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Old 15-07-2017, 20:34   #1
Lazy-Ferret
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Default Smoke alarms?

What smoke alarm do you have in your caravan, and do you find it has a habit of going off every time you use the cooker, or is it better than that?

We had a Kidde one, and it felt like you only had to breath on it, and it went off, which resulted in us forever taking it off the roof, and removing the battery every time we cooked, but then we would often forget to put it back up.

I got a Fireangel Atom Smoke Alarm, which was recommended by a caravan place, to replace it, and over the cooler winter and spring months it seemed perfect. Unfortunately, the first hot day we had, we were sitting in the house and could hear an alarm which we eventually worked out to be coming from the caravan. I took the smoke alarm down, and removed the battery, then when the temperature in the caravan had cooled down a bit, I put the battery back in the smoke alarm, and put it back. The trouble is, during the warm weather it goes off all the time, so guess what, we end up taking it off the roof, removing the battery, and then forgetting to put it back again. Ironically, when I looked at the small print in the Atoms instruction sheet, it does specifically say that it is not for use in caravans.

So, time has come to replace it, but, what with?
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Old 15-07-2017, 20:52   #2
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Optical ones are better than the ionisation type, it's what we have in the boat now !
Less susceptible to false alarms in a confined space.

Can't remember the make though.
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Old 15-07-2017, 21:20   #3
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my one is good even do toast a bit dark and not go off but fry bread a bit dark and off it goes only thing is cant remove the battery its a sealed one with a long life span.cant remember the make though till i look at it.to stop it you need to do a 45 degree twist and pull the thing from the mounting plate thats still on wall.
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Old 15-07-2017, 21:35   #4
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I have one of these in mine, not used the van much since I fitted it but no troubles.
20170715_213908.jpg
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Old 15-07-2017, 21:48   #5
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The one I have is optical, it's a SL-602. The one you show TDoug, is the SO-601. I have just found the instructions, and weirdly, yours specifically says it is OK in caravans and Mobile homes, where as the one I have, says it is not, even tough they are both optical. I wonder what the difference is?

I would be interested to know which one you have Panelbeater, as Suz's does like to cook things until they are er... well done....
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Old 15-07-2017, 23:56   #6
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Many optical smoke alarms also include a temperature sensing function too.
The simpler types only have a set point threshold which I suppose could easily be reached in a caravan on a hot day.
The more intelligent temperature sensing types look at the rate of rise of temperature rather than a fixed set point.
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Old 15-07-2017, 23:58   #7
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Ah yes, I am rather intelligent, what what
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Old 16-07-2017, 00:24   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayf3262 View Post
Many optical smoke alarms also include a temperature sensing function too.
The simpler types only have a set point threshold which I suppose could easily be reached in a caravan on a hot day.
The more intelligent temperature sensing types look at the rate of rise of temperature rather than a fixed set point.
I guess that is it.. shame they don't put the "Not suitable for caravans" on the wrapping, rather than 7 pages into their micro printed mini 50 page manual.

I have spent some time looking into it, and it seems that generally most campers are not very impressed by their smoke alarms.
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Old 16-07-2017, 04:05   #9
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On the subject of alarms, consider getting a carbon monoxide alarm, there is one with a higher spec suitable for boats, caravans, motor homes etc.

There are many cases on petrol engined boats, that owners run the engine to top up their batteries but the CO gets in under the hood, and soon all occupants can be dead. 15-20 minutes can be enough

There was a case recently, a charcoal barbeque was left to smoulder near an open caravan window, the occupants slept, but never woke up.

Other sources of CO, gas powered fridge, petrol generator, barbeques, especially those not fully extinguished, fire pits, wood burners, hot air central heating, by gas or diesel etc.

Also... it may not be your fumes that get into your accommodation. On boats, some moor stern on, and their central heating flue might be on the side, and be close to a ventilator on the adjacent boat. Game over.

Note.. CO alarms can be triggered by hydrogen gas being given off from a battery whilst it is being charged, so observe battery ventilation too, or the CO alarms will end up being removed.

A CO alarm is not a substitute for a smoke alarm, or vice versa, two completely seperate hazards.

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Old 16-07-2017, 08:13   #10
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tgougs is the same as mine.
i have a carbon also a gas one as well
now you may laugh but on one occasion i was lets say a bit windy,and smelly and i set off my alarm,i found it funny.
i phoned my mate next to me in his van and another mat was in his van as well and then went in his for a drink and lo and behold i set his alarm off too.
unbelievable but true with witnesses.we soon drank to take the smell away.
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Old 16-07-2017, 10:43   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panelbeater View Post
tgougs is the same as mine.
i have a carbon also a gas one as well
now you may laugh but on one occasion i was lets say a bit windy,and smelly and i set off my alarm,i found it funny.
i phoned my mate next to me in his van and another mat was in his van as well and then went in his for a drink and lo and behold i set his alarm off too.
unbelievable but true with witnesses.we soon drank to take the smell away.
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Old 16-07-2017, 13:19   #12
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Yep, I have a co detector in there too, makes me feel a little safer but ultimately it's there as a last resort, meaning I try my best to make sure it will never need to do it's job
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Old 16-07-2017, 15:38   #13
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Cheers guys, although not for the mental image of setting off the alarms.. Yuck Looks like the Fireangel is winning...

Finding a CO alarm is not such a problem for the caravan, as there is no such thing as safe or bad CO, where as with smoke, there is safe, and dangerous smoke.

We have a CO alarm with an LCD display. We found with the non-display ones we had in the past, in the house, you didn't know what set them off... e.g, the alarm goes of if there has been more than a certain amount of CO for over an hour, or another slightly higher amount for for half an hour, or over a higher level still, for 5 mins. With the display, you can check to see what the reading is, and like Rustic says, then have a look for a source.
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Old 16-07-2017, 16:01   #14
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i have a co in front room because of my log burner and often lf. have door on it open,
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Old 16-07-2017, 19:11   #15
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I was surprised that in the winter, on a cold still day, cooking a Sunday Lunch, with all the stoves burners on, and the oven as well, can sometimes get the reading of 35. On our house CO detector, if it stays above 30 for more than an hour, it sets the alarm off. Has only done it a couple of times, but definitely sets the heart going trying to work out what it is.

What is nice, is it keeps the maximum it has reached since you last reset it, so you can turn things off, air the house, reset it, and then turn things on, and see what sends it up, but we know in our house that is normally sits at about 13, so if it goes above that, we need to start checking stuff out.
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