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  1. #66
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: smoke & Co alarms

    10.4.2.2* Fire alarm systems and other systems and equipment
    that are associated with fire alarm systems and accessory equipment
    shall be tested according to Table 10.4.2.2.


    From Table Table 10.4.2.2
    (g) Smoke detectors
    1. System detectors and single-station smoke alarms used in other than one- and two-family dwellings
    The detectors shall be tested in place to ensure smoke entry into the sensing
    chamber and an alarm response. Testing with smoke or listed aerosol approved
    by the manufacturer shall be permitted as acceptable test methods. Other
    methods approved by the manufacturer that ensure smoke entry into the
    sensing chamber shall be permitted.
    Any of the following tests shall be performed to ensure that each smoke detector
    is within its listed and marked sensitivity range:
    (1) Calibrated test method
    (2) Manufacturer's calibrated sensitivity test instrument
    (3) Listed control equipment arranged for the purpose
    (4) Smoke detector/control unit arrangement whereby the detector causes a
    signal at the control unit when its sensitivity is outside its listed sensitivity range
    (5) Other calibrated sensitivity test method approved by the authority having
    jurisdiction

    2. Single- and multiple-station smoke alarms
    Functional tests shall be conducted according to manufacturer's instructions.


    Summary
    10.4.2.2 G 1 States that Smoke DETECTORS and Smoke ALARMS in OTHER THAN 1 and 2 family dwellings shall be tested using smoke. Additional testing must also be performed using 1 of the 5 methods shown.
    I doubt any one here (with exception of myself) is qualified to test using any of these methods.

    10.4.2.2 G 2 States that Smoke ALARMS ( this is what you get at HD, Lowes, WalMart...) are to be tested using the manufactures instructions (IE Press the button)


    In addition
    ALL ordinary smoke alarms do have a test button.

    Smoke detectors like those used in a Fire Alarm System have hidden test buttons or another method for testing.

    F.I.R.E. Services
    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  2. #67
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: smoke & Co alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Wrong on all claims
    So you think I'm wrong?
    And just what are your qualifications to make that statement?
    You sure can't comprehend what you read.

    Ya see Jim, I don't just talk the talk, I also walk the walk.
    Meaning, I started in the burglar and fire alarm business in 1986.
    I was state certified and got my state licensed in burglar and fire alarms in 1995.
    Now that doesn't mean that I know it all, but I'm sure I know more than you.

    There may be somethings you are qualified to speak on.
    Maybe Bevis and Buthead, or even Family Guy.
    But when it comes to Home Inspections, well, I have sympathy for your customers.

    So, now that I've said that, let me ask you something:
    How do you feel about testing for MOLD?

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  3. #68
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: smoke & Co alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    I do not want to get in a pissing contest but, I have been in this business at least 20 years longer than you .Sorry, but you have a very long way to go to catch up.
    I suspect it will take him a long time to catch up with you.

    Abram & Co | Beverly, MA 01915 | Angies List
    - "Licensed: Yes, I am appropriately licensed for my trade."

    Division of Professional Licensure: License Search
    - CASE # ---------------DISCIPLINARY ACTION--------------------DATE CASE CLOSED - 20081017HI007----LICENSE SUSPENDED----------------------5/24/2012
    - 20050510HI032----REPRIMAND / VERBAL WARNING------8/23/2007
    - 20080303HI016----REPRIMAND / VERBAL WARNING------7/29/2010
    - - NOTE:
    - - This web site displays only disciplinary action in cases that were closed after January 1, 1993. Discipline prior to that date is not displayed. Open complaints, including those under investigation or in prosecution, also are not displayed. If you require further information, please call the DPL Office of Investigations, at (617) 727-7406.

    Official's problems turn the spotlight on home inspectors - The Boston Globe
    - Licensees who have had more than one complaint are: James R. Abram of Beverly, Donald A. George of Methuen, Albert J. Mushinsky of Framingham, John C. Nadolski of Agawam, and Simpson.

    Division of Professional Licensure: License Search

    Division of Professional Licensure: License Search

    I see you will not be off suspension until May of this year.

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

  4. #69
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: smoke & Co alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    I do not want to get in a pissing contest but, I have been in this business at least 20 years longer than you .Sorry, but you have a very long way to go to catch up.
    Yet another attempt at deception/ misdirection
    How much of that is working on "Fire Alarm Systems"?

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  5. #70
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    sellersburg, in. work in lou, ky.
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: smoke & Co alarms

    ........ok! I called First Alert, they too said the test button tests the operation and not just the battery! Please just drop it.


  6. #71
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    sellersburg, in. work in lou, ky.
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: smoke & Co alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Kenny that is just great but... how do you get around this ?

    NFPA 72
    The detectors shall be tested in place to ensure smoke entry into the sensing

    chamber and an alarm response. Testing with smoke or listed aerosol approved
    by the manufacturer shall be permitted as acceptable test methods. Other
    methods approved by the manufacturer that ensure smoke entry into the
    sensing chamber shall be permitted.

    Quite simple.. the wording is "shall be permitted", anyone who has dealt with codes knows you have to read what it says..


  7. #72
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    sellersburg, in. work in lou, ky.
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: smoke & Co alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    I guess the question that I have is " How do you get smoke into the smoke sensing chamber without using smoke or aerosol ?"
    Well, "IF" you "CHOOSE" to use smoke, since nowhere does it say that you have to, do it any way you like.


  8. #73
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    358

    Default Re: smoke & Co alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Weekly View Post
    I do not test these devices.
    I note their presence, or lack of an installation, refer them to a website and like others' here recommend THEY test their own devices regularly and replace them every 7 to 10 years.
    I do not test these devices because - like others' - I have had the fire trucks come up the street with sirens blazing.....the firefighters are only happy when they get to save someone and be helpful...not when some one crys 'Wolf'.
    No more testing for me. Your client should know how to test their own and familiarize themselves with its operation and limitations. In my area there are state and local websites to refer clients to regarding the placement and testing.
    ...and Gary - why bother testing, if , as you say "With that being said, all of the detectors should be replaced/upgraded immediately after closing. "
    I'm the same way, I don't test them because who knows who does what or what happens to the property for the next 30-45 days till the new owners move in? My boilerplate comment states: "Due to liability reasons, smoke and CO detectors are not tested nor evaluated. Recommend testing devices on first day of occupancy to your own satisfaction".


  9. #74
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
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    Default Re: smoke & Co alarms

    Jim
    Now this (your post) is a reasonable reply
    We can disagree on things, and still be reasonable at the same time.
    So in answer I will break it down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Much of my work was related to fire alarm systems and fire sprinkler systems. Since regulations requiring smoke detectors,and smoke detectors were nearly non existent until about 1978, I was involved in some of the growing pains involved with launching a new concept.
    That was an acceptable response
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post

    @ Rick -Jim's bases his opinion to use smoke for testing on requirements of NFPA72.

    NFPA 72 regulates fire alarm systems.
    Ordinary household smoke alarms such as found in 1 and 2 family homes are NOT a fire alarm system. A Fire alarm system uses a control panel. Ordinary smoke alarms do not have a control panel.

    Where you go wrong is that a house with a security system that incorporates smoke detectors is a fire alarm system, and as such are required to be smoke tested.
    I never said that. I said that a HI should not test smoke detectors that are part of (connected to) an alarm system. The reason is mainly because, unless someone is there with the alarm code (or key) the HI will be unable to silence the siren. Also, An HI, is not quilifed to perform testing on a fire alarm system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    There are millions of these systems in existence. If we are discussing smoke detectors , we are talking all smoke detectors .There are enough of these systems to be considered in the discussion. Clearly these systems require smoke testing.
    Yes, they do need to be tested, however much like checking freon, that testing is beyond what most HIs can/ should perform.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    The "single station used in other than one and two family dwellings" reference is somewhat confusing. I believe that that reference is meant to mean small units in large buildings with only one station.This does not exclude one and two family dwellings.
    Of course it excludes one and two family dwellings. That is why it says " Excludes one and two family dwellings".
    No, it's not confusing. You left out two key words "SMOKE ALARMS"
    It's not uncommon to have single station smoke alarms and yet have a fire alarm system also.
    So on all buildings (other that 1 & 2 family dwellings) in addition to testing the smoke detectors with smoke, the single station smoke alarms are to be tested with smoke also.
    But as I said earlier, even when you inspect commercial buildings, apartments, and similar, you, as an HI should not be testing any of the smoke detectors on smoke alarms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Also for many years , the test button only tested the power and alarm. There are still many of these devices in use.
    I can't say for certain that you are wrong, however for many many years pressing the test button actually does perform a calibrated test of the smoke alarm.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Also , I do not remember anyone limiting the discussion to one and two family residences.
    The point is that not all smoke detectors can be tested with a button to ensure functionality and some require smoke testing.
    There are a large number of smoke detectors out there that should be tested with smoke.
    Jim, first let define a few terms, OK.
    A smoke ALARM is contains the smoke sensor AND an annunciator device (sirem, light, beeper)
    A smoke alarm can be single station or interconnected with other smoke alarms.
    What you'll find in most houses are SMOKE ALARMS. This type on smoke alarm you can get at HD or Lowes.
    There are some SMOKE ALARMS designed to be connected to a fire alarm system. This type is not the same as a smoke alarm you get at HD, or Lowes. It is a smoke alarm in that it has the smoke detector AND the an annunciator and also connects to the fire alarm system.
    A SMOKE DETECTOR has the sensor to detect smoke, however it does not have an annunciator contained within the device. A smoke DETECTOR is always connected to a fire alarm system.
    A fire alarm system may or may not have SMOKE DETECTORS, SMOKE ALARMS, connected to it. Many fire alarms only have pull stations.
    Fire alarm systems may or may not be monitored (call the fire station),
    That said:
    You are (somewhat) correct when you said smoke DETECTORS do not have test buttons.
    Remember smoke DETECTORS are part of a fire alarm system. The smoke detector does have a way to test it. Smoke DETECTORS have a concealed test button, magnetic switch, or a special KEY for testing.
    ALL smoke ALARMS like those you get at HD or Lowes have a test button.
    IF you DO NOT SEE a test button, it is because it is part of a fire alarm system, and you as an HI should not attempt to test it.

    Lastly
    Testing with smoke
    Smoke DETECTORS (and smoke alarms) that are part of a fire alarm system, yes, these should be tested with smoke or canned smoke. BUT you, as an HI, are not qualified (trained, licensed) to perform testing on fire alarm system (or any component of it).
    Smoke ALARMS (like those you can get at HD or Lowes).
    Should NOT be tested using smoke or canned smoke.
    Because using smoke or canned smoke can contaminate the detection chamber, thus damaging the unit.
    After testing with smoke (or canned smoke) the unit is to be disassembled and cleaned.
    Smoke DETECTORS and Smoke ALARMS that are part of a fire alarm system, can be disassembled for cleaning. Ordinary smoke ALARMS like you get at HD or Lowes may not be able to be disassembled for cleaning.
    Testing with smoke or canned smoke, how much smoke do you use?
    How long do you spray the can?
    Just as with Duane who said 80% did not work using canned smoke. Testing with canned smoke should be done by trained and qualified personnel. Otherwise you may get results that are unreliable.


    As for the IRC referencing NFPA 72
    Yes it does. It's talking about FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS.
    For smoke alarms NFPA 72 requirements are for placement (bedrooms, each level...).
    For testing smoke alarms, NFPA 72 says follow the manufacturers instructions. The manufacturers instruction say to press the test button. There is nothing in the instructions about using smoke. Pressing the test button is a calibrated sensitivity test. You are correct that pressing the test button does not test for entry of smoke into the smoke chamber. For that reason, the manufacturer recommends to vacuum the smoke alarm. Vacuuming the alarm helps to insure that nothing blocks the entry of smoke into the smoke chamber.
    Remember, there is a higher level of reliability placed on smoke DETECTORS for a fire alarm system, than there is on ordinary smoke ALARMS. That is why smoke DETECTORS connected to a fire alarm system are required to be tested with smoke and smoke ALARMS are not required to be tested with smoke.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  10. #75
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
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    Default Re: smoke & Co alarms

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Abram View Post
    Rick -

    Here is where we differ.
    IRC-
    R314.2 Smoke detection systems.

    Household fire alarm systems installed in accordance with NFPA 72 that include smoke alarms, or a combination of smoke detector and audible notification device installed as required by this section for smoke alarms, shall be permitted. The household fire alarm system shall provide the same level of smoke detection and alarm as required by this section for smoke alarms. Where a household fire warning system is installed using a combination of smoke detector and audible notification device(s), it shall become a permanent fixture of the occupancy and owned by the homeowner. The system shall be monitored by an approved supervising station and be maintained in accordance with NFPA 72.

    Maintained in accordance with:
    NFPA 72
    The detectors shall be tested in place to ensure smoke entry into the sensing

    chamber and an alarm response. Testing with smoke or listed aerosol approved
    by the manufacturer shall be permitted as acceptable test methods. Other
    methods approved by the manufacturer that ensure smoke entry into the
    sensing chamber shall be permitted.


    The point that I am trying to make is that not all the smoke alarms and smoke detectors can be properly tested by pushing the button.
    I'll try
    When a fire alarm company installs a fire alarm system in a house the number and location of smoke detection devices must be at least as good as what is required for smoke ALARMS (such as those you get at HD).
    The company installing the fire alarm cannot install a single smoke detector and call it a fire alarm system, unless the house has a combined total of smoke DETECTORS and smoke ALARMS that meet the number and placement requirements.

    Example
    A house has existing smoke ALARMS installed in the bedrooms, and on every level... as required (number and placement).
    An alarm company CAN install a Single smoke detector and call it a fire alarm system. In this case the existing smoke alarms count toward meeting the number and placement requirements of NFPA 72. Note, since the alarm company is using the existing smoke alarms toward meeting the requirements, they must now test the existing smoke alarms just like the requirements for testing the smoke detectors of a fire alarm system. This DOES INCLUDE testing with smoke.

    If the house has existing smoke alarms that meet the number and placement requirements, and the company installs smoke detectors along with the existing smoke alarms (1 for 1). The existing smoke detectors are redundant. Therefore the company does not need to rely on the existing smoke alarms and DO NOT need to test them. The company would only need to test the smoke detectors they installed.

    If a house has no smoke alarms installed ( or to few to meet the requirements for number and placement), the company must install as many smoke detectors as needed so that the total meet the requirements for number and placement.


    "Where a household fire warning system is installed using a combination of smoke detector and audible notification device(s), it shall become a permanent fixture of the occupancy and owned by the homeowner. The system shall be monitored by an approved supervising station and be maintained in accordance with NFPA 72. "

    What this is saying
    A few years ago, some companies would "LEASE" a burglar and fire alarm.
    As long as the customer paid the monitoring fee every month, all was good.
    Some customers decided to cancel the monitoring. The company would then come out and remove the equipment. Leaving holes in the walls, and leaving the customer with less than what is required (number and placement) of smoke alarms. Now, the equipment is considered a permanent fixture of the house and the company is not allowed to remove it.


    I may not have described that very well, if not I'll try again.

    I hope you accept my apologizes for saying you are an "Idiot" and a "Fool"
    I am certain your IQ far exceeds that of an Idiot.
    As for a fool, it is neither my place nor right to describe you as a fool.

    Last edited by Rick Cantrell; 04-11-2014 at 01:38 PM. Reason: Added Apology and minor changes
    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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