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No battery smoke detectors

detector plugs in with rechargable battery
  [vote for,

You hear about people who die in fires due to their smoke detectors not having a battery so.... Why not have a law that smoke detectors must plug in or be hooked up electronically like a light fixture? They could have a rechargable battery in them so that if the power goes off they would still work. Kind of like those lights that come on when the power goes out.
fence, Jul 30 2000


       Oh, quite baked...   

       Why aren't they required? Perhaps they thought people wouldn't install them if they had to install new wiring (rather than just sticking a battery-powered unit on the ceiling).
egnor, Jul 30 2000

       There's stupid, and then there's lazy and forgetful.   

       Imagine: it's 0300 AM. The voltage on your battery-powered smoke detector drops below some critical threshold, and the thing starts wailing at you to replace it. You don't happen to have a spare 9V handy.   

       What are you going to do? Even the most safety-conscious individual will take the battery out and go back to sleep, probably intending full well to replace it in the morning. Now, I don't think I'm stupid, and I don't want to die in a house fire any more than the next guy, but I'd give myself about 25% odds of actually remembering to get a new battery for the thing.   

       Luckily, the smoke detector in my apartment *is* centrally powered. I don't know if there's a battery anywhere in case of power outage, but even if there isn't, I'd guess it's still more likely to save my life.
egnor, Jul 31 2000

       Actually, I attended a demonstration of batteryless "smoke" detector, only it detected heat via a fusible "link" arrangement. when this link melted at specified temperature, it allowed a spring to unwind, ringing a very loud bell. I cannot immeadiatly recall the name of the company but the alarm was only sold as part of a package.
Scott_D, Jul 31 2000

       There is precisely such a law in the UK (probably an EC ruling) for new buildings/extensions. Bringing in such a law for existing buildings, would probably produce much grumbling and little activity.
Lemon, Jul 31 2000

       The object here seems to be the extention of our short existance on earth. Your attitudes make me think of seatbelts, life vests, helmits, and using inanimate tech devices (firearms)to extend our lives.
CButts, Aug 03 2000

       Whose attitudes? What attitudes? Why do smoke detectors remind you of guns? Sorry CButts, I don't follow.
Lemon, Aug 03 2000

       CButts' gun fixation....gotta be american....
Haemavore, Sep 24 2000

       I do think it would be useful if more smoke detectors had a "silence" button which would both turn off the low-battery bleeper for a reasonable length of time (e.g. 8 hours) and which would silence the alarm for up to 15 minutes in case it was set off by 'innocent' smoke.
supercat, Oct 21 2000

       I think I agree on the "silence" button, though you have to consider that every such feature you add increases the odds of failure by a not insignificant amount.
egnor, Oct 21 2000

       PeterSealy: Why do you say ((rightly))? If the alarm is bleeping to signal a low battery, which is more useful: (1) I push the silence button and go back to bed; the alarm will sound if there's a fire but won't low-battery-bleep for eight hours, or (2) the alarm starts bleeping to signal a low battery and, wanting sleep and not having a fresh battery handy, I take out the battery and go to bed.   

       Likewise, if some cooking overheats on the stove and I've heard the alarm go off, which is more useful: (1) I push the silence button and the alarm stops bleeping unless or until the level of smoke increases substantially or smoke is present after 15 minutes, or (2) being well aware of the smoke, but wanting to not have the bleeping alarm going off while I try to salvage my cooking, I yank out the battery.   

       Seems to me the silence button enhances safety in both of those cases.
supercat, Oct 22 2000

       There are smoke detectors with 'cooking' buttons that shut it off for an amount of time <fifteen minutes, I think>. Unfortunately, the one in my apartment doesn't have this, so I have to yank it off the ceiling every time I cook anything that might produce some smoke, and it's sometimes days before I put it back up.   

       A law requiring new detectors to have 'shut the F@#% up' buttons would probably be better recieved...
StarChaser, Oct 22 2000

       I Live in base housing on an American military base, and all of our smoke detectors are centrally powered. This seems great, except military housing loses power 4-5 times more often than anywhere else I've lived.
rwhamann, Nov 14 2000


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