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Old 12-09-2019, 08:47 AM   #1
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Smoke and CO detectors engine room compatible

Looking at installing CO and smoke detectors that are hardwired together throughout the boat. Most likely will go with Kidde or possibly First Alert. None of the units offered by either manufacturer appear to be engine room compatible. They both list a number incompatible conditions that are almost always consistent with engine rooms, such as air flow paths and temperatures in excess of 100 degrees. Wondering if anyone has found a photoelectric smoke and CO detector that is engine room compatible and will hardwire interface with Kidde or First Alert units?

Ted
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:29 AM   #2
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Greetings,


Mr. OC. Give these people a call: https://www.nfpa.org/


I saw no mention of marine type detectors on a quick scan of the site but they ARE concerned about fire safety.


https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Educatio...g-smoke-alarms Deals specifically with smoke alarms.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:49 AM   #3
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Steve D'Antonio in a 2011 Passage Maker article discusses smoke alarms, the compatibility of RV approved units to recreational marine and mentions MTI detectors. MTI's web site is worth looking at, I've just scratched the surface.

Or maybe consider something designed for recreational marine use like the Fireboy / Xintex products

If you don't find something off the shelf that works maybe a DIY hack is what it takes. Would it be possible to make something like this work?

Aqualarm Remote Fire Detector

The Aquaalarm is designed to work with DC systems while the Kidde etc are designed to work with 120 V AC. Perhaps a relay? The Aquaalarm uses a two terminal normally open switch that closes at 194 degrees F. That could be used to fire a relay that is tied into the Kidde linked alarms. It depends upon how the Kidde units are linked.

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Looking at installing CO and smoke detectors that are hardwired together throughout the boat. Most likely will go with Kidde or possibly First Alert. None of the units offered by either manufacturer appear to be engine room compatible. They both list a number incompatible conditions that are almost always consistent with engine rooms, such as air flow paths and temperatures in excess of 100 degrees. Wondering if anyone has found a photoelectric smoke and CO detector that is engine room compatible and will hardwire interface with Kidde or First Alert units?

Ted
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:00 AM   #4
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Our fire/fume/high water detector system on the engine room is from MTI/Safe-T-Alert. Not sure "fumes" means CO, but the'd be able to answer that kind of question.

Our CO detectors in living spaces are also MTI/Afe-T-Alert, but they're different from the engine room system. In fact, I thought I mis-bout since I got the lower cost versions that turned out to be "RV" labeled. The MTI tech just afterwards told me their RV and Marine units are exactly the same, though, except for the label. He also offered to send "Marine" replacements, but that seemed like too much work given his statement about the identical-hood-ness.

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Old 12-09-2019, 11:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RT Firefly View Post
Greetings,


Mr. OC. Give these people a call: https://www.nfpa.org/


I saw no mention of marine type detectors on a quick scan of the site but they ARE concerned about fire safety.


https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Educatio...g-smoke-alarms Deals specifically with smoke alarms.
Thanks RTF, appreciate the additional information!

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Originally Posted by Portage_Bay View Post
Steve D'Antonio in a 2011 Passage Maker article discusses smoke alarms, the compatibility of RV approved units to recreational marine and mentions MTI detectors. MTI's web site is worth looking at, I've just scratched the surface.

Or maybe consider something designed for recreational marine use like the Fireboy / Xintex products

If you don't find something off the shelf that works maybe a DIY hack is what it takes. Would it be possible to make something like this work?

Aqualarm Remote Fire Detector

The Aquaalarm is designed to work with DC systems while the Kidde etc are designed to work with 120 V AC. Perhaps a relay? The Aquaalarm uses a two terminal normally open switch that closes at 194 degrees F. That could be used to fire a relay that is tied into the Kidde linked alarms. It depends upon how the Kidde units are linked.
I had looked through those links before, but gave it another go. There are some CO sensors, but they basically only network with their own kind. It appears that the engine room sensors focus on temperature level and CO, not smoke. I have been rereading Steve's article which focuses on home (marine and RV approved) units, which is what I'm focusing on in the rest of the boat. Engine room may require a stand alone system.

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Our fire/fume/high water detector system on the engine room is from MTI/Safe-T-Alert. Not sure "fumes" means CO, but the'd be able to answer that kind of question.

Our CO detectors in living spaces are also MTI/Afe-T-Alert, but they're different from the engine room system. In fact, I thought I mis-bout since I got the lower cost versions that turned out to be "RV" labeled. The MTI tech just afterwards told me their RV and Marine units are exactly the same, though, except for the label. He also offered to send "Marine" replacements, but that seemed like too much work given his statement about the identical-hood-ness.

-Chris
I may try to combine a MTI CO detector and someone's temperature sensor, but their smoke detectors are unimpressive and I don't believe network.

One other point on their CO detectors, they are pricey compared to home models, and only have a 5 year life!

Ted
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:12 AM   #6
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I have used First alert smoke and CO sensors throughout my boat, including the engine room for years.

That network back to my alarm hub, and I’ve never had a false alarm.
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Old 12-10-2019, 01:33 AM   #7
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I put First Alert wireless linked in our boat this summer, so far no problems. I have one in the engine room and so far it has only gone off when we were steam cleaning the engine room.
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
.........

I had looked through those links before, but gave it another go. There are some CO sensors, but they basically only network with their own kind. It appears that the engine room sensors focus on temperature level and CO, not smoke. I have been rereading Steve's article which focuses on home (marine and RV approved) units, which is what I'm focusing on in the rest of the boat. Engine room may require a stand alone system.

I may try to combine a MTI CO detector and someone's temperature sensor, but their smoke detectors are unimpressive and I don't believe network.

One other point on their CO detectors, they are pricey compared to home models, and only have a 5 year life!

Ted

I agree, a separate engine room system designed for marine engine room is probably the best bet. Along with residential or R/V style alarms for the accommodations areas.
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Old 12-29-2019, 07:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
Looking at installing CO and smoke detectors that are hardwired together throughout the boat. Most likely will go with Kidde or possibly First Alert. None of the units offered by either manufacturer appear to be engine room compatible. They both list a number incompatible conditions that are almost always consistent with engine rooms, such as air flow paths and temperatures in excess of 100 degrees. Wondering if anyone has found a photoelectric smoke and CO detector that is engine room compatible and will hardwire interface with Kidde or First Alert units?

Ted

I'm curious. What have you decided to use for engine room fire and CO detectors?
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Old 12-29-2019, 06:00 PM   #10
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I'm curious. What have you decided to use for engine room fire and CO detectors?
My plan at this point is to use Kidde wireless, 10 year battery, CO / smoke detectors through out the boat in the living areas. One of the units will be a hard wired version of the wireless 10 year battery units.

https://www.kidde.com/home-safety/en.../p4010acsco-w/

This unit will be hard wired to the CO detector in the engine room.

https://www.kidde.com/home-safety/en...rms/kn-cob-ic/

The 2 hardwired units will be on one of the always hot inverter circuits. Because the CO detector is wired to the wireless unit, activation of the engine room detector will activate all the wireless units throughout the boat. This CO detector has a 10 year life and lists for $37.

I've decided not to use a smoke detector in the engine room.

I plan to add an adjustable temper switch and pair of 12 volt buzzers (one in the pilothouse and one in the stateroom area) for heat detection in the engine room.

Ted
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Old 12-29-2019, 08:58 PM   #11
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I'm interested to hear why you've decided not to put a smoke detector in the engine room?

Have you considered a rate of rise heat detector? They can be a better early indicator of fire than high a temp detector. Detecting a fire as it builds before the trip temp of the fixed heat detector. Here's one that might work for you: https://www.systemsensor.com/en-us/D...l_I56-2175.pdf I say might because I haven't looked into the tech details yet.

I'm looking to improve my engine room fire system and want early detection. I'll be installing the manual cable option on the auto / manual Fireboy / Xintex system. Early detection coupled with an engine room cam will allow me to make the decision to manually trip the bottle perhaps sooner than it's auto trip at a fixed temp.
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Old 12-29-2019, 10:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Portage_Bay View Post
I'm interested to hear why you've decided not to put a smoke detector in the engine room?

Have you considered a rate of rise heat detector? They can be a better early indicator of fire than high a temp detector. Detecting a fire as it builds before the trip temp of the fixed heat detector. Here's one that might work for you: https://www.systemsensor.com/en-us/D...l_I56-2175.pdf I say might because I haven't looked into the tech details yet.

I'm looking to improve my engine room fire system and want early detection. I'll be installing the manual cable option on the auto / manual Fireboy / Xintex system. Early detection coupled with an engine room cam will allow me to make the decision to manually trip the bottle perhaps sooner than it's auto trip at a fixed temp.
After rereading the installation instructions for both units, I may pass on smoke and CO detectors in the engine room. Seems both units will suffer false alarms from numerous conditions commonly found in the engine room.

From Kidde:

8. Locations to Avoid
•• In the garage. Products of combustion are present when you start your automobile.
•• Normal cooking may cause nuisance alarms. If a kitchen alarm is desired, it should have an alarm silence feature or
be a photoelectric type.
•• Do not install within 6 ft. of heating or cooking appliances.
•• Less than 4” (10cm) from the peak of an “A” frame type ceiling.
•• In an area where the temperature may fall below 40ºF or rise above 100ºF, such as garages and unfinished attics.
•• In dusty areas. Dust particles may cause nuisance alarm or failure to alarm.
•• In very humid areas (above 95% RH, non-condensing). Moisture or steam can cause nuisance alarms.
•• In insect-infested areas.
•• Smoke alarms should not be installed within 3 ft (.9m) of the door to a bathroom containing a tub or shower, forced
air supply ducts used for heating or cooling, ceiling or whole house ventilating fans, or other high air flow areas.
•• Near lights. Electronic “noise” generated by the electronics may cause nuisance alarms.
•• Do not install near vents, flues, chimneys.
•• Do not install near fans, doors, windows or areas directly exposed to the weather.

While the rate of rise detector looks interesting, I think an adjustable detector could be more tailored to my specific engine room temperatures. I have a remote thermometer with maximum value display. It would seem setting the alarm about 10 or 15 degrees above that maximum value might be triggered more quickly if the engine is running. One of the advantages of a simple closing contact alarm system is that you can have more than one sensor or type of sensor.

Ted
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:36 PM   #13
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Ted, I didn't respond earlier because I didn't have the type of information you were looking for. But now that you're talking about wireless smoke/CO detectors I would like to mention that I have 6 installed in my boat for 4 years so far with no issues, *including* the ER. The detector says it is good to 100F and that's about the max my ER gets. I installed it about 12" down from the ceiling to keep it from the hottest air and so far all is well. No false alarms. They are photoelectric so will not be set off by "fumes".

edit - The units I am using are First Alert SA511B.

Ken
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Old 12-30-2019, 09:52 PM   #14
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Ted, I didn't respond earlier because I didn't have the type of information you were looking for. But now that you're talking about wireless smoke/CO detectors I would like to mention that I have 6 installed in my boat for 4 years so far with no issues, *including* the ER. The detector says it is good to 100F and that's about the max my ER gets. I installed it about 12" down from the ceiling to keep it from the hottest air and so far all is well. No false alarms. They are photoelectric so will not be set off by "fumes".

edit - The units I am using are First Alert SA511B.

Ken
Ken, I appreciate the information. After reading the installation instructions and areas to avoid, I'm amazed you aren't having false alarms. Will definitely reconsider trying one in the engine room. Guess if it doesn't play nicely, I can always vote it off the boat.

Ted
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Old 12-31-2019, 06:13 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by kchace View Post
Ted, I didn't respond earlier because I didn't have the type of information you were looking for. But now that you're talking about wireless smoke/CO detectors I would like to mention that I have 6 installed in my boat for 4 years so far with no issues, *including* the ER. The detector says it is good to 100F and that's about the max my ER gets. I installed it about 12" down from the ceiling to keep it from the hottest air and so far all is well. No false alarms. They are photoelectric so will not be set off by "fumes".

edit - The units I am using are First Alert SA511B.

Ken
Ken
Any reason in particular that you did not include co detection? This model looks like it would serve both purposes.
https://www.firstalertstore.com/stor...d-co-alarm.htm
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Old 12-31-2019, 08:27 AM   #16
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Ted - I have similar household Kidde wireless detectors from Amazon. I don't believe the CO/smoke version was available at the time.


I have had one in the engine room for over 4 years, one in the salon....though I switched them last year.


One is mounted about 2 feet directly over the engine.



Zero false alarms....despite the one in the engineroom being covered with engineroom grime and lasting through 2 smokey dampner plate failure/events, even giving early warning to the first event.
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:38 AM   #17
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Resurrecting . . .

. . . this thread as I’m about to install some Kidde 10-year detectors. I have the wireless CO/smoke combo units for living quarters and a smoke-only detectors for the ER. For those of you using residential equipment like this (Ted?) are you still happy with your set up? I’ve been hesitating to do the install because I worry about spurious alarms when I'm away from the boat, like we very occasionally get at home using different equipment.

Also, I’d like to have a networked alarm-only function on the flybridge. Don’t see a need for a detector up there and I’m not sure the outdoor environment is good for detector modules—with high humidity outside and excessive heat in the lockers under the helm. Unfortunately, I don’t see that Kidde makes a wireless alarm module.
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:32 AM   #18
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I have the First Alert model SA511 wireless units all over the boat including the engine room and in a protected area of the flybridge. I have the one on the flybridge specifically to act as relay alarm from any of the other units. That one I placed inside the flybridge storage area to keep it from the elements. It’s plenty loud for me to hear it when I’m up there. I test them regularly. Working on the 4th year now with no false alarms and no failures.

Ken
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:33 AM   #19
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. . . this thread as I’m about to install some Kidde 10-year detectors. I have the wireless CO/smoke combo units for living quarters and a smoke-only detectors for the ER. For those of you using residential equipment like this (Ted?) are you still happy with your set up? I’ve been hesitating to do the install because I worry about spurious alarms when I'm away from the boat, like we very occasionally get at home using different equipment.

Also, I’d like to have a networked alarm-only function on the flybridge. Don’t see a need for a detector up there and I’m not sure the outdoor environment is good for detector modules—with high humidity outside and excessive heat in the lockers under the helm. Unfortunately, I don’t see that Kidde makes a wireless alarm module.
Ok, so I bought 3 styles of the Kidde wireless with 10 year battery smoke detectors. I bought one with CO detector; one without the exit light; 4 with the exit light. The light illuminates the area near the detector to assist in exiting if it's dark. I put the CO / smoke unit in the saloon. The unit without the light is in the pilothouse both as a detector and to notify me of an alarm while underway. The remaining 4 with exit lights are in the engine room, hallway, and both staterooms. All units have the same mounting plate, so locations would be easily interchangeable.

After installing all the mounting plates, I networked all the units, super simple. Read the manual and follow the directions. Then installed the units and tested each one. Everything worked as advertised.

The problem:
One unit alarmed while I was gone. After the initial alarm it cycle alarms to conserve battery. It was the saloon unit with the CO detector. If the CO or whatever trips it, is a low level, it takes an extended period of time (2 days in my case) for it to alarm. Through a quick process of elimination it proved to be my counter top dehumidifier. My simple work around was to remove the detector and store it in a ziplock freezer bag when using the dehumidifier. The dehumidifier is only used when I'm gone from the boat and not running the air conditioning.

Extremely happy with the system. It worked flawlessly for 22 days while cruising from Florida to Maryland (with CO unit installed).

Customer support is very good. Called concerning the battery usage in several extended false CO alarms. The detectors have a low battery notification and the detectors have a 10 year unconditional battery warranty. They will replace the unit free of charge!

Ted
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:43 AM   #20
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Thank you both! This is what I was hoping to hear. In they go today.
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