Interconnected smoke detectors not yet available to Canadians

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five_alarm
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Interconnected smoke detectors not yet available to Canadians

Postby five_alarm » Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:23 pm

BURLINGTON, ON - A recent house fire, in which a local family narrowly escaped, highlights the potential benefit of interconnected smoke detectors that are not yet available in Canada, says a Burlington fire official. Fire department public education officer Ben Rotsma said an early morning fire on March 26, at a home on Columbia Crescent, brings to the forefront one specific aspect of improving fire safety....

...Wireless detectors are battery-operated devices that are interconnected within the same home by a sound frequency that is common to each unit. When one alarm goes off the others in proximity do, too. Rotsma said it is a good idea, but for now just in theory.

"Wireless smoke alarms have not met approval yet in Canada. The theory behind the technology is great. I know a Canadian company is working on approval for sale of a similar product in Canada. It's definitely worth considering once that technology becomes approved in Canada," said Rotsma.

Source: haltonsearch.com

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BCFFFV
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Postby BCFFFV » Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:26 pm

That would be GREAT if the battery operated oned would all go off at the same time.

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FFWannabe
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Postby FFWannabe » Wed Apr 05, 2006 2:34 pm

The farmhouse I was living in had smoke alarms on all three floors and everytime I used my oven the heat would set mine off (no, not the smoke... lol), at the same time it would set off my neighbors on the other two levels as well... they do not go off independently, they work as a team! I don't know if they were wireless, but they sure drove my neighbors nuts!! lol Maybe the landlord bought them in the States, is that possible? He travels there a lot.

Sue :)

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Scuba
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Postby Scuba » Wed Apr 05, 2006 3:49 pm

They make hardwired interconnected systems currently......that are sold in Canada.

Dunno why they think wireless would be an improvement? just complicate the existing system with more room for failure? especially if they're battery operated...

Hey MA! the guy down the street burnt his dinner again and all our smoke alarms are going off! meh...wutever rings your bell I suppose..


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BCFFFV
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Postby BCFFFV » Wed Apr 05, 2006 3:52 pm

ScubaJoe wrote:They make hardwired interconnected systems currently......that are sold in Canada.

Dunno why they think wireless would be an improvement? just complicate the existing system with more room for failure? especially if they're battery operated...

Hey MA! the guy down the street burnt his dinner again and all our smoke alarms are going off! meh...wutever rings your bell I suppose..



It would be for older houses without a hardwired system. Good for people who have no other choice currently.

ChiefCoonDog
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Interconnected Alarms

Postby ChiefCoonDog » Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:39 am

The hard wired interconnected alarms have been around for quite awhile. The wireless ones were shown at the Fire & Life Safety Educators conforence in Simcoe last Novemeber. They are a great fit for retrofiting a home, you can even have one in your detached garage. I believe the main transmitter unit is plugged in with a battery back-up and the receiver units are battery operated. A great idea for the fire safety minded people. Cost, right now is a little expensive but will drop as they become more readily available.

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Michael13
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Postby Michael13 » Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:07 pm

So they are available now, has anyone purchased them? Pros? Cons? They run about $50 a piece. I currently don't need them, but have family or friends that have older homes that need a smoke alarm upgrade (10 years old) and wonder if this is the way to go.
Operator! Give me the number for 911!

Maybe, just once, someone will call me 'Sir' without adding, 'You're making a scene.'

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PNEFD
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Postby PNEFD » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:19 pm

We have had this debate in our community for awhile. Our downtown core is compromised of 100 + year old buildings that typically have mercantile on the street level and residential occupancy's on the upper levels.

Due to the age of the buildings, they all are Section 9 Retrofit under the OFC. The code requires rated fire separations between the 2 different classes of occupancy.

Obviously, installing proper fire separations would require owners to essentially tear down historical buildings in order to comply. The APPROVED ALTERNATIVE we have settled on is interconnected smoke alarms on all levels along with improved means of egress.

Hardwired alarms have been required in new construction on all levels for the last ten years or so, so availability is not an issue.

Obviously, wireless alarms would be a more economical choice, and also easily installed by the owner. After being approached numerous times about using them as an alternative, we decided that until they were both ULC and OFM approved, hardwired is all that will be acceptable.

gfd31
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Postby gfd31 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:29 pm

Battery operated wireless interconnected smoke alarms are approved by ULC.

http://www.kiddewireless.ca/wirelessalarms.php#1
http://www.kiddewireless.ca/faq.php


Division B Part 9 of the Ontario Fire Code would only apply if;
9.5.1.1. (1) This Section applies to buildings up to and including 6 storeys in building height with residential occupancies and containing

(a) more than two dwelling units where

(i) at least two dwelling units share common exit facilities and have interior access to one another,

(ii) there is at least one dwelling unit located above another with interior access to one another, or

(iii) there is at least one dwelling unit located above another and the dwelling units share common exit facilities,

If they are on main street and 100+ years old, they are probably not over six stories so Section 9.6 does not apply, and Section 9.8 probably does not apply due to the definitions...

9.8.1.1. (1) This Section applies to a detached house, semi-detached house or row house containing two existing dwelling units, where

(a) the building is 3 storeys or less in building height,

(b) the building area does not exceed 600 m2, and

(c) one dwelling unit or a portion of a dwelling unit is situated above another dwelling unit, or two dwelling units side by side share a common interior means of escape.

(2) For the purposes of this Section,

“1994 Building Code” means Regulation 61 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990, as it read on July 14, 1994;

“dwelling unit”, in light face, means a room or suite of rooms operated as a housekeeping unit that is used as a domicile by one or more persons, and that contains cooking, eating, living, sleeping and sanitary facilities;

“existing” means in existence on July 14, 1994;

“row house” means a residential structure which

(a) is one of a group of three or more horizontally attached residential structures, and

(b) is separated vertically from one or two of the other structures by common walls which do not provide for internal access from the living space in one structure to another;

“semi-detached house” means a residential structure which

(a) is one of two horizontally attached residential structures, and

(b) is separated vertically from the other residential structure by a common wall which does not provide for internal access from the living space in one structure to the other.

In order to provide fire separations having fire resistance ratings in an existing structure between floors (or adjacent occupancies), one would not generally require "owners to essentially tear down historical buildings in order to comply" as typically installing Type X Gyproc and properly rated closures will obtain the required ratings.
If there is only one residence above a mercantile occupancy, Part 9 does not apply.
If there are two residential occupancies adjacent to each other with no interior access above a mercantile occupancy, and they both have their own exits (which is very typical) Part 9 does not apply.

As an alternative measure, requiring owners to install interconnected smoke alarms between a mercantile and residential occupancy may be approved by the Chief Fire Official, but there is no provision in the Ontario Fire Code or the Ontario Building Code that requires interconnected smoke alarms in such circumstances.

gfd31
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Postby gfd31 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:34 pm

Michael 13, there are a few people that I know of that have installed wireless interconnected smoke detectors and the only thing I have heard to this point is that one must ensure the frequencies are matched when installing them.
It is my understanding that there is a choice of frequencies (a small switch) that one chooses when installing.
My humble opinion would be that they are worth the money for anyone as an added life safety feature.


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