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395 posts

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Topic # 194994 1-Apr-2016 22:30
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Tonight our ionization smoke alarm went off in my son's room with the humidifier going - it's a standard Vicks humidifier containing menthol fluid. 

 

 

 

Is the smoke alarm malfunctioning, or do we need to look at replacing the Vicks humidifier? 


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  Reply # 1524343 1-Apr-2016 22:34
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High humidity (or condensation in the device) can set off smoke alarms... I think the photoelectric ones are also susceptible.  We used to have this problem when the smoke alarm was in the stream from our heat pump unit, and with the one nearest the bathroom if someone had a long hot shower in cool weather...

 

Try moving it to a different part of the room, maybe?


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  Reply # 1524376 1-Apr-2016 23:38
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High humidity leads to mould and dust mite growth so a humidifier isn't something you want to be using often in the damp New Zealand climate.


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  Reply # 1524388 2-Apr-2016 01:33
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I would not use an ionization smoke detector anywhere. They can only pick up an open fire (most fires start as a smoldering fire, which the ionization smoke alarm will happily ignore).

 

For your safety choose a photo electric, it will alarm for open fires and smoldering fires, and will give you less false alarms than an ionization smoke alarm.

 

 





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  Reply # 1524397 2-Apr-2016 06:22
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Here is a video showing what jarledb is saying

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrOLxh8GuCU




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  Reply # 1524429 2-Apr-2016 09:19
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jarledb:

 

I would not use an ionization smoke detector anywhere. They can only pick up an open fire (most fires start as a smoldering fire, which the ionization smoke alarm will happily ignore).

 

For your safety choose a photo electric, it will alarm for open fires and smoldering fires, and will give you less false alarms than an ionization smoke alarm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks, especially in a children's bedroom that sounds like excellent advice. 




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  Reply # 1524435 2-Apr-2016 09:28
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Jase2985:

 

Here is a video showing what jarledb is saying

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrOLxh8GuCU

 

 

 

 

Jesus. That tugged at the heart strings. Getting photoelectric today! Thank you Jase2985 and jarledb! 


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  Reply # 1524570 2-Apr-2016 12:54
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jarledb:

 

I would not use an ionization smoke detector anywhere. They can only pick up an open fire (most fires start as a smoldering fire, which the ionization smoke alarm will happily ignore).

 

For your safety choose a photo electric, it will alarm for open fires and smoldering fires, and will give you less false alarms than an ionization smoke alarm.

 

 

 

 

For proper safety, have a smoke alarm and  a Heat Alarm.

 

 

 

These are tiny and have 10 year batteries. 






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  Reply # 1524588 2-Apr-2016 13:29
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good and small as they are they are $41 each if you buy a 4 pack, so not necessarily value for money


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  Reply # 1524687 2-Apr-2016 16:36
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Jase2985:

 

good and small as they are they are $41 each if you buy a 4 pack, so not necessarily value for money

 

 

No batteries to worry about and $41 is hardly expensive.






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  Reply # 1524693 2-Apr-2016 16:48
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Geektastic:

 

Jase2985:

 

good and small as they are they are $41 each if you buy a 4 pack, so not necessarily value for money

 

 

No batteries to worry about and $41 is hardly expensive.

 

 

Thats for a 4 pack remember its about $10 more for a single one, and for some $50 for a smoke alarm is expensive when they can get them for about $10 for something that does essentially the same thing


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  Reply # 1524712 2-Apr-2016 17:51
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Jase2985:

Thats for a 4 pack remember its about $10 more for a single one, and for some $50 for a smoke alarm is expensive when they can get them for about $10 for something that does essentially the same thing



I have been in the business of smoke alarms for 14 years now, trust me they are not all equal.

There are manufacturers I would stay well clear of. One is Eyston - at one instance they managed to make smoke detectors with faulty sirens. These are sold under many various labels, and have had various other problems as well.

Some of the chinese manufacturers really don't seem to care that what they are making is supposed to save lives.





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  Reply # 1526236 5-Apr-2016 11:22
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Jase2985: Thats for a 4 pack remember its about $10 more for a single one, and for some $50 for a smoke alarm is expensive when they can get them for about $10 for something that does essentially the same thing 

 

@Jase2985 : The New Zealand Fire Service recommends photoelectric smoke alarms, replacing the battery annually and replacing the whole alarm after 10 years. A quick look at two websites tells me the cheapest single photoelectric smoke alarm at Mitre 10 currently is $13.47 and an Energizer 9 volt battery is currently $8.99 at Countdown. That takes the total cost (assuming no rise in the price of batteries) over the 10 year life of the alarm to $103.37 - over 90% more than the cost of one Cavius 10-year mini alarm, as linked by @Geektastic. And, as @jarledb said, not all smoke alarms are created equal.

 

Yes, I do understand $53.30 might seem a lot for some people, but consider that the Fire Service attends over 3,500 house fires a year and about 1% of those result in a fatality, but for 80% of the fatal fires there was no working smoke alarm in the house. Surely those 28 lives would each have been worth at least $53? Please don't wait to be wiser with the benefit of hindsight - I would hate for you, your partner, your child (or anyone) to become a footnote in a report I have to write.

 

 

 

@jarledb : Are you still "in the business of smoke alarms"? If so, I have a question for a subject matter expert - would you mind if I PMed you?


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  Reply # 1526257 5-Apr-2016 11:34
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Cavius are a great product.  We have them in rental properties.

 

Ionisation in the kitchen and photoelectric elsewhere.  Tenants don't need to replace batteries and can't easily remove them.

 

We know the rental properties have working smoke alarms so are safe.

 

Three inspections later we haven't had any issues with false positives (so far).

 

I keep meaning to install some at home.

 

 





Mike

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  Reply # 1526261 5-Apr-2016 11:42
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Interesting reading.

 

 

 

OP - out of interest, what is your reasoning for running a humidifier?


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  Reply # 1526263 5-Apr-2016 11:44
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I bought this 10-year battery smoke alarm from Mitre 10 last month for $29.40:

 

http://www.mitre10.co.nz/shop/safety_security/fire_safety/warrior_10_year_photoelectric_smoke_alarm__169529/

 

 


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