bedroom.

If you have to have a separate CO alarm, I'd suggest the ones that plug into an outlet and has battery back-up (most if not all do).

As mentioned before, always replace with whatever was there before (wired with wired), but there is nothing wrong with upgrading if at all possible.

Next thing I'm considering is buying a fire ladder in case a fire breaks out on the main and can't escape except via the second floor balcony or window.
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PerformingAzura wrote: Despite suffering from a terminal case of techno-lust I've never been a fan of IOT devices. If this went on sale under 50$ and was open source I would consider it, but I doubt this will tick either box.



Thanks
I was not aware of many of these rules. I was going to replace the smoker detectors that came with the house with battery powered ones. Will need to take a multimeter to see what the current smoke detectors are running off.

The carbon monoxide sensors were my addition. Currently on each level of the house, but they aren't near any sources.

I guess I'll replace each of the Smoke alarms that came with the house with wired Smoke+CO and then move the existing Co sensors to move appropriate locations
CO detectors don't need to be near the source. CO will spread throughout the house and trip the detector wherever it is.
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Considering the price difference is only 20$, I'm thinking of buying 3 of the first one.

Photoelectric + CO alarm with battery back up (65$ ea) : https://www.lowes.ca/product/combinatio ... -up-888262
Photoelectric + Ionization Dual Smoke Detector with battery Back-Up (44$): https://www.lowes.ca/product/smoke-dete ... up-2489656

Ionization with battery backup: (17$ ea): https://www.lowes.ca/product/smoke-dete ... up-2489643
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PerformingAzura wrote: Considering the price difference is only 20$, I'm thinking of buying 3 of the first one.

Photoelectric + CO alarm with battery back up (65$ ea) : https://www.lowes.ca/product/combinatio ... -up-888262
Photoelectric + Ionization Dual Smoke Detector with battery Back-Up (44$): https://www.lowes.ca/product/smoke-dete ... up-2489656

Ionization with battery backup: (17$ ea): https://www.lowes.ca/product/smoke-dete ... up-2489643
I use the first and last one on your list.

But OP, you said your detector alarms are 5yrs old, they should still be working. Detectors need to be replaced every 7-10yrs. The older CO ones are 7yrs, but I believe the new ones have now been extended to 10yrs so that they line up with a standard 10yrs on the smoke alarms. You'd have to check on your devices, but at 5yrs, they should still be good.

Lowes always puts these on sale for 50% a few times a year. You probably just missed the last one. If yours are still working, I'd hold off until the next sale. If one one of them is defective, just replace that one. Whatever you decide, stay within the same family of products to prevent any miscommunication between them if they are interconnected. They'd probably still work if different manufacturers but you never know.
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[OP]
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chimaican wrote: I use the first and last one on your list.

But OP, you said your detector alarms are 5yrs old, they should still be working. Detectors need to be replaced every 7-10yrs. The older CO ones are 7yrs, but I believe the new ones have now been extended to 10yrs so that they line up with a standard 10yrs on the smoke alarms. You'd have to check on your devices, but at 5yrs, they should still be good.

Lowes always puts these on sale for 50% a few times a year. You probably just missed the last one. If yours are still working, I'd hold off until the next sale. If one one of them is defective, just replace that one. Whatever you decide, stay within the same family of products to prevent any miscommunication between them if they are interconnected. They'd probably still work if different manufacturers but you never know.
This the CO sensor I have: https://www.firstalert.ca/product/dual- ... l-display/
Apparently it has an "end-of-life warning signals when the CO detector needs replacing"
So I guess it doesn't need replacing yet.

I will take your advice and just change the broken one.

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