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post #1 of 15 Old Dec 25th, 2008, 11:37 pm Thread Starter
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nice scare about 30 minutes ago

The entire front half and upstairs smoke alarms went off at the same time. Took 4-5 minutes for them to stop on their own.

Looked for signs of smoke etc but could not find any. Weird.

Lessons learned:

1) Grandpa did not react to the noise and check to see what was happening. Will need to go over procedures with him.

2) Youngest was in bed. Did not wake up to the smoke alarm in his room.


There must be a way to shut them off without having to go to the outside panel to shut off all power. They do each have backup battery so don't know how that would play out.


Not carbon monoxide. I'm thinking possible surge?

Phew.



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post #2 of 15 Old Dec 26th, 2008, 12:43 am
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Re: nice scare about 30 minutes ago

I'm glad there wasn't a real fire danger. Also, it is very good you observed the problems now, and not during a real emergency.

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post #3 of 15 Old Dec 26th, 2008, 1:22 am
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Re: nice scare about 30 minutes ago

Happens to us quite frequently. Sometimes it is just dirt and dust building up in the units that causes the false alarm. If it happens again, try to vacuum or blow them out. Good luck.

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post #4 of 15 Old Dec 26th, 2008, 2:35 am
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Re: nice scare about 30 minutes ago

Quote:
Originally Posted by dglenn1
Happens to us quite frequently. Sometimes it is just dirt and dust building up in the units that causes the false alarm. If it happens again, try to vacuum or blow them out. Good luck.
Yep, dust or dirt fine matter will trigger the smoke detector by blocking the beams. Give them a good cleaning.

Also sounds like a good time for fire drills...

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post #5 of 15 Old Dec 26th, 2008, 4:38 am
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Re: nice scare about 30 minutes ago

Raffy, another thing is alarms may sound because of a sudden temperature climb, because they are upstairs, you may have had a temp change.

Smoke detectors work on two methods, temperature and light refraction, dust, may have caused a false alarm, and the other mentioned above.

Still check out the whole place when it alarms, just to make sure. I was going to suggest changing batteries, but sounds like it has battery backup, you might check them anyway.

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post #6 of 15 Old Dec 26th, 2008, 8:53 am
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Re: nice scare about 30 minutes ago

Another thing is that you should change them every ten years, regardless on how they are powered.
http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?c...0safety%20tips

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post #7 of 15 Old Dec 26th, 2008, 9:25 am
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Re: nice scare about 30 minutes ago

Two common but not well-known causes of false alarms are high humidity usually from an unventilated bathroom shower or cooking or a spider (or other bug) inside the sensor unit. The reason you had multiple alarms at once is that 110 volt units are normally installed in parallel so that an alarm triggers all the units.
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post #8 of 15 Old Dec 26th, 2008, 1:25 pm Thread Starter
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Re: nice scare about 30 minutes ago

Thanks all.

I went to the manufacturer's website and read the FAQ. You all hit the nail on the head as far as possible causes.

My take is one of the following:

1) bug/insect

2) high humidity form daughter taking a shower just prior to the alarm going off.

I'll have to verify #2 and see if the timing is correct.

The alarms are interconnected and that's why all of them sounded.



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post #9 of 15 Old Dec 26th, 2008, 7:40 pm
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Re: nice scare about 30 minutes ago

Just maybe SPRINKLERS might be better ...... HEY !! it's raining in the house.

That I think may do a better job of getting their attention ?

Glad everyone is OK Raffy ..... Happy Post Christmas and Happy New Year !!

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post #10 of 15 Old Dec 26th, 2008, 8:43 pm Thread Starter
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Re: nice scare about 30 minutes ago

Changed all the batteriesabout an hour ago. Cleaned all the sensors too.

Scott:

Did your alarm at the store go off on Monday around noon? I saw a Security car parked infront parallel to the curb.



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post #11 of 15 Old Dec 26th, 2008, 8:45 pm Thread Starter
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Re: nice scare about 30 minutes ago

ooops!


Merry Christmas to you, Dawn and the family.

Raffy



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post #12 of 15 Old Dec 26th, 2008, 9:02 pm
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Re: nice scare about 30 minutes ago

Quote:
Originally Posted by motorhead
Just maybe SPRINKLERS might be better ...... HEY !! it's raining in the house.

That I think may do a better job of getting their attention ?

Glad everyone is OK Raffy ..... Happy Post Christmas and Happy New Year !!
Scott,
My daughter and her family live in a relatively new Townhouse in a burb of DC in Northern VA. Local codes require sprinklers.

Wondered if insurance would pay for the damage if they went off for any reason other than a real fire. Only problem is that they are temperature fused and the smoke would probably get them before the water poured down. That part of the code addresses property damage, the smoke alarms are life safety devices.

Raffy,
Glad you found the source. I've set off a couple in hotels when I used to wear suits on business trips and they didn't provide irons in the rooms. Thought the steam would get the wrinkles. Got a couple of calls from the front desk to check on the shower!!!

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post #13 of 15 Old Dec 26th, 2008, 10:32 pm
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Re: nice scare about 30 minutes ago

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaffyK
Scott:

Did your alarm at the store go off on Monday around noon? I saw a Security car parked infront parallel to the curb.
All was well ? .... No clue on why they were hanging around ?

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post #14 of 15 Old Dec 27th, 2008, 12:47 am Thread Starter
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Re: nice scare about 30 minutes ago

Seemed to be. i went by again on my return to downtown and the car was gone. just found it odd the way they had parked taking two+ spaces by being parallel to the cur and 3-4' away rather than in the marked spots.



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post #15 of 15 Old Dec 31st, 2008, 2:17 pm
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Re: nice scare about 30 minutes ago

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrevelino
Another thing is that you should change them every ten years, regardless on how they are powered.
http://www.nfpa.org/itemDetail.asp?c...0safety%20tips
EXACTLY---happened to us just 2 weeks ago. They kept going off intermittently and finally I call the local fire station (non-emergency #). They said the same thing. I check the face of the alarm and it said, "Replace by 2005". The house was built in 1994. Apparently the small amount of uranium, or whatever that detects the smoke, heat, etc. wears out. Only cost $55 to replace all three. Silence again.
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