Andrew Patterson (qidane) wrote,
Andrew Patterson

False Alarms

Last night I installed two new smoke detectors and re-installed my original heat detector. The three original
alarms had been removed the day of the roman feast after the kept trying to go off. Anyone who has been round at my
house will know that these things have been the bane of my life every time I tried to cook.

All three alarms are interlinked so when one goes off all three sound. This is a good system and one I would
recommend, the problem was the smoke detector in the hall would keep going off every time I tried to cook. It did
not matter if there was any actual smoke, just heating any oil would do it. I should at this point say a big thank
you to all the people who have stood at the bottom of my stairs in the past with a tea-towel, wafting air at the
thing to make it shut up.

After all three had been taken down I was able to look at the back and get the make and model number so I did a bit
of hunting on the web to find out about them. It turns out that what I had in the hall was an ionisation smoke
detector. These are the one with the tiny radioactive source in them that are real good at detecting fast flaming
fires and grease fires. They are not recommended for instillation within 30 feet of any cooking equipment, mine is
about 8 feet away. The other type of smoke detector is a photo-optical detector. This used an infra-red beam to
look for much larger smoke particles, visible smoke. A photo-optical is much better at detecting smouldering fires.
They are recommended for instillation in areas where there is a problem with nuisance alarms. It is best to have

Now I have a photo-optical detector in the hall outside the kitchen and a new ionisation detector on the landing.
They should be less prone to the false alarms and both have a Hush button that will give me 7 mins of peace if they
do go off.

It cost about £45 and 4 hours work. And to think I put up with the old ones for 5 years.
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