My luck ran out!

Originally Posted By: mboyett
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Well, my luck finally ran out today. Pushed a ‘test’ button on a smoke alarm right before I realized the home had a central, monitored alarm system. You can’t believe who all shows up for this type of thing…police, fire trucks, home monitoring company. Jeez, what a disaster! I’ve got to really rethink my smoke alarm testing protocol. For now, it’s no more button pushing for sure. icon_redface.gif



Mike Boyett


Capital City Inspections


Austin, Tx


www.capcityinspections.com

Originally Posted By: jpope
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I did the same thing in Brentwood. . .


Shinny trucks with pretty lights and cool ladders ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif)


--
Jeff Pope
JPI Home Inspection Service
"At JPI, we'll help you look better"
(661) 212-0738

Originally Posted By: dedwards
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Been there, done that. Only I asked the lady of the house if it was alright to test them. Then when the sirens and horns started I asked her how to shut it down to which she replied " I don’t know, my husband handles that stuff" to which I replied " I think you might want to call him" The firetrucks did not show up but the phone started ringing immediately and it was the security service checking. I wrote it up as good rapid response and made a mental note to never check that again. Visual inspection from then on with a good disclaimer statement to buyers.


Originally Posted By: jburkeson
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I have stopped testing smoke detectors entirely, the test button merely tests the alarm and not the detector. There is no way the button-test will reveal how the detector will function in a true smoke environment.


I explain that smoke detectors are commodity items that do not last forever, and if they are more then 3-years old they should consider replacements. Regardless of their decision, they should test and clean all units and replace batteries upon moving in. Many times when the older units are cleaned or vacuumed they will begin to develop problems and begin to give false alarms.

I do not want to instill a false sense of security where none exists, nor do I want the responsibility of having to go back to replace units that fail right after they move in.


--
Joseph Burkeson, RPI (Hooperette)

?Anyone who has proclaimed violence his method inexorably must choose lying as his principle.?
~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Originally Posted By: bkelly2
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I am with you Joe, I have never pushed the test button.



“I used to be disgusted, Now I try to Be amused”-Elvis Costello

Originally Posted By: jhugenroth
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jburkeson wrote:
the test button merely tests the alarm and not the detector. There is no way the button-test will reveal how the detector will function in a true smoke environment.


That's why I use the "Smoke Check" spray. I make sure it is not a central alarm system first! A $7 can lasts me about a month. I explain that it actually tests the sensor, unlike the button.

I have a question, though. Isn't a test button exactly that? Seems to me they would have a test button that doesn't call the fire dept.


Originally Posted By: ecrofutt
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=====


On older homes where the age of the detectors cannot be determined, I recommend replacing all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. The National Fire Protection Association recommends replacing smoke detectors every 10 years and carbon monoxide detectors every 5 years.


The smoke detector is NOT tested as part of the Home Inspection. The smoke detector should be tested by the home owner upon moving in and on a regular basis thereafter (every 30-60 days.) This is an important safety device. If it fails to operate, have it fixed or replace it. Hard wired smoke detectors should be repaired by an alarm qualified licensed electrician.
=====


--
Erby Crofutt
B4U Close Home Inspections
Georgetown, Kentucky

www.b4uclose.com

Originally Posted By: kmcmahon
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jhugenroth wrote:
jburkeson wrote:
the test button merely tests the alarm and not the detector. There is no way the button-test will reveal how the detector will function in a true smoke environment.


That's why I use the "Smoke Check" spray. I make sure it is not a central alarm system first! A $7 can lasts me about a month. I explain that it actually tests the sensor, unlike the button.

I have a question, though. Isn't a test button exactly that? Seems to me they would have a test button that doesn't call the fire dept.


I would think the exact same thing...that's what a "test" button is for. Are they just wired incorrectly?


--
Wisconsin Home Inspection, ABC Home Inspection LLC

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Originally Posted By: dvalley
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-Massachusetts law requires that all residential structures be equipped with approved smoke detectors upon sale. The local fire department will issue a certificate to prove compliance. The Seller is responsible for obtaining this certificate before close of escrow.



David Valley


MAB Member


Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections
http://www.masscertified.com

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Originally Posted By: jburkeson
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kmcmahon wrote:
I would think the exact same thing...that's what a "test" button is for. Are they just wired incorrectly?


In a monitored system the fire alarm panel must be placed into test mode prior to testing since the test button on the detector simulates an alarm condition between devices even though the smoke chamber portion of the detector is not activated or tested.


--
Joseph Burkeson, RPI (Hooperette)

?Anyone who has proclaimed violence his method inexorably must choose lying as his principle.?
~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Originally Posted By: kmcmahon
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



dvalley wrote:
I have never checked a smoke alarm, thanks to a Massachusetts law.

This disclaimer is printed on every report....
Smoke Alarms -Massachusetts law requires that all residential structures be equipped with approved smoke detectors upon sale. The local fire department will issue a certificate to prove compliance. The Seller is responsible for obtaining this certificate before close of escrow.


I don't see anything there that says you don't have to check smoke alarms. ![icon_wink.gif](upload://ssT9V5t45yjlgXqiFRXL04eXtqw.gif)
In some juristdiction here in WI, the sellers home electrical has to be up to date with current codes prior to close of escrow. That doesn't mean I don't have to check it anyway...it certainly lifts liability off of myself, but I still have to check it.


--
Wisconsin Home Inspection, ABC Home Inspection LLC

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Originally Posted By: kmcmahon
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jburkeson wrote:
kmcmahon wrote:
I would think the exact same thing...that's what a "test" button is for. Are they just wired incorrectly?


In a monitored system the fire alarm panel must be placed into test mode prior to testing since the test button on the detector simulates an alarm condition between devices even though the smoke chamber portion of the detector is not activated or tested.

I have yet to run into one of these, so I don't know a lot about them. So from what you're saying, it's still possible to test them, you just have to set the panel to "test" first.


--
Wisconsin Home Inspection, ABC Home Inspection LLC

Search the directory for a Wisconsin Home Inspector

Originally Posted By: mboyett
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So, I do need to inspect battery operated detectors and that’s the protocol I will need to develop to make sure I don’t repeat yesterday’s excitement.



Mike Boyett


Capital City Inspections


Austin, Tx


www.capcityinspections.com

Originally Posted By: dvalley
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Quote:
I don't see anything there that says you don't have to check smoke alarms.


This regulation may not state that "I don't have to check smoke alarms", but it does state "The Seller is responsible for obtaining this certificate before close of escrow".
So that leaves me (the HI) out of the picture.

Every RE closing requires this smoke alarm certificate, or the closing will not happen. This year the state of Massachusetts now requires CO detectors to be installed along with smoke detectors in designated areas throughout the home.


--
David Valley
MAB Member

Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections
http://www.masscertified.com

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Originally Posted By: bkelly2
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Quote:
8.3 The inspector is NOT required to:
A. insert any tool, probe or testing device inside the panels.
B. test or operate any overcurrent device except ground fault interrupters.
C. dismantle any electrical device or control other than to remove covers of the main and auxiliary distribution panels.
D. observe
low voltage systems.
smoke detectors.
telephone, security, cable TV, intercoms or other ancillary wiring that is not a part of the primary electrical distribution system.



--
"I used to be disgusted, Now I try to Be amused"-Elvis Costello

Originally Posted By: kmcmahon
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Dave,


Wasn’t picking on you, just playing a little devis advocate.


In WI it says we have to observe and describe the condition of...

The functionality of the power sources for smoke detectors.


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Wisconsin Home Inspection, ABC Home Inspection LLC

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