First Alert hardwired smoke alarm with strobe light

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    • #12730
      Martin SaumureMartin Saumure
      Participant

      Good afternoon, checking if anyone else have been having issues with this type of smoke alarms?  The issues we’ve been facing is if there is a power malfunction (failure or flicker), sometimes these alarm would fall in some sort of failure mode (solid red light  lit instead of solid green).  And they would randomly activate for no apparent reasons.  The only way they come back in “normal” mode (solid green light on) is to unplug the AC power, remove the batteries for a little while, and then re-install the batteries and re-connect to AC power.  In my opinion this encourages people to disconnect their alarms and maybe no re-install them…

    • #12731
      Kevin HesseKevin Hesse
      Participant

      I have had a similar experience with alarms that resemble that one twice in the last 8 months. I called First Alert while at the home and they had me do just what you said. I advised the homeowner that if it did it again, to call First Alert and request a replacement. The other experience was that we could not get the alarm to operate at all and recommended that the homeowner call their contractor as the house was under a year old.

    • #12732
      Robert KingRobert King
      Participant

      I am not sure if it works for First Alert alarms, but I have had success pushing the test button (in my firefighting career riding the trucks) on the Kidde alarms to ‘reset’ them instead of disconnecting power and/or removing them. Its worth a try.

    • #12755
      Cale McLeanCale McLean
      Participant
      • City: Midland
      • Department Name: Midland Fire Department

      I shot a message over to my contact at First Alert to get an answer from their engineering dept on this. I’ve had it to. Will update when I receive a response.

      Cale

    • #12761
      John WilsonJohn Wilson
      Participant
      • Department Name: Perth Fire Services

      The comparable Kidde alarms had similar issue when they first came out several years ago. Thanks to one of my property owners, it was pointed out to me that they have a very specific initialization sequence, if it’s not followed properly, nuisance alarms will happen. A couple of my local electricians further confirmed this. They had to be connected to the 120 power before activating the internal backup battery which was different than usual as most would install the batteries where it’s easy while standing on the floor rather than up the ladder.

      Might be similar issue with the First Alert ones.

    • #12779
      Cale McLeanCale McLean
      Participant
      • City: Midland
      • Department Name: Midland Fire Department

      Here is the response I received back from FA:

      The issues we’ve been facing is if there is a power malfunction (failure or flicker), sometimes these alarm would fall in some sort of failure mode (solid red light  lit instead of solid green). The lights can be reset by pushing hush button usually.  And they would randomly activate for no apparent reasons.

      – It depends on what you mean by activate – chirp or full alarm.  If it is full alarm, it is usually the result of contamination in the photo chamber.  On units we have checked with this complaint most often it is drywall dust that was likely ingested because of installation before drywall sanding was finished.  

      The only way they come back in “normal” mode (solid green light on) is to unplug the AC power, remove the batteries for a little while, and then re-install the batteries and re-connect to AC power.  In my opinion this encourages people to disconnect their alarms and maybe no re-install them…”

      We have had to educate contractors on how to properly power up upon initial activation.  This can also happen after battery replacement. MOST of the problem is improper power-up. 

       

    • #12782
      Bryan CrouchBryan Crouch
      Participant

      I agree on the education side of things for both contractors and building departments. In my time as a building inspector I regularly found smoke and CO alarms uncovered before occupancy. This would definitely result in contamination of the devices and unless cleaned out will most likely be the cause of the false activation.

      Equally, I have completed residential license inspections as a fire inspector on new homes after occupancy and found the installation bag or tape still installed. This of course increases the response time of the device.

    • #12783
      John WilsonJohn Wilson
      Participant
      • Department Name: Perth Fire Services

      Bryan, what do you mean by “residential license inspection”?  I’m both FPO and Building Inspector and have no idea what these are.

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