Reply To: Issues with False Smoke Alarm Activiations in new construction

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#10779
Al BastienAl Bastien
Participant

Hi Del,

I can definitely tell you two stories…

A buddy of mine is in construction and used the BRK 710BSL in his home three years ago. He told me the story of in the middle of the night having them go off and no indication of what caused it and didn’t know how to identify which one had gone into alarm. This model is already discontinued.

I just built a home two years ago and have a total of eight of the Kidde P4010ACLEDSCO-2 and P4010ACLEDSCA interconnected alarms installed. Just two and a half weeks ago, I had mine go off in the middle of the night. This model is normally green when it is normal but if you look at each one, it will blink from green to red once every 16 seconds to indicate that it has been activated. You push the test button (which sets them all into test) to clear it. It was in my 10 year old daughters room and no indication as to why.

So yes…there is something amiss with these units I suspect.

All of that being said, I railed against these units when the Ontario Building Code adopted them and after having experienced exactly what I said was going to happen first hand, I can tell you that there ought to be an allowance to remove the strobe component. 177cd in the middle of the night flashing out of sync for up to 45 seconds, while trying to find your way out of your bedroom and up the stairs to your children’s rooms where they are panicking because they are temporarily blinded by the light flashing in their dark room is absolutely ridiculous. Much more effective methods of waking those that are hearing impaired.

We did the math at one point – we took the most recent available number of fatal residential fires in Ontario (the only province that requires them BTW) x Percentage of fires that occurred between 10pm and 6am (which is why they wanted them for when people were sleeping) x Percentage that occurred where a working fire alarm was found in the home upon responding x percentage of the population that are said to be hearing impaired in Canada = 0.7 lives.

Now that is assuming that the person that we’re looking at in this formula doesn’t become a fatality for any other reason other than they didn’t hear the smoke alarm activate (smoke inhalation, trip and fall, instantaneous death due to the origin of the fire, etc.). Is that truly worth the risk to the majority of the population who are forced to put these in their homes by the building code and then maintain them for the rest of their lives under the fire code? It is going to be far more likely to cause fatalities (children hiding from the light, disorientation, etc) for residents plus the fact the suppression crew must face a potential disco in the smoke on arrival.

I’m not saying that every life doesn’t count – but that’s precisely my point – every life should be taken into account before mandating items like these.

I’m curious if any others have the same concerns.