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  • Faulty long life smoke alarm

    I thought I was over being called out at night but tonight I discovered I am not over it yet.
    I installed a couple of those fancy long life sealed in battery smoke alarms today.
    I got an annoyed call from a neighboring tenant saying the alarm was driving him mad.
    I trundled across town in my little truck and sure enough found the new beast was blowing its head off making me a bit more deafer.
    Pressing the button stopped it for a few minutes then it started up again. I pulled it down and waving it around in the fresh air outside stopped the noise for a few minutes then it started up again.
    You can not remove the batteries for these little beasts so I had to use my universal tool. A hammer. That exposed the soft underbelly of the beast as the case flew off and with my trusty knife managed to extract the 9 Volt battery from its housing.
    So I wonder. Was the beast faulty or did the fact that we had the carpets shampooed the day before have something to do with it.
    Was this a rare one off event or have other installers found the same problem.

  • #2
    I find smoke alarms of various brands to be pretty shonky. They seem to last a few years and then go on the fritz.

    The only solution being to through them away and replace them with a new one.

    Probably a good business to be in - manufacturing them that is.
    Squadly dinky do!

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    • #3
      Manufacturer would struggle to analyse the defect if each time they get sent one it's been smashed into a thousand pieces eh
      Free online Property Investment Course from iFindProperty, a residential investment property agency.

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      • #4
        Yeah, Glenn should have popped it into an envelope, slapped a stamp on it and sent it back to the shop - while it was shrieking it's head off.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Bob Kane View Post
          Yeah, Glenn should have popped it into an envelope, slapped a stamp on it and sent it back to the shop - while it was shrieking it's head off.
          Not a bad idea Bob, that’s what I could/should have done too but ..... got my rocks off differently

          Bought one of those from “The Warehouse” (Made in China) installing it same morning. It started beeping within 2 hours forcing a return to the rental. Tried every which way but couldn’t stop it going off every 2 or 3 mins clockwork!

          Luckily managed to return it to Warehouse that afternoon and was refunded ….. Thoroughly enjoyed listening to it beeping away in cashiers cupboard even watched cashier and staff from a distance but eventually had to go

          Ventured to buy another one of same ilk, this time from “Bunnings”. Don’t recall exactly but do recall it was either Swedish or Danish product and that was about 4 months ago

          Glenn, you now have me worried

          Tenant hasn’t complained yet but in light of my experience together with your report, am beginning to wonder ….. keeping fingers crossed
          .
          Derived from "Turbid" ..... akin to toxic Carbide(s) .... by adding "e" to "Turbid", we then have,
          Turbide(s) = new alternative word for Scumbag(s) .. Thankfully, humanity's minority -
          May 2012

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          • #6
            We (in my other occupation) have had to replace many of the 10 year alarms due to faulty manufacture. I'm surprised this topic hasn't been broached before. Lately, Triple Kay is using Cavius alarms. Of the 50 or so we've installed we have had just one return.

            Something like a 2% failure rate so far.
            www.3888444.co.nz
            Facebook Page

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            • #7
              In another life installed a few thousand smoke alarms.
              Heard all the bullshit etc and have seen them installed in all sorts of places. Firemen are the worst as one would expect.

              The old alarms came in two types basically. The First Alert type that had single ionization and the Wormald ones that had dual ionization.
              The single ionization jobbies would trigger on high humidity so when the humidity went up from cooking or showers or just rainy days off they go. Cure take the battery out (which of course was inevitably the case.)

              The Wormald duals were great. The first one I sold and installed was to a lady boiling eggs for lunch. She said to me "oh those things just keep going off" to which I replied "well these ones are not supposed too." Pointing to the boiling pot she said "show me". Talk about being called out, well took the thing out of my pocket and held it over the pot and sure enough eggs boiled and alarm stayed quiet. ( real time test by fire eh!).
              So went on to sell and install over 4k of them until Wormalds decided in their world wide foolishness to take the manufacture from India to China. That destroyed their alarm for they started arriving rusty and faulty. Never sold or installed another one.

              About that time the photo electrics started to come on the market and have used these in all my houses.
              They have good fire alert, better than ionization, as they pick up more different types of fire.

              Here's the trick.
              When installing we would see alarms installed by the Fire Service ( Was in one town only two weeks after they went round and installed for people), and by that time the batteries were out. The aalrms were mostly installed wrongly and of course the batteries were great for the kids games, cars etc and when you are poor, well the batteries were free and the alarms going off are a nuisance when you are cooking.

              So, some tips. Use photoelectric which are now quite cheap, use 10 year batteries BUT Glue the buggers in so they can't be stolen, (remember that even though the new law will allow you to have a tenant held responsible for disarming the alarm it just ain't gunna happen in the TT. (Don't get me started there.)

              Next do not install near showers or stoves etc. Best is on the ceiling away from the wall as the air circulation cavitates at the ceiling level by the wall so if the alarm is close to the wall on the ceiling it may not work. Above the door lintel in good. but not right up.
              Remember alarms are about saving peoples lives not about protecting property.

              Rooms that have TV's, plug boards and especially those that have phone rechargers or where cellphones reside (bedrooms) should have an alarm now. The batteries in many of these can explode or cause a fire. Airlines now will no longer bring lithium batteries into NZ because of this.
              It will become more of a problem.

              It's interesting what causes fire. Many will have seen the newspaper report of what caused the fire in the Hamilton Restaurant last week.
              Here.http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7609...estaurant-fire

              Your tenants can do the same thing at home.

              We had something similar a year or so back.
              Have a property we subdivided and put a nice little house at the back. The original garage became part of that property. Decided to eat lunch and look at the local news and clicked open Sunlive to see a picture of said garage up in flames.
              Now its not far round the road from work so went around. Firemen and all but no one home.

              The fire had started in a wheely bin. The bin was placed alongside the garage and it burnt right down until the flames were able to sneak inside the tin lining at the bottom of the garage and into the cupboard behind. ( The bin was on con cete which was lower than the floor of the garage by about 250mm.)
              Of course being many years old that cupboard was dusty and oily etc so away she went. Spent some time with the fire investigator who eventually came to the conclusion that something in the bin had combusted and caused the fire. It was a warn day and the bin was in full sun.
              No One in the house smoked so that was ruled unlikely.
              Had it not been for someone arriving to visit, the fire would have been decidedly nastier. The garage is close to the fence and the house which is covered with Masada board or similar. That melted and a bit more heat and time and the house would have been severely damaged. The fence was close to the neighbours old wooden sheds and garages that were full of recycling stuff like cable and old washing machines etc that they dismantled for recycling. There was no one home there at the time either.
              We got a new garage, which is nice but its a drama.

              In our work now we deal with the contents and some of the restoring of and soon the application of Fire Retardants to some of the contents. More about that when we are set to go in a month or so. The new building codes are much more stringent about fire protection.

              There is nothing nice about house fires.

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              • #8
                Well actually this was a Warrior brand that came from Mitre 10 with 10 year warranty written on the box. This one is a photo electric model. I notice that the box says they "recommend installing both ionisation and photoelectric to help ensure maximum detection of the various types of fires that can occur within the home." I wonder if this means they do not trust their own product and recommend using the opposition as well?
                I tried popping the battery back into its holder when I got back home and sure enough it still roars its head off.
                I must admit this is the first one that has been going off all the time as apposed to the normal low battery beep that gives the regular annoying beep.
                If I put the battery back in this one and returned it going off it would clear the whole shop. Goodness its claim of being "Extra Loud Tone 85 db" is certainly correct. It is actually quite painful to approach and disarm.
                Actually I am disappointed now that I come to think of it. I should have put my industrial grade ear muffs on and returned it to the shop like a screaming child. There is simply no way of harmlessly turning it off. That in itself is actually a dangerous thing.
                Last edited by Glenn; 23-01-2016, 07:59 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Viking View Post
                  (remember that even though the new law will allow you to have a tenant held responsible for disarming the alarm it just ain't gunna happen in the TT. (Don't get me started there.)
                  Must have been the way you presented the case. I've been successful on a number of occasions. $1800 in one instance.
                  www.3888444.co.nz
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                  • #10
                    We (property maintenance company) have had a few faulty 10 year alarms. Maybe 1 in 10. All from Placemakers or (mostly) Bunnings. They are a total nuisance, not only for the tenant and/or owner but also us because we pretty much have to drop everything, travel to the site, find the receipt, return the alarm, get a replacement, return to site and reinstall. We don't get paid for any of that.

                    So much for the $40 cost that MBIE uses in its (very shonkey) cost benefit analysis in the below discussion document.

                    Strongly recommend that posters above put in a submission on the discussion document, closing date 11 Feb. Can be done online. Meanwhile I might point them at this thread, as MBIE don't seem to have any idea what happens in the real world.

                    http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-service...d-smoke-alarms

                    The smoke alarms and insulation bill is going to Select Committee shortly, submissions are called for and can also be made online. They close 27 January.


                    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/sc...amendment-bill

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                    • #11
                      Which case?
                      Won plenty there. Just don't consider they will hit the tenant for disarming an alarm.

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                      • #12
                        Oh Gen I thought you were talking about the great new mini alarms. Cost about $50.00 each.
                        http://www.cavius.co.nz/

                        Haven't had a problem with those warriors at all.
                        And certainly you can mix them up.

                        https://www.consumer.org.nz/products...e/smoke-alarms

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Keys View Post
                          Must have been the way you presented the case. I've been successful on a number of occasions. $1800 in one instance.
                          My last case before retiring at the tribunal I got $1000. This was a special case because the tenant had told the court official that he would burn the flat down if he was evicted. My case was perhaps this is what arsonists do. Like take the alarms away before setting fire to properties. At an earlier case I presented Key's case and said this is what the other courts are awarding.
                          At an earlier case before you mam you put in writing that the law was new and so the award is on the lower side. Well Christchurch is further from Wellington than Nelson so how come the law is different down there. I got my money in that case also. They really hate me talking like this but how else can I get my point across.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Viking View Post
                            Oh Gen I thought you were talking about the great new mini alarms. Cost about $50.00 each.
                            http://www.cavius.co.nz/

                            Haven't had a problem with those warriors at all.
                            And certainly you can mix them up.

                            https://www.consumer.org.nz/products...e/smoke-alarms
                            This was I think the first one I had put up for ages. My good staff had always done it in the past. I think we have had a few of the ten year sealed units fail in the past but only as a low battery fail.
                            I think the staff normally tried to make a claim. Perhaps they did not. We occasionally had a serious moan from owners for charging them for the long life units.
                            Of course this was a photo electric one that generally are less prone to false alarms.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Keys View Post
                              We (in my other occupation) have had to replace many of the 10 year alarms due to faulty manufacture. I'm surprised this topic hasn't been broached before. Lately, Triple Kay is using Cavius alarms. Of the 50 or so we've installed we have had just one return.

                              Something like a 2% failure rate so far.
                              You hit the nail on the head, replacement I bought from Bunnings was Danish Cavius ….. So far so good, no complaint from tenant

                              Originally posted by Viking View Post
                              Oh Glen I thought you were talking about the great new mini alarms. Cost about $50.00 each.
                              http://www.cavius.co.nz/

                              Haven't had a problem with those warriors at all.
                              And certainly you can mix them up.
                              Thanks Glenn and Viking for all info supplied here. Cheers
                              .
                              Derived from "Turbid" ..... akin to toxic Carbide(s) .... by adding "e" to "Turbid", we then have,
                              Turbide(s) = new alternative word for Scumbag(s) .. Thankfully, humanity's minority -
                              May 2012

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