Smoke Alarm - choosing the right one

  Graham. 15:31 27 Oct 2009

Mine is 10 years old so needs replacing. I'm looking for ionisation as well as photo-electric, and with a 10 year battery. Any advice appreciated.

  961 16:14 27 Oct 2009

Quite honestly I don't think it matters so long as there is a functioning battery in there

All the smoke alarms I've come across beep when the battery is done. Time to buy a new Duracell

The ones that don't do the business are the ones that have been either disconnected when they go off every morning when the toaster is doing the business, or....

the kids pinch the battery to run the latest game

  bobbybowls 16:15 27 Oct 2009

If your house is more than 1 level it will have to be hard wired to meet current building regulations.

We fit these click here they are specified in the contracts from the council for HMO (houses in multiple occupancy)properties.

Find a good local electrician and see what they recommend. they will have fitted hundreds so will know the reliable ones.

  lotvic 16:19 27 Oct 2009

Our local Fire Station provide, fit and maintains them for FREE. They all have a ten year battery in them.
Worth you checking with yours.

  Kevscar1 16:33 27 Oct 2009


Are you absolutly sure ours is 3 storey and Fire Brigade installed battery operated onea when I locked myself out a few months back.

  BT 17:50 27 Oct 2009

You've just reminded me to put a new battery in mine. It woke me up at 3am this morning beeping with the low battery warning. I disconnected to battery to keep it quiet for the rest of the night, and its only when I just saw this thread that I remembered that I hadn't replaced it.

Just been and done it!

I think the hard wiring thing only applys to new builds or conversions.

  Diemmess 17:58 27 Oct 2009

My savvy son commented that I should have a carbon monoxide alarm as well.

So much has been done over the years to 'improve' this humble abode that with most of the house now double glazed and therefor better sealed, CO might become a problem with a gravity fed boiler and the occasional woodburner at weekends.
He has a point.

  Forum Editor 18:39 27 Oct 2009

it will have to be hard wired to meet current building regulations".

That's not correct.

Hard wired alarms must now be fitted when any building work results in a being more than two stories in height - when a loft conversion is carried out, for instance. The hard wired alarms must be sited on each landing, and must all sound at once, regardless of which one actually detects smoke.

This only applies in the case of new building work of course - battery alarms are still widely used in existing two storey buildings. If an existing building is used for multiple occupancy - as Bed & Breakfast accommodation for instance, or when several students live in separate rooms in the same house, then the building regulations will apply - there must be hard-wired alarms.

  morddwyd 20:08 27 Oct 2009

Agree strongly with Diemmess.

Even if you don't have gas/solid fuel a smouldering fire will generate more CO than smoke in the early stahes, and you may be unconscious when the smoke alarm goes off

  bobbybowls 20:57 27 Oct 2009

I live in Scotland so different rules may apply. all our contracts from the council (fife) specify hard wired, as do contracts from private letting agents.

  interzone55 21:49 27 Oct 2009

Council contracts will require hard wired alarms, but they're not necessary on existing private properties unless major building work that requires planning permission is being carried out...

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