Suggestions on decent smoke detectors

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Gladorn, Oct 2, 2018.

  1. Gladorn

    Gladorn

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    I'm getting really frustrated with my smoke detectors. Kidde detectors have gone from being great to busting in two years of ownership. I can't have them in my house if they are going off randomly at 3am in the morning for no reason.

    I can understand if it is an environmental issue that causes the problem. (My wife won't turn on the exhaust fan over the stove so every time the downstairs smoke detector goes off, I've got the kids trained to yell "dinners ready!") But random beeping and alarms just won't do.

    I'm about to pick up some more detectors for the house. (Two have failed at the same time.) Any suggestions as to a brand that has some quality left in it?
     
  2. harlenm

    harlenm Millennium Member

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    Do you have any Nest products? If so, get a Nest Protect

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
     
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  3. Wyoming

    Wyoming

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    Is your house hard wired for smoke alarms? By that I mean if one goes off they all go off.

    Smoke detectors do need to replaced after ten years. Smoke kills but so does carbon monoxide. I replaced all of our smoke detectors with Kidde combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarm that I bought from Home Depot website. They give a quantity discount. We have had no problems with them in the two years plus since installed.
     
  4. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    Outrageously expensive. But I actually was impressed by master guard units. They used to do dinners, lecture, come to home, sell, install.....

    The guy was willing to deal on multiple units, some just in box as installed at my sisters.

    Recently I had a house fire. They warned me, used fire extinguisher... Almost no damage. So guess they were worth it.
    I also have first alert, kiddi... Some in garage (if I wasn't lazy I would hard wire that into unit in house). Some smoke, some heat (depending on location) most combo. New batteries yearly. (Except two with ten yr battery ).
    Test with smoke before battery replacement (hearing protection recommended). Toss failures.
     
  5. LostinTexas

    LostinTexas Exploring Alternate Routes

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  6. Gladorn

    Gladorn

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    The house isn't hard wired for detectors. I've got no Nest products... but I noticed that Costco had two Nest alarms for $199. Not sure if I need anything else, but the system is intriguing.

    I've got a Kidde ten year smoke detector that is fruiting out after two years... I'm supposed to be able to get a refund but that's not working out too well. My FirstAlert that I bought is fruiting out after three years. And I'm replacing my alarms every two or three years... I'm honestly wondering if it's just my house (70 years old) or if I'm just getting the stuff made under budget overseas.
     
  7. bgirls

    bgirls

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    Thanks for the reminder, approaching 10 years here for mine.
     
  8. DukeNukem

    DukeNukem

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    I have some 2010 vintage first alerts that are still going strong.
     
  9. GlocknSpiehl

    GlocknSpiehl NRA Life Member

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    My Protection1 system came with two detectors connected to the monitoring system (they are battery powered and will work even if the power is off).

    Since I believe in belt and suspenders, I then put battery powered First Alert detectors in each bedroom over the door that have an alarm and a light. I also put a CO detector in the Master BR. I didn’t buy the Walmart $5 detectors, I’m not betting my life on those.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  10. 686Owner

    686Owner NRA Life Member

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    I feel like something is wrong. Ive never had one go off for no reason. I had 5 in my last house. Had them for 10 years and replaced them about a year before we moved. Have had 8 in my current house for a year and a half. I replaced them when we moved in.
     
  11. bubbatime

    bubbatime

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    I replaced all 6 of mine with those 10 year lithium battery only models. That was a huge mistake. By 10 year battery, they must mean 18 months, because all of them were beeping and dead within 2 years. I replaced them with hard wired BRK first alert detectors and they have been excellent so far. Hard wired, with I believe AA battery backup. Change your smoke detectors every 10 years, and the backup batteries once a year. I put a reminder on my calendar when to change the batteries.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2018
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  12. Tvov

    Tvov

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    Kidde and First Alert are the "Budweiser" of smoke detectors - relatively inexpensive and they do work. I wouldn't buy anything less expensive... hard to believe there are any that cost less, but I've seen some no-name less expensive ones that just looked incredibly cheap.

    If they are failing every two or three years, that really is not that bad. The "10 year" thing is, as with most stuff, under ideal conditions. It is better to replace smoke detectors regularly.

    In general, the more expensive detectors will last longer.

    Where are you placing them? You actually shouldn't put a smoke detector in the kitchen, as they go off (as they should if they are working correctly) every time something cooking gets smoky. You want to put them in the next room or down the hall.

    Also, don't put one in the bathroom or right outside the bathroom door. Steam from a shower can set them off.

    Try to place detectors where there is not a "normal" amount of smoke, dust or steam in the area.

    Insects - for some reason spiders like to make nests in detectors. Usually you can vacuum them out, but if the webbing is really all over it, yes, you should replace it.

    Do you use a wood stove? Those are dusty - dust will either make a smoke detector go off, or will clog it and make it not detect correctly. Usually if a detector is dirty or the battery is dying, it will do the slow beep, telling you something is wrong. You can try to vacuum or blowout a dirty detector, but you should just replace it.

    Batteries - general rule of thumb is to replace batteries every year. Those long life lithium something batteries sound like a great idea, but as you are finding out they don't live up to the hype. Get a standard detector with regular batteries and just replace them every year if the lithium ones are not working for you.

    I don't know how much this post helps you, but hopefully it gives you some things to think about.
     
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  13. Lowcountry_Glocker

    Lowcountry_Glocker

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    following, closing on the 18th, first house and it needs them.
     
  14. Gladorn

    Gladorn

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    Yeah, my "10 year" alarm fruited out. Apparently you can get a free replacement but every time I try I get easily distracted... More work than I'm willing to put into it so it seems.

    I was hoping to find a better smoke detector... But for the battery style the Kidde and First Alert are all I ever see. I don't want a hard wired system because that is more work than it's worth. My house is old and the wiring is terrible. Built in the 50's, all of the grounding is after the fact. The previous owner tried to do some updating but a lot of the work is actually more dangerous than the original wiring. I've had some areas of the house properly grounded, but the cost of the work is a bit too much. (For some reason electrical work does not click in my brain so I can't do more than replace a light switch or an outlet.)

    If I could find a better, "more expensive" detector then I'll go for it. But Home Depot and Lowes and all the other local hard ware stores all carry the same brands.
     
  15. spork

    spork Caffeinator

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    I am using the Nest detectors. They communicate with each other and send notifications to smart devices that let you know if there is a problem while you are away.
     
  16. jimcorbin

    jimcorbin

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    LISTEN TO THIS GUY. HE KNOWS WHAT HE'S TALKING ABOUT.
     
  17. 9jeeps

    9jeeps rip "Bud"

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    I do not do well on ladders these days. My smokers are on tops of book shelves and where they are easily reached.... AND have been tested by those who cook here and create a test atmosphere. We usually get the 10 dollar jobbies but keep tested batteries in them.

    So far so good.... and we test them twice a year because they are easy to reach and are not screwed into a high ceiling. Where ladders and chairs are required.
     
  18. gTWO

    gTWO

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    They are NOT "10 years of heavy use" batteries.

    They ARE 10 years of "storage and will still work" batteries.
     
  19. G26-Has-my-6

    G26-Has-my-6

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    When you say "failed" it means the battery needs to be changed or the smoke detector just doesn't work anymore even with fresh batteries?
     
  20. BL33D 4 M3

    BL33D 4 M3

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    Replaced all my hardwired units with the 10 year battery First Alerts. One of them started giving false alarms after a few months. Replaced with a Kidde after internet research suggested common complaint with the First Alert.

    Related question-although it may be a local thing, is there commonly a code requirement to use the hardwired units. In other words, if I want to sell my house will the inspection require that I return to hardwired smoke detectors?
     
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