Fire Alarm System - Wireless Distributed

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by velocityg4, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. velocityg4, Dec 8, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011

    velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #1
    Okay this isn't a Mac question but there are not sections for buying tips and advice for non-Apple related stuff. This seemed a better fit than community discussion.

    Anyways I'm looking to replace the smoke detectors in my house. I want smoke detectors that can transmit an alarm wirelessly to a central panel. Which can then set off all the other detectors in the house. The panel should also have a hush button to temporarily disable all alarms for a false alarm. I'm not looking for a monitoring company. I know I've seen these before but it was years ago.

    My reason for this is last night a fire started in a room with the door shut. Luckily it was at 11PM and I was still awake. So I smelled the smoke and then heard the smoke detector in time to stop it while it was still contained at the source.

    This made me realize. If everyone was asleep no one would have woken up to that detector. The ones in our rooms and hallway would not have started chirping until the fire was too large to control. Instead everything in the house would have been destroyed by the fire or water from the firemen.
     
  2. velocityg4 thread starter macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #2
    Wow 412 views so far and no one knew the answer.

    Anyways I did the searching and found out that I was looking for a "Battery Operated Interconnectable Smoke Alarm". There are many types and ones that also integrate a carbon monoxide sensor.

    It appears that Kidde and First Alert (BRK) make wireless interconnected systems. They also have hardwired versions. The Kidde uses a more traditional ionization sensor and the First Alert uses a photoelectric sensor. Unfortunately it seems neither manufacturer makes a detector that uses both. So I guess I'll do some research and find out which is the best type to use.

    Kidde 0919-9999 (Ionization)
    First Alert SA501CN (Photoelectric)
    First Alert SA501CN-3ST (Photoelectic & CO)

    On these one push of the hush button will silence all. The test button will test all. I am leaning towards the First Alert as it can also have a CO sensor added to the system. The First Alert will also tell you which room the initial alarm is coming from.

    There are also smoke detectors for Z-Wave and Zigbee systems. However they don't fill me with confidence as they have yet to meet UL requirements. So they are listed as "European" models. To be clear the First Alert and Kidde detectors are UL approved.

    If you are into home automation and want something that can integrate into your system. You can get a smoke detector with a relay output and connect it to the input of an X10 wireless door/window sensor. I'd assume the same would be true for hardwired systems, z-wave and zigbee.
     
  3. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #3
    I have the First Alert model without the CO and a big downside is that when all of the detectors alarm at once, they aren't synchronized.
    You'll have the first one go off, then the second, and so-on, and since it's a verbal alarm you'll hear the subsequent messages starting before the inital alarm has finished it's announcement.
    It's like the feedback and echo of a ballgame in your very own home:
    "Emergency, Emergency, emergency.... Fire reported, fire reported, fire reported... in the living room, living room, living room, room, room....."
    I realize that alarms are supposed to get your attention but they really don't need to be annoying to accomplish that.
     
  4. velocityg4 thread starter macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #4
    That does sound a bit annoying. But I'd rather be annoyed occasionally and not die or have the house burn down.
     

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