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Fire at Neighbors - Wake -Up Call


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I awoke at 130 AM this morning to a buzz saw. I went outside and my neighbor's house across the alley was on fire. The fire dept. was cutting a hole through the roof, hosing the place down, and busting open windows. Two people went to the hospital for smoke inhalation. They were each able to walk.

I have a small house but have 4 smoke and 2 CO detectors. I tested them all today to see if they are working. Smoke detectors over 10 years old need replacement. They should be installed at every level of the house and near (or in) all sleeping areas. Test your smoke and CO detectors today! These cheap devices could save your life.

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Jim have you tested the ionization alarms versus the photoelectrics?

Firemen here say one of each. One is better for smoke, and the other is better for heat and flame.

Mike, thanks for the pics. Not your best compositions, but more of a news flash style.

Yes. I've tested them in my own house. Haven't we had this discussion before? The ionization alarms are crap, pure & simple. They should be banned.

The line about one being better for smoke and one being better for heat and flames is a gross and misleading simplification and really not true in any meaningful way.

ASHI has taken a firm stance against ionization alarms. You can find their position statement here:

http://www.ashireporter.org/HomeInspect ... Alarm/2606

For real background on the issue, you should read Skip Walker's excellent article. Be aware that the ASHI Tech Committee put Skip through the ringer on this article. The committee was skeptical at first and challenged him to provide backup documentation for every claim in the article. The review process took over a year and a half and by the end of that time, the committee was thoroughly convinced on this issue. I urge you to read the entire article very carefully:

http://www.ashireporter.org/HomeInspect ... ences/2537

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I went out and bought a dozen photoelectrics and fire extinguishers for the apartment building, and found another alarm at the depot.....the name is something like "IoPhil", or something like that. They claim to provide a "combination", but the marketing spiel didn't delineate what that actually meant. I didn't buy them; got straight photo jobs.

Anyone see IoPhil? Are they combos of Ionizing and Photelectrics?

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The Walker article is well supported and a fairly damning indictment of ionizing types. Very useful, inarguable.

The CPSC document is informative, but it's not particularly useful....no data driven directives or recommendations. It's pablum, sort of.

Firex Photoelectrics, $17 each @ Le Depot de Maison. I may get another dozen. It feels good to load a building with smart technology.

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I've only inspected one house that had adequate fire alarms, hardwired interconnected combo smoke and CO. It was built in the 80s to replace the 1920s house that burned to the ground.

Same house had more fire safety issues than I've ever seen in one place. Probably a good thing it was bought by a fireman.

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Well, don't I wish I read this a few weeks ago. I just got done replacing all the 9 year old detectors in the house (hard wire/battery back up) with new ones (duplicated the original make/model).

You guessed it, all ionization alarms!

It's not a loss, just add a photoelectric companion device next to each existing ion device.

Opinions will vary.

Marc

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Well, don't I wish I read this a few weeks ago. I just got done replacing all the 9 year old detectors in the house (hard wire/battery back up) with new ones (duplicated the original make/model).

You guessed it, all ionization alarms!

Well you're in alignment with 96% of the rest of the country.

I agree with Marc. Get a few photoelectric ones and conduct your own experiments with them.

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