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Joined: Jul 2004
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Where do you put them?
Add some confusion, this room has a coffered ceiling. Do they go in the tray? (Against the wishes of the customer)

Isn't the wall or ceiling over the bed a better place? That is probably where the fire will start. It's where most of the stuff is plugged in, where the wire will most likely be pinched and where people smoke.

Florida IAEI is tossing this quewstion around as we speak. It does not seem to be directly addressed in the Floprida Buildingh cone, the NEC, NFPA 72 or NFPA 101 that we can tell.


Greg Fretwell
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I'm not sure what you it is you are calling a "coffered ceiling" but I suspect it's what I call a "pan ceiling". It's where the ceiling has a step in it and maybe a soffit type look to it. If that's the case I'd ask for the smoke alarm to be in the highest part of the ceiling. You have a similar situation when they have a cathedral ceiling and the area by the door has a common 7 foot 6 inch height. This would agree with some graphic I've seen in the NFPA 72 Handbook and in the manufacturers instructions. You know the ones that show the peak of the ceiling as a triangle with the base of not more than 6 feet. When you do the geometry and for an easy visual inspection, if the rough inspection shows the box within 3 feet of the peak you can bet it's within this imaginary triangle no matter what the pitch is.

[This message has been edited by George Little (edited 08-20-2005).]


George Little
Joined: Jun 2005
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In a single-family dwelling, I put them...

-in all bedrooms
-in hallways outside of bedrooms (Carbon/ Smoke combos)
-at least one on each floor (including the attic if there's an air handler up there)

In a multi-family dwelling, in all spaces mentioned above and in the common staircase/ hallway areas on each level.

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George, the mfg instructions and NFPA72 are clear on a sloped ceiling but the pan ceiling is less clear.

It has been pointed out to me that the housewife who paid $10,000 extra for that tray ceiling is going to pay the first drywall punch guy she sees to rip it out and patch up the hole.

If it is on the wall above the bed she won't see it.


Greg Fretwell
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I try to keep em at least 36" from where the eventual cieling fan is going to be in the bedroom. Usually where the light is now is going to be a fan someday. Over by the door is a good place on a flat ceiling in case the smoke comes in the cracks around the door.
Hallway outside the door of bedrooms, one on each floor. Don't like em in garages, I would rather a flame or a rapid rise in heat sensor in there.

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That fan is an interesting point. Put a 52" paddle fan in the tray and you won't be able to stay 36" away in most houses.


Greg Fretwell
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We talked about the door but it was pointed out there is supposed to be a smoke in the hall outside the door


Greg Fretwell
Joined: Aug 2005
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I suspect what you are calling a coffered ceiling or what you are calling a pan ceiling is actually called a tray.

Ok just wanted to put my useless post:-)
Figured I saw everyone else giving thier ideas on what it was called.

Joined: Jan 2004
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Greg- I get a fair amount of resistance when I ask that the smoke alarm be installed in the high part of the "pan" ceiling but when it's there for a while they don't even notice it. The other part that we need to watch is even installing it in the pan we need to stay clear of the corners and avoid any dead spots near the side walls of the pan.


George Little
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If you have a paddle fan in that tray how long do you figure it will be until it packs with dust and starts beeping?

One big problem I have with a lot of these "great ideas" is they do not take into account how the homeowner is going to live with them.

Pool door alarms are another sore spot with me. I doubt 10% of them survive more than a week after the homeowner moves in. They make these types of things to please the inspector "one time" more than to actually be livable over the life of the home.
I often wondered how many times an inspector actually approved the same alarm, that keeps moving house to house in front of him. It is illegal to put them on a switch so they just get removed.

90% protection forever is better than 100% protection for a week.


Greg Fretwell
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