Security & Fire Protection Systems/wired in smoke alarm

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Question
QUESTION: Our wired in smoke alarm is beeping - do they have a battery backup and where might I find it?

ANSWER: In order to help you better, I'm going to need to know the make and model of smoke alarm you have, how old it is, and if there are more than one of these units in your house.

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QUESTION: Firex or Fireex - hurts me ears to be so close!  The date on it is July 1999 and it was installed 2010-11

Answer
1999 means they're several years over the recommended replacement date.  These units don't have batteries, so if they're beeping, twist them off the base and unplug them.  There's a little plug on the unit.  You have to squeeze the two tabs together on either side and pull.  I would recommend you replace them with Kidde branded smoke alarms.  You can pick up their latest and greatest little widget from the display at any Home Depot.  They have sealed batteries that are guaranteed to last ten years (personally I don't know how they can guarantee something like that).  In many rural areas, the power isn't stable and you're frequently running off of them, but be that as it may, they're a better option than what you have currently installed.  Look for units that use "photo-electric" technology as they are best suited for a residential type setting and won't false alarm from steam or normal cooking.  You'll have to replace ALL of the units in your home as they may be interconnected.  If you have gas burning appliances, I would recommend you consider a combination smoke/carbon monoxide detector.  They'll use the same wiring and mounting location your old detectors are using.  You will have to change the wiring harnesses.  This is a fairly simple procedure.  Just use caution as the black lead is "hot" at 120VAC.  If you can try and find the circuit breaker controlling the detectors before you unplug them.  Do this by observing the green (or red) AC "on" pilot light on each detector as you flip through the different breakers.  When it goes out, you know the black lead is no longer energized.  You can then safely change out the wiring.  If you need additional help, or would like to talk to me, call me toll free at 1 888 340 3473.  Good luck!!

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Frank Kurz

Expertise

Questions relating to Burglar Alarm and Security Equipment, Fire Alarm and Extinguishment Systems, Access Control, CCTV Systems, Installation, Service, Testing, Verification

Experience

30 years installing, servicing, and testing security, access control, extinguishment, and fire alarm systems

Organizations
Chair of ULC Working Groups for Fire Alarm Testing (CAN/ULC-S536) and Fire Alarm Verification (CAN/ULC-S537), Executive Director of the Fire Protection Technicians Network (www.firetechs.net)

Publications
www.firetechs.net, Better Business Bureau Magazine, Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (www.asttbc.org) SUPPRESS! and Techs Fire Break Newsletters

Education/Credentials
Associate in Science; Emergency Systems (University of British Columbia); Aircraft Maintenance Technology (BCIT)

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