Security & Fire Protection Systems/smoke detectors


Hi Frank
I have a hard wired nortron smoke detector thats 35 years old model tr8w that goes off from the steam from the shower, any way of turning down the sensitivity on it.
         TKS Tom

Hi Tom:

Your smoke alarm should be replaced as soon as possible.  It's older than ten years (for one thing), and likely extremely dirty.  Your unit is an ionization type detector and they become very sensitive as they get older.  There is no "sensitivity adjustment" on home smoke alarms.  If you have gas burning appliances in your home, you should consider buying a dual technology detector like the Kidde COPE-D ( ).  You can purchase these at Lowes and Home Depot.  They're really reasonably priced.  If you have a lot of power failures in your area during the year, I would suggest steering clear of the newly released units they have available (the ones with the permanently installed battery).  Even though it's advertised as having a ten year life, the more power failures you're subject to, the faster the battery will actually deteriorate.

You will have to change the wiring harness (it's pretty easy to do as the instruction manual takes you through the process step-by-step).  Stay safe!  

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Frank Kurz


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


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

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 (

Publications, Better Business Bureau Magazine, Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia ( SUPPRESS! and Techs Fire Break Newsletters

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

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