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Old 05-12-2007, 09:08 PM   #1
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Question Smoke alarm keeps 'alarming'...

Hey, our smoke alarm keeps going off at random; first time was at 5 a.m. two days ago, and it did it again this afternoon. Of course, there's no fire/smoke, and it has a brand new Duracell battery in it.

My theory is that the smoke alarm is getting very cold from the direct cold air blowing on it from the A/C unit. Perhaps this is setting it off?

Any ideas?

Thanx, Lance
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Old 05-12-2007, 09:38 PM   #2
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Lance, You didn't say what type of Airstream you have. Is it brand new?
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Old 05-12-2007, 10:19 PM   #3
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Many times dust or a spider or other insect will invade, causing a false alarm. Blow it out (gently) with compressed air or vacuum it out. It sometimes helps. Sometimes they're just defective. On the plus side, they're also relatively cheap if it's not still under warranty.
Dave
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Old 05-14-2007, 09:48 AM   #4
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Yeah, sorry, it is a brand new A/S 25 Safari SE FB; put a fresh battery in it as well.

Lance
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:10 AM   #5
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Could be defective...... if you've replaced the batteries and blown out any dust and it's still doing it, a replacement (under warranty) might be your next step.
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:35 AM   #6
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Sensitive Alarm

I had problems with mine too this past weekend. I was cooking breakfast, eggs and sausage, nothing generating any visible smoke. All the windows were open, fantastic fan was on, range vent fan was on, and the darned thing kept alarming. I fanned it with a towel and it would go off. After a few cycles of that, I took it down and set it outside on the picnic table.

In my 23 footer, the smoke alarm is on the ceiling at the street side front, about eight to ten feet from the stove. Perhaps that is too close.

Randy
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Old 05-14-2007, 01:15 PM   #7
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I have had two first alerts fail recently. If yours is first alert, call them at the number on the back. After a few questions to make sure that it isn't just a bad battery, they told me to buy a new one and send them the bill, and they would send a check. They did on the first bad one. I am waiting for the second check. (Its only been a week)
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmickle
I have had two first alerts fail recently. If yours is first alert, call them at the number on the back.
Good suggestion!

Yesterday, our smoke detector began emitting the every-thirty-seconds-peep -- virtually one year to the day since we brought it home brand new. We replaced the 9V, tested fine. Then: peep...peep... Blew out the vent/casing (there's not much to these things): peep!

So I'm committed to replacement.
Molded into the casing:
  • Brand: Universal
  • Model: S8-775
  • Mfg Date: 2006JUN28
  • Replace by year: 2016
  • Phone: none listed
Oh well, home depot or costco for a cheap multi-pack.

Better yet, I may just replace this unit and the CO detector, mounted right next to each other, with a single multifunction detector.

Too bad the factory saw fit to mount the smoke detector directly on the ceiling panel of our SE, instead of the wardrobe side like the CO detector: screw holes in wood are easier to hide in wood versus the shiney AL panels!

Cheers,
-jd.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5cats
Good suggestion!

Too bad the factory saw fit to mount the smoke detector directly on the ceiling panel of our SE, instead of the wardrobe side like the CO detector: screw holes in wood are easier to hide in wood versus the shiney AL panels!

Cheers,
-jd.
We have twice had smoke detectors alarm for no reason - both time there were spider webs inside between contacts.

If you have to leave exposed holes in the aluminum, consider filling them with rivets. They will look intentional and at least be the same color.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet
We have twice had smoke detectors alarm for no reason - both time there were spider webs inside between contacts.

If you have to leave exposed holes in the aluminum, consider filling them with rivets. They will look intentional and at least be the same color.
Holes: perfect! and why didn't I think of that?

I just now completely disassembled the smoke detector to look for critters or anything, but found nothing. Still quite clean. I'll just replace it and have peace of mind.

Cheers,
-jd.
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Old 11-06-2007, 12:35 PM   #11
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Last year I bought a First Alert 10-Year smoke alarm. It has a lithium battery, so you don’t have to change batteries for the life of the unit. After 10 years, just get a new one.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:40 PM   #12
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Lance,

We've had the same problem since day one. I think the things are just too sensitive to temperature change.

I hate to admit it, but we take the batteries out when we camp just to shut them up.

Bill
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Old 11-29-2007, 10:43 AM   #13
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Same here, just not practical in such a small space. We threw ours out on day one.
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:14 AM   #14
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Smoke Alarm

Smoke alarms are sensitive to ozone in the air, and in a small space noticable ozone may be produced by an electric motor. An example of a ozone producer is an electric drill. The sparks coming from the brushes cause ozone, not a lot but can be detected with smell. Im thinking maybe some loose wires around the Converter unit.

A CO sensor should be mounted near the floor because Carbon Monixide is heavier than air. If it is on he cieling and goes off noone will hear it. Too Late.

Just some thoughts and things to look for in the AS.

dale
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Old 11-29-2007, 01:10 PM   #15
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Our smoke alarm near the stove also has a habit of going off whenever cooking, even with the stove vent fan on.

However, our smoke alarm has a "dumb-down" button on it so when it starts to go off you hit the button and supposedly for the next 15 minutes it is not as sensitive. Doesn't always seem to work 100% but it does seem to help.

Of course if you are frying a pork chop nothing will stop it except pulling the 9V battery.

One of these days I think I will move it back to the rear of trailer over the bed and see if that takes care of it. I haven't done that yet because I was also worried about the holes in the SE skin, but I like the rivet idea so that will take care of it.

regards, Dave
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Old 11-29-2007, 01:17 PM   #16
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When cooking or using the toaster, I cover my smoke alarms with a shower cap temporarily. Seems to work.
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Old 11-29-2007, 01:51 PM   #17
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Convenient or DEAD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebee
Smoke alarms are sensitive to ozone in the air, and in a small space noticable ozone may be produced by an electric motor. An example of a ozone producer is an electric drill. The sparks coming from the brushes cause ozone, not a lot but can be detected with smell. Im thinking maybe some loose wires around the Converter unit.

A CO sensor should be mounted near the floor because Carbon Monixide is heavier than air. If it is on he cieling and goes off noone will hear it. Too Late.

Just some thoughts and things to look for in the AS.

dale
I agree with Dale, especially about the CO detector being near the floor, and for heaven sake don't throw out the detectors - if they are too sensitive clean or replace them. If your smoke alarm regularly goes off when you cook, take a cheap hotel shower cap and put over it for the duration of the meal - then remove it.

You only have to escape from one fire to become a fanatic. You only have to see one person struggle for months to clear carbon monoxide from their red blood cells to realize that any inconvenience is negligible compared to third degree burns. You'll never regret being too safe. You may pay far more than you bargain for by thinking that it can't happen to you.

Paula
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Old 11-29-2007, 07:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again
I agree with Dale, especially about the CO detector being near the floor, and for heaven sake don't throw out the detectors - if they are too sensitive clean or replace them. If your smoke alarm regularly goes off when you cook, take a cheap hotel shower cap and put over it for the duration of the meal - then remove it.

You only have to escape from one fire to become a fanatic. You only have to see one person struggle for months to clear carbon monoxide from their red blood cells to realize that any inconvenience is negligible compared to third degree burns. You'll never regret being too safe. You may pay far more than you bargain for by thinking that it can't happen to you.

Paula
Agreed.

We had a gentleman last week who due to a fire, will never again have the opportunity to hear a malfunctioning or overly sensitive smoke detector.

If you don't have one, buy one.
If you already have one, maintain it. Please don't disconnect the battery.
It really is a pleasure to be able to hear a smoke detector and have the opportunity to gripe about it. Sure beats the alternative.
Dave
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Old 11-29-2007, 08:28 PM   #19
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follow-up

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5cats
I'll just replace it and have peace of mind.
I found a nice smoke+CO detector at the local home improvement store and mounted it in place of the factory CO detector.

The remaining holes from the factory-installed smoke detector filled in nicely with rivets and essentially vanished. Nice.

I had been puzzled about the location of the original CO monitor, mounted waaay up on a cabinet nearly touching the ceiling. I kept that one in service, but now positioned down low.

A little dot of blue masking tape takes care of the over-achieving, "I'm on! I'm ON!" status light that flashes all around us with the shiny walls at night.

Us + pups all around, sound asleep: bliss.
Working smoke/CO detectors: priceless.

Cheers,
-jd.
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Old 12-01-2007, 09:11 PM   #20
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Here's that sensitive smoke alarm I have that I mentioned back in post #6 on this thread, and here's what I found works very well to keep it quiet while cooking. I found these at a paint distributor that works with building contractors. The little shower cap is made to protect a smoke detector when they are spraying ceiling texture and paint. I only put this on if it starts to act up and never leave the stove unattended.

Randy
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