Preferred brands to not die - AKA: Gas, CO, and smoke alarms

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Preferred brands to not die - AKA: Gas, CO, and smoke alarms

Postby Squigie » Sat Aug 17, 2019 4:08 pm

What brands of alarms have you fine peoples found to be best?
I'm looking for propane, carbon monoxide (CO), and smoke.

I've dealt with a lot of false alarms with the CO and smoke alarms in my trailer (and basement); and many reviews online indicate that modern propane and CO alarms suffer from the same issues. ...As well as claiming extremely short lifespan (a year or less) to be common with some brands.

What works for you?
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Re: Preferred brands to not die - AKA: Gas, CO, and smoke al

Postby Bill n Robi » Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:20 am

Look for the new styles with 10 year batteries installed - throw away after. Costco had a two pack of the First alert combo units on sale a month ago. Removed the 9v units from the TD and installed one.

No more hearing a beep in the middle of the night and no spare battery laying around.
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Re: Preferred brands to not die - AKA: Gas, CO, and smoke al

Postby Shadow Catcher » Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:12 pm

Had a problem with the 10 year, there was no way to shut it off and turn it back on. Cooking would set it off.
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Re: Preferred brands to not die - AKA: Gas, CO, and smoke al

Postby Squigie » Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:24 pm

I've had the same issue with the Costco (First Alert) smoke detectors with permanent batteries. They make life easy. But... Even a bag of campfire-exposed clothing from a camping trip will set them off when I get home. They're also extremely sensitive to rapid increases in humidity. I can't imagine how annoying they might be when actually in a campsite.

Not so fun story about those smoke detectors:
I spent 9 days hunting elk, 300 miles from home, about 4 years ago. I made the long drive home with the passenger seat of the truck piled to the top of the dash, 4-wheeler in the bed of the truck, the tent trailer loaded to the gills, and rain and wind pounding me the whole way. It should have been a 5.5 hour drive. It took me 11, not counting the 2-hour nap I took in the driver's seat at a fairly quiet truck stop.

Eventually, I finally made it onto my street at about 11 pm. I was dead-tired, but had to take care of things. I backed the trailer in, pulled coolers and important items out of the tent trailer, unloaded the 4-wheeler, pulled the Nova out of the garage, backed the truck into the garage so I could unload those valuables the next day, dropped the gun cases in front of the safes, dropped my clothes bags from the trailer in front of the washer, took a long shower, and laid down to pass out in bed.

No sooner than my head hit the pillow, did the smoke alarm in the upstairs hallway go off.
Then the one in the garage.
My wife and I were trying to figure out what was going on. We checked all over the house. I even went outside to see if there was smoke coming out of roof vents from an attic fire. There was nothing - no indication of a fire, anywhere.
The hallway smoke alarm turned off.
But then the one in the laundry room started going off, followed very shortly by the one in the basement hallway.

We were, needless to say, getting quite concerned about what was going on. But we were also very confused. My wife was considering calling the fire department, when I started taking all of the alarms down** and carrying them around to different areas to see what they would do.

We spent about 2 hours trying to figure out what was going on, smelling for smoke, looking for flames, checking the dryer, feeling walls for hot spots, checking appliances for hot electrical cords, watching the power meter, looking inside any box or tote that might have a battery-powered device, and on, and on... We couldn't find anything. But we were so worked up and paranoid that even the slightest noise or innocent smell made things even worse.

The epiphany came when I had a pile of 5 smoke alarms that I had finally gotten to shut up by taking them outside, and I set them down on the gun cases while I re-installed one in the basement hallway. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEEEEEEEEPPEEPEPEPPEPEPBEEPBEEPBPPEEPBPEEPBEPBEEP!
They ALL went nuts.

A little more testing verified how we were being tortured. It was the smoke in my clothing, the gun cases, and the truck and its contents. (And we later learned of the humidity from my long, hot shower.)

(**) I had just installed those smoke alarms a couple days before leaving for the hunting trip. So, we had not yet experienced their sensitivity.

Even with the determination that it was campfire smoke causing the problems, and fans circulating air to keep the alarms from sounding, neither of us could sleep. Even after that long, arduous trip, I stayed up all night with my wife, both of us on fire watch.
I finally slept after the sun came up, and didn't wake up until 9 pm. I was beat!

Lessons learned. New post-camping/hunting procedures adopted.

And, yes, if you turn them off, you cannot turn them back on. At least the version that I have physically breaks the circuit inside the alarm and permanently isolates the battery from the circuitry. Once turned off, they're dead.
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Re: Preferred brands to not die - AKA: Gas, CO, and smoke al

Postby tony.latham » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:33 am

It was the smoke in my clothing, the gun cases, and the truck and its contents.


Sheeeesh. That's a hunt you'll not forget. Meat or no meat.

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