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Smoke alarm tool

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About $20 from smdetpole.com and ships from Texas. It's made in China.

It measures 8 inches retracted and just over 60 inches extended. Fits easily in a tool pouch. I've found that if you extend it slightly in the right place, it fits perfectly in a screwdriver pocket.

The tip is concave to help it zero in on 'test' buttons and it's swivel mounted for smoke alarms mounted on walls, cathedral ceilings, etc.

It's held in extended position by friction alone. It's quite tight 'out of the box' but I wonder how much use it will get before it's too loose to push buttons.




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I wouldn't bother. Pressing the "Test" button maybe fine for checking the battery and siren, but not the sensor. Unless it's new construction, I recommend replacing them.

If they are hardwired you should test them or at least make sure the power light is on. I have found many that are disconnected. I also find some where the hard-wired alarm was replaced with a battery-operated alarm.

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Oregon requires me to test the with the test button. So, I actually drag my sorry self up to each one of the damn things and, while I'm there, I remove them, read the date, confirm the power source, and press the stupid test button. (I'm going to lose what little hearing I have left before I'm done with this gig.)

On the other hand, I find correct smoke alarms in, maybe, one house in twenty. In all of the others, the alarms are outdated, powered by batteries when they're supposed to be hardwired, improperly placed, improperly interconnected, or simply not working.

If this is the case in houses where the owners have spiffed up the house for sale and prepped for a home inspection, what the heck do you think is going on in houses where there is no pending sale? Homeowners simply aren't interested in maintaining life/safety systems in their houses because the benefit of doing so hinges on vague, remotely possible future scenarios. There's no pressing need to address these things - it's always something that can wait till tomorrow.

So, I'm developing a radical solution that, I'm certain, will allow me to finally retire from this gig. It's call the Pest Smoke Alarm. When the Pest senses smoke from a fire, it doesn't just sound a wimpy alarm - it releases a burst of tear gas that will make people run screaming from the house. But here's the cool part: if the Pest is installed improperly or still hooked up after ten years, it releases the gas in bursts every hour and automatically cancels the owner's insurance policies - both homeowner's and health.

People don't react to carrots, they react to sticks.

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  • 1 month later...

I used smoke in a can (or some equivalent) many years ago until one day as I was spraying, a seller looked at me, horrified. Seems he had some affliction where he was extremely allergic to all sorts of airborn particulates. Started in with shaking and progressed on to near seizure condition. Ambulance, epi pen, the whole bag. That ended my smoke in a can methodology.

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I exclude all alarms, central vacuum, doorbells, and any other low voltage systems from my inspection.

In NJ the local construction department is required to certify the location and operation of smoke alarm and carbon monoxide systems prior to all residential real estate transfers. No certificate, no closing.

Right, when I sold my house last year the fire inspector noted that I had them installed, that's it. I had the fire ext. on the kitchen counter, Great he exclaimed. All of 30 seconds and $150 and he was off to the races.

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