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Old 03-12-2014, 05:01 PM   #1
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Tied together smoke alarms

My sister and her husband attended the recent Trawler Fest in Florida, and in an email today she mentioned that at one session Steve D'Antonio recommended putting a smoke detector in the saloon and tying it to another on the bridge, so that both would go off in case of smoke at either place.

Sounds like an excellent idea to me, and if I had had such a thing when my engine overheated while bringing the boat from Stuart to St. Marks in 2012 it would have saved me a lot of money, trouble, and possible damage to the engine (although it runs OK now -- these old Perkins are tough!).

So I am trying to figure out how to tie together smoke alarms. Tried to google it but got no hits. Anyone familiar with how to do that? Does it take a particular brand of smoke alarm?
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:04 PM   #2
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Many 120V alarms are that way for houses...you could use a set of those run on an inverter.

Would think there are 12V versions...just can't place one right now.
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:09 PM   #3
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Many 120V alarms are that way for houses...you could use a set of those run on an inverter.

Would think there are 12V versions...just can't place one right now.
I think that I have found the answer. First Alert makes a battery operated set of two (available on Amazon) that seems to be what I want. A tad expensive, but worth it to me.

Thanks for the quick response.
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:12 PM   #4
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I think that I have found the answer. First Alert makes a battery operated set of two (available on Amazon) that seems to be what I want. A tad expensive, but worth it to me.

Thanks for the quick response.
...........
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:14 PM   #5
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Here is the exact description (should someone else be interested):

First Alert SA501CN2 ONELINK Wireless Battery Operated Smoke Alarm, 2-Pack. Amazon prime price is $55.19. And if anyone has actually used these, sure would appreciate your report on them.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:49 PM   #6
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John, if you tie them together, how do you know which site is firing the alarm? Is there a repeater, sounds to me that`s what you are after.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:57 PM   #7
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Where the smoke is????

Just funning...my girlfriend just asked the same thing...I gave her the same reply and didn't get something thrown at me so don't be too mad at me...

I told her I may buy 2 packs...one in master, one fwd stateroom, one in galley and one in the engine room. When driving from the flying bridge, I'll grab the one from the galley and take it up...or maybe I'll just leave it up there and the galley is only 3 feet from the fwd stateroom anyway.

But I think in most of our boats...if you catch the fire early...it will be pretty evident where it started.
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:05 PM   #8
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John, if you tie them together, how do you know which site is firing the alarm? Is there a repeater, sounds to me that`s what you are after.
No way to know which is firing the alarm, I guess, but if I am on the bridge and do not see smoke I am going to immediately throttle back both engines, put them in neutral, and dash downstairs. Ditto if I am at the helm -- dash upstairs.

When my engine overheated, the saloon was full of black, greasy smoke (whicb took forever to clean up) while I was impervious up on the bridge until the port engine lost power (from soot clogging the air intake). If I had caught it as soon as the smoke appeared I think the damage would have been less.
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Old 03-12-2014, 07:40 PM   #9
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Aqualarm Remote Fire Detector


FireBoy - Xintex Smoke Detector


This is what you want.
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Old 03-12-2014, 09:08 PM   #10
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I have networked smoke alarms in the engine room, salon and on the upper helm. Used them all last summer and they detected the disintegration of an alternator while I was at the upper helm. Basically you go until you find a problem, in the case of the engine room, check the small port before you open the hatch. They are inexpensive and very effective. The only problem I have is the salon detector doesn't like the propane stove. However, cooking is a good way to test the system, you can hear them all sound off.

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Old 03-12-2014, 09:11 PM   #11
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Here is another possibility.
http://www.fireboy-xintex.com/smoke-alarm.htm

I have heard that home Smoke Detectors can false alarm on boats and only marine versions should be used since hey are calibrated to different standards.

Also dont forget the CO Detectors! CO is a colorless odorless gas that KILLS! I lost a friend to CO poisoning on a brand new boat years ago. No CO Detector was required or installed.

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Old 03-12-2014, 09:32 PM   #12
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Some good suggestions, and I thank you all for taking the time and trouble to reply and giving me some data to work with.

Seems to me, from what I am reading in my research on the subject, that a smoke detector and a heat detector are two different things, even though they are related. That is, they work on different principles of detection. So now I'm trying to figure out which would be more useful on the boat. Or if I should have both.
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:24 AM   #13
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Note the old saying: "no smoke without fire", though usually it has little to do with actual fire or smoke. The fire, and maybe, the heat, may come later, after the smouldering, which the smoke alarm should detect. Houses here must have smoke alarms, no requirement for heat detection alarms. Cooking can activate a smoke alarm, with no fire. Lucas products sometimes emit smoke, without fire. Choosing one, smoke alarm I think.
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:49 AM   #14
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The engine room would be a perfect place for heat detectors. They are normaly listed by UL for about 30 square feet of coverage each. My 2 are equally spaced and monitored by Aqualarm's alarm system. I installed them last year. Smoke detectors are best used in air conditioned spaces for alerting occupants to wake up and get out. Kitchens are sensitive areas. Having 2 or more smoke detectors communicate and alarm at the same time would make the alarm more audible all around the boat.

O.B. Thomas, P.E. Fire Protection Engineer with NASA
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:59 AM   #15
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I have heard that home Smoke Detectors can false alarm on boats and only marine versions should be used since hey are calibrated to different standards.

I do not beleive this is true. I have never encountered a seperate standard for boats. There are Coast Guard approvals for fire extinguishers. This has more to do with size and robustness and mounting than with how they detect or put out fire. Do not know of any CG approvals for detectors.

O.B. Thomas, P.E. Fire Protection Engineer with NASA
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:07 AM   #16
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I disconnected the detectors from each other in my house because I could never tell which one is going off. The salt air gets to the ones my the windows that are open a lot and sets them off.

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Old 03-13-2014, 12:01 PM   #17
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My sister and her husband attended the recent Trawler Fest in Florida, and in an email today she mentioned that at one session Steve D'Antonio recommended putting a smoke detector in the saloon and tying it to another on the bridge, so that both would go off in case of smoke at either place. Sounds like an excellent idea to me, and if I had had such a thing when my engine overheated while bringing the boat from Stuart to St. Marks in 2012 it would have saved me a lot of money, trouble, and possible damage to the engine (although it runs OK now -- these old Perkins are tough!). So I am trying to figure out how to tie together smoke alarms. Tried to google it but got no hits. Anyone familiar with how to do that? Does it take a particular brand of smoke alarm?
Our smoke detectors are connected in series so that one alarm triggers the others. They are also plugged into a nmea 2000 vessel monitoring system. Individual status can be monitored via a colored light on a systems drawing displayed on a computer screen in the pilot house.

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