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Smoke Alarms Q) What is the difference between an ionization alarm and a photoelectric alarm? In general ionization alarms are quicker at detecting fast flaming fires that give off little smoke. Where as photoelectric (optical) alarms are quicker at detecting slow smoldering fires. Kidde recommends, for maximum protection, that both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms be installed. Q) My smoke alarm seems to have started to chirp at certain times during the day or night, why could this be? When the temperature drops the voltage to the battery reduces which will cause the unit to chirp. As the temperature rises so the chirping will cease. This behavior normally denotes that the battery needs to be changed but this could also happen on cold nights when the house is unheated. Q) Why is my smoke alarm chirping? There are a couple of reasons a unit may chirp. If the battery is low the unit can have a sporadic chirping at first but should settle down to a 30-40 second interval, this chirp will continue for at least 7 days or until the battery is replaced. The second cause for this chirp is if the alarm sensor has malfunctioned, the alarm must be replaced in this case. Q) The unit keeps chirping after I press the Hush button. What should I do? The Hush button is designed when activated to chirp every 30-40 seconds for 7 minutes. The smoke alarm unit will automatically re-set and go quiet after 7 minutes providing that the Hush button has not been pressed more than once. If you have touched the Hush button more than once it will complete a further 7-minute cycle for each time the Hush has been pressed. Q) How can I tell the difference between the malfunction chirp and the low battery chirp? When the unit malfunctions the red LED will flash between chirps, whereas the red LED will flash in synch with the chirps for a low battery. Q) Where should I locate my smoke alarm? We would recommend that each household have a smoke alarm at each level-one in the hallway and one at the top of the stairs. It would be even safer to have an additional one in each bedroom. Q) Where should smoke alarms not be fitted? The locations to avoid when fitting any smoke alarms are as listed below. - In the garage as products of combustion are present when the car is started. - In kitchens - In front of forced air ducts used for heating and air conditioning, near ceiling fans or other high flow areas. - In the peak of an ’A’ frame type ceiling. - In an area where the temperature may fall below 40°F (4℃) or rise above 100°F (38℃). - In dusty areas. Dust particles may cause nuisance alarm or failure to alarm. - In very humid areas or near a bathroom. Moisture or steam can cause nuisance alarms. - Near fluorescent lights. Electronic ”noise” may cause nuisance alarms. Interconnectable Smoke Alarms Q) Can I interconnect my old kidde interconnectable smoke alarms with the new interconnectable one I just purchased? Yes, all the new kidde models have been made to facilitate this capability. If the existing models are more than 7 years old it may be worth updating them also. Q) My hard wired smoke alarm has a flashing green LED, does this mean that it is malfunctioning? No, what this means is that the unit has gone into an alarm. This is called the alarm memory condition, and it will continue to flash until the reset button has been pressed. Q) Can I interconnect my hard wired Kidde units with other brands? It is not advisable to do this because other manufacturing companies may use a different temporal pattern (temporal pattern means how the voltage is sent over the interconnect white wire that tells the other units to go off as the originating smoke alarm has sensed some smoke). Q)With interconnected smoke alarms if one unit starts to malfunction will the others on the same circuit be affected? If all the units are interconnected and one goes into an alarm or malfunction state, it will cause the rest of the units to also signal that alarm or malfunction. The originating smoke alarm will be the unit with the rapidly flashing red LED while the unit is in alarm, or it will be the flashing green LED alarm memory condition afterwards. Reset this unit and the problem should stop, if not then disconnect the unit and diagnose the unit individually. Q) I have just installed some hardwired smoke alarms but they are chirping, why is this? It is important when installing the smoke alarms to ensure that all the batteries are in place and that smoke alarms are all correctly wired up otherwise they will chirp. To check this each smoke alarm should have a permanent green led light. If you install smoke alarm models with the hush button then it is very easy to touch the hush and the alarm will then chirp every 30-40 seconds for 7 minutes before going quiet. Each time the hush button has been touched will elicit a 7-minute chirp cycle. Q) Can you tell me how your heat alarms work? The temperature needs to rise to 57C before the detector will sound. It does not matter how much smoke is being generated that is why heat detectors should only be used in the kitchen with either an ionization or photo-electric smoke alarm linked in the hallway.
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