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Posted By: gfretwell Smoke detectors in the bedroom - 08/20/05 11:57 PM
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.
Posted By: George Little Re: Smoke detectors in the bedroom - 08/21/05 12:27 AM
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).]
Posted By: ShockMe77 Re: Smoke detectors in the bedroom - 08/21/05 12:45 AM
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.
Posted By: gfretwell Re: Smoke detectors in the bedroom - 08/21/05 02:10 AM
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.
Posted By: macmikeman Re: Smoke detectors in the bedroom - 08/21/05 04:26 AM
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.
Posted By: gfretwell Re: Smoke detectors in the bedroom - 08/21/05 05:01 AM
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.
Posted By: gfretwell Re: Smoke detectors in the bedroom - 08/21/05 05:04 AM
We talked about the door but it was pointed out there is supposed to be a smoke in the hall outside the door
Posted By: foestauf Re: Smoke detectors in the bedroom - 08/21/05 01:08 PM
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.
Posted By: George Little Re: Smoke detectors in the bedroom - 08/21/05 01:55 PM
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.
Posted By: gfretwell Re: Smoke detectors in the bedroom - 08/21/05 05:16 PM
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.
Posted By: watersparkfalls Re: Smoke detectors in the bedroom - 08/21/05 07:42 PM
i went to a fire seminar and was supprised when i found out that certain types of smoke wont set off todays standard smoke detectors.

at this seminar they recomend putting the smokes closer to the doors in bedrooms so that they are in the air circulation path.

smokes alone are better then nothing, but they would strongly recomend combonations of heat detectors, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to cover all bases.

when customers complain about smoke detectors and such...remind them that its for their safty and their family's too.

Posted By: renosteinke Re: Smoke detectors in the bedroom - 08/21/05 10:02 PM
Watersparkfalls---I'd love to hear the specifics presented at that "seminar!"

UL tests detectors using two different "standard" fires; one is hot and clean, while the other is a "cold" smouldering fire. These tests are very standardised, and very repeatable. Every detector evaluated is exposed to these sources probably 50 times in the course of routine evaluation.
Additionally, UL conducts full-scale fire tests of building components. Often, detectors will be added to the test, as an additional check of the validity of their tests.

Feel free to e-mail me with the details, if you don't want to post them. I have been to "seminars" that were outright dishonest in the advocacy of their non-listed, unapproved, or irrelevant products. A certain "heat detector" sales force comes to mind.

CO detectors are another thing all together. Sure, fires can produce CO- but their performance in detecting "fire" is a complete failure. Period. Now, that CO itself presents an entirely different risk to address is another issue- let's not mix apples with oranges.

Heat detectors- of any type- have their uses. But, if you're going to tell me that I need to mount some wind-up item on my walls, in line with every stud bay, to "protect" me from the virtually non-existant "inside the wall" fire...well, it just won't happen.

Besides fire testing, UL testing also includes some testing to evaluate the effects of corrosion, humidity, vibration, and age on the detectors. There is an emphasis on reliability- which means minimising false alarms.
Under the "standard" tests, two entirely different methods of detection (photo-electric and ionization) have prooven themselves. Some other ideas- such as sound- have failed miserably.
Posted By: gfretwell Re: Smoke detectors in the bedroom - 08/22/05 12:57 AM
I guess the real point is, if the detector is accessible it is more likely to be maintained.
The highest point in the room might make sense if the fire breaks out during the closing but 2 years later that detector will have failed (maybe from a bullet hole) and might not get replaced if it has always hung in that woman's craw.
Posted By: Tiger Re: Smoke detectors in the bedroom - 08/22/05 03:29 PM
+1 on the maintenance issue...with alarms in the hall, bedrooms, etc. it's likely one of them will alarm.

Remember, we're taught to crawl out of the home rather than walk because of the smoke. IMO it isn't important to be at the highest level, although I normally install them there.

Posted By: harold endean Re: Smoke detectors in the bedroom - 08/24/05 01:15 AM

Around here the building and fire AHJ's want the detectors located in the highest part of the ceiling. Also they can't be within 3 foot of any HVAC outlet. They also require CO detectors now, however they will allow plug in stlye. Go figure!
Posted By: watersparkfalls Re: Smoke detectors in the bedroom - 08/24/05 04:27 AM
hey renosteinke,
its true the seminar that i went to, was selling heat detectors and smokes too(for what was a very spendy $$). but the video they showed was actually filmed by 60 minuntes and it was here where i learned about smokes not going off.

i would also say that having a monitored heat,smoke, and CO detectors is truly the best way to go.

but for those of us who think brinks, adt, ect.. is an expense we will do without.
you should at least use smoke/co combos, a crack in the heat exchanger can cause headaches, and worse things yet.(exception #1 houses with small birds inhabiting it shall be suitable for co detection).

Posted By: gfretwell Re: Smoke detectors in the bedroom - 08/24/05 05:36 AM
If you have an all electric house and you wife won't let you tune up the Harley in the living room, where is the CO coming from?

I did put a heat detector in my garage tho.

... after the fire [Linked Image]
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