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#154173 07/08/04 07:22 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 613
Big one family dwelling with 12 (maxium allowed on one zone) inter-connected hard wired (120 volt) with battery back-up located in the dwelling and approved by the local authorities...sooo now the owners purchasing the property are unable to get home owners insurance on the dwelling unless there is a "monitered" fire alarm system installed in the dwelling! Apparently as of Janruary 1st 2004 in MASSACHUSETTS the insurance industry has a new rule applying to homes and contents worth more than a million dollars to have a monitered fire alarm system.Any input on this???

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#154174 07/08/04 07:30 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 67
penalizing the rich yet again!wish i was so lucky.i would gladly cooperate .the insurance companies can and do call their own shots so whats the problem?i guess if you are rich enough you can self -insure and not be blackmailed by their demands. [Linked Image]

#154175 07/08/04 07:57 PM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 613
My builder is the one who will be eating the tab for this one and he is not to happy about it...he is under contract to deliver a product that is insurable.The house is 95% finished and it is not very snakeable at this point.
Any help solving this???We have to deliver the home in 2 weeks:<(

#154176 07/08/04 11:05 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,392
The individual the runs Countryside Lock and Alarm in Ludlow Vt once told me that interconnected smokes could have the grounding conductor serve as a signaling entity towards a monitored system, allbeit not quite UL appropo

but in reality, dosen't most automation utilize the same idea ?

wish i was so lucky.i would gladly cooperate

oh you do cooperate pwood, wheather you realize it or not

Vt recently took over as the numero uno second home state from Maine

we've more second home owners here living in McMansions that natives on thier family farms

so if you've an inkling as to the widening disparity, the Edwardian "Two America's" you'd best hold your breath and thank Dawd for the manna handed down from the Masters of the Universe here lest crush you under thier steel wheels....



[This message has been edited by sparky (edited 07-08-2004).]

#154177 07/08/04 11:31 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 558
Do they specify what types of smoke detectors/alarms are to be used? Alarm companies frequently monitor the AC/DC smoke alarms we install by using a relay designed for the smoke alarms. The relay doesn’t count as one the 12 max alarms. Even if you are required to replace all of the smoke alarms the current wiring between them can still be used. If you disconnect the power source and can get a wire from the alarm panel to any of the alarms you should be ok. Most alarm panels will work with 2-wire or 4-wire smoke detectors.


Curt Swartz
#154178 07/08/04 11:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
Other than the fact ir's big uncle sticking his nose in the pot? Nope!

(Of course, what do you expect from Taxachussets?)

Most of the Digital and combo (digi/analog) alarm systems that the big companies use (ADT etc.) will interconnect with the "regular" smokes we use - you just won't be able to have a device-specific ID, like you do with the digi / wireless encoded jobs. Check with whatever monitoring company is big in your area for compatability with their monitoring service, plan for a dedicated phone line (to avoid hassles with line capture and status during normal phone usage) and, as long as you can get a letter from ADT/whomever that says the residence is capable of being monitored, you've got your compliance - it's up to the HO to ante up for the monthly fees.

("Central Station" is the term for companies like ADT that monitor alarms but aren't FD/PD dispatch centers on hardlines)

BTW, as a FF, I don't know if I like the idea of 12 individual smokes on 1 zone in a multi-zone alarm system. Most of the newer rigs will support 99 zones - why not at least break down into vague areas - "Upstairs Bedroom North" is a lot better to an FD responding to an alarm than just a "smoke detector in the residence"

Just my $0.02

[soapbox]I could also go on about the disparity of 1950's CEO's-to-line-worker's-wages compared to now; or the "standard of living" being shifted to make 1 income families more difficult; but remember - you're "rich" to the liberals if your family makes more than $50k/yr! [/soapbox]

#154179 07/09/04 06:18 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 613
I was told by the builder that the system had to be "monitered" far the supply house has called the firex rep. and he said their smokes can't be monitered.They sell a relay for the system that can signal a remote horn,but that works with 120 volt power.
Also, the smokes are wired with 14-3 romex and I've been told that the "Alarm Guys" smoke detectors must be wired with fire alarm rated wiring,(16-2 red wire)so I guess that my wiring is unsuitable for thier system.


I'll check with ADT to see if they have a solution to this mess...thanx

#154180 07/09/04 06:26 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
They sell a relay for the system that can signal a remote horn,but that works with 120 volt power.

So by another small relay with a 120 volt coil and wire the 'alarm guys' points to that.

Also, the smokes are wired with 14-3 romex and I've been told that the "Alarm Guys" smoke detectors must be wired with fire alarm rated wiring,(16-2 red wire)so I guess that my wiring is unsuitable for thier system

They do not know what they are talking about, you can not wire these 120 volt smokes with 16 AWG wire.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
#154181 07/09/04 08:36 AM
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 751
The alarm guy's smokies WILL work with the 14/3 NM, (wire is wire) the red cable is for plenum wiring and for commercial installations.
Just change out all your smoke detectors to the alarm guy's brand, bring the 14/3 feed into the monitored alarm box and terminate according to the instructions.

#154182 07/09/04 11:05 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 558
The relay available from Firex has dry contacts and can be used for 120 volt or low voltage loads. Here is a link (page 2 is in English) Firex Relay

We use these relays all the time on dwelling units so the alarm company can monitor our smoke detectors. We usually run a 14-3 to a single gang box near the alarm panel but you could install the relay any where its convenient as long as you can get a low voltage wire from the alarm panel to it.

If you decide to replace all of the smoke alarms find another alarm contractor. 14-3 NM-B is an acceptable wiring method fo the low voltage detectors. If the company you’re talking to realizes that they are going to loose a very lucrative monitoring contract because they want to replace all the wire they might change their mind.


[This message has been edited by caselec (edited 07-09-2004).]

Curt Swartz
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