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  1. #1
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    Default Smoke detector photos

    Smoke detector mounted on a 20+ plus (22 foot) ceiling. Smoke detector is mounted away from the wall, out of reach for a ladder leaned against the wall. Floor below is smooth hardwood, easy for the feet of a ladder to slip out from. The smoke detector did not have to be located in this unreachable location as there was a lower ceiling area available that would fit the requirement of a smoke detector outside the master bedroom.

    Not good for the homeowner trying to change the battery on this one, when it starts to beep at 1:30 Christmas morning.




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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Smoke detector photos

    a review of nfpa public education will explain why this location was chosen
    https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Educatio...g-smoke-alarms

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Smoke detector photos

    Quote Originally Posted by BARRY ADAIR View Post
    a review of nfpa public education will explain why this location was chosen
    https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Educatio...g-smoke-alarms
    Hi Barry, yes, I understand. What is not shown in the photo is there is a 2nd floor accessible area of this high ceiling that the smoke detector could have been placed at that would allow the battery to to be changed from a simple step-ladder. It would be a little further from the master suite door however the ceiling height is the same and the smoke detector could be maintained and tested. As it is now, the home owner has no reasonable hope of maintaining it. As in many things, there is no perfect answer.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Smoke detector photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene South View Post
    Hi Barry, yes, I understand. What is not shown in the photo is there is a 2nd floor accessible area of this high ceiling that the smoke detector could have been placed at that would allow the battery to to be changed from a simple step-ladder. It would be a little further from the master suite door however the ceiling height is the same and the smoke detector could be maintained and tested. As it is now, the home owner has no reasonable hope of maintaining it. As in many things, there is no perfect answer.
    yes there is by your reply
    advise relocation to the more readily accessible area you describe
    easy-peasy reporting
    i wish i encounted such simple reporting
    best to you in your endeavors
    btw: have a large 2~3 day comm in OK next month??? if you're still interested in a tagalong...call me

    badair http://www.adairinspection.com Garland, TX 75042 TREC # 4563
    Commercial-Residential-Construction-EIFS-Infrared Thermography
    life is the random lottery of events followed by numerous narrow escapes

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Smoke detector photos

    Gene,

    If you are standing on that 2nd floor area in the photo with you pointing - to be within reach of that would be too far from the master bedroom for the smoke alarm to be counted as at the master bedroom.

    A better location would be out from the wall so it is within reach, but not too close to the wall either.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Smoke detector photos

    Most of the time in local cities, they are requiring a smoke detector in both the lower hallway ceiling (assuming a first floor bedroom) as well as in the upper ceiling like in your photo. But installing a long life detector when in hard to reach locations (i.e. 20' ceilings)
    Quote Originally Posted by Gene South View Post
    Smoke detector mounted on a 20+ plus (22 foot) ceiling. Smoke detector is mounted away from the wall, out of reach for a ladder leaned against the wall. Floor below is smooth hardwood, easy for the feet of a ladder to slip out from. The smoke detector did not have to be located in this unreachable location as there was a lower ceiling area available that would fit the requirement of a smoke detector outside the master bedroom.

    Not good for the homeowner trying to change the battery on this one, when it starts to beep at 1:30 Christmas morning.




    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Smoke detector photos

    Jim,
    I agree with you. The location is stupid and is non-workable for most people. At minimum the owners can install a lithium 9V battery which will last ten years. A better solution would be if the builder installed the smoke detector within arms reach of the upper hallway balcony.

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Smoke detector photos

    From Kidde | Fire Safety.
    Placement of smoke alarms.



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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Smoke detector photos

    The problems with those standard drawings from Kidde, NFPA, and others is that they do not show installations which apply to the photo high ceiling areas as shown in the photos in question.

    And installing one within arms reach of the second floor balcony puts the smoke alarm no where near the bedroom hallway where it needs to go.

    This is the closest I could find: https://www.cityofberkeley.info/Plan...Detectors.aspx

    Scroll down to 310.9.1.4 Location within dwelling units and the drawing next to it showing "24 inches or more" for the height and " In dwelling units where the ceiling of a room open to the hallway serving the bedrooms exceeds that of the hallway by 24 inches (610 mm) or more, smoke detectors shall be installed in the hallway in the adjacent room"

    Of course though ... is it just me, or does that section repeat itself over, and over, and over, and ... is not even clear in what it is saying?

    This is what I mean (except I will not repeat it 6 times like it looks like it does on that page): "In dwelling units where the ceiling of a room open to the hallway serving the bedrooms exceeds that of the hallway by 24 inches (610 mm) or more, ... "

    Okay, I've got that part - "where the ceiling in the room open to the hallway serving the bedrooms" ... that would be the room shown in the photo as posted by Gene ...

    "exceeds that of the hallway by 24 inches (610 mm) or more" ... okay, got that part too - the ceiling in the room open to the hallway is more than 24 inches higher than the ceiling in the hallway ...

    But this is the part I don't get - "smoke detectors shall be installed in the hallway in the adjacent room" ... "the smoke detectors shall be installed" "in the hallway" "in the adjacent room" ... ? Huh? How can the smoke detectors be installed "in the hallway in the adjacent room"? The smoke detector would either be "in the hallway" OR "in the adjacent room" ... but given that the text repeats itself so many times (at least it shows that on my computer) ... I have to wonder who wrote it and: did they proof read it; did they wonder why it was so much longer than they typed it; it's from Berkeley ... so were they smokin' too much to even notice; or ... ???

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Smoke detector photos

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The problems with those standard drawings from Kidde, NFPA, and others is that they do not show installations which apply to the photo high ceiling areas as shown in the photos in question.
    Interpretation, Jerry. Not the same to everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    But this is the part I don't get - "smoke detectors shall be installed in the hallway in the adjacent room" ... "the smoke detectors shall be installed" "in the hallway" "in the adjacent room" ... ? Huh? How can the smoke detectors be installed "in the hallway in the adjacent room"? The smoke detector would either be "in the hallway" OR "in the adjacent room" ... but given that the text repeats itself so many times (at least it shows that on my computer) ... I have to wonder who wrote it and: did they proof read it; did they wonder why it was so much longer than they typed it; it's from Berkeley ... so were they smokin' too much to even notice; or ... ???
    I think they are referring to, "smoke detectors shall be installed in the hallway in the adjacent room" considered a semi-detached, with the hallway on the common wall, with bedrooms on one side, of a hallway. Hallway being the operative word/interpretation.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Smoke detector photos

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    I think they are referring to, "smoke detectors shall be installed in the hallway in the adjacent room" ...
    I think they are referring to 'smoke detectors shall be installed in the hallway serving the bedrooms' ... which was easy enough to say with a quite clear meaning.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12

    Default Re: Smoke detector photos

    Just change the smoke alarm battery when you change the light bulbs.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Smoke detector photos

    "And installing one within arms reach of the second floor balcony puts the smoke alarm no where near the bedroom hallway where it needs to go."

    Jerry - I agree with you. This would be the living room detector and a hallway detector would need to be installed. Sometimes people get caught up in the intricacies of the rules and common sense goes out the window. In condo's I frequently see smoke alarms adjacent to the kitchen areas. The alarm falses so often its usually disabled. Move it 10 ft. and you avoid the false alarms and people will leave it functioning.

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Smoke detector photos

    In my rental unit, there is a vaulted ceiling in the living room. I can reach the smoke alarm with a tall step ladder, because that is what I used to install it. But since it is hard-wired, it can be muted by flipping the breaker, which is clearly marked with a label.

    The smoke alarms are on the lighting circuit for the bathroom, so the tenants have to turn the breaker back on to see in there.

    Low income housing seems to often have disabled smoke alarms. Why, maybe small rooms with hot plates and malfunctioning toasters, smoking inside, etc? I will always recommend improvements to the alarms and their locations.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

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