Author Topic: Smoke/CO Detectors For Shop Use  (Read 891 times)

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Offline Bob D.

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Smoke/CO Detectors For Shop Use
« on: February 12, 2022, 09:29 AM »
I searched and found a couple threads where smoke detectors were mentioned, but none that discussed the pros and cons of various types and features found on today's selection of detectors.

Right now we have First Alert Smoke/CO  and plain Smoke detectors in the house, basement, garage, and shop. I had the first of them got TU last night. The five beep error code that translates to 'End of Life - REPLACE'. The manufacture date is May 2014, so it didn't make it to 10 years which they were supposed to last but at just under 8 years I guess not bad. This one lived in the hallway of the sleeping area of the house so not exposed to kitchen fumes or dust from the shop. SO I'm not sure what took it out but now I need to replace and thinking the other five were all purchased at the same time they are probably not far behind so might as well buy all new.

I'd like the new system to be the interconnected type and interface with SmartThings and/or Alexa which is what my First Alert devices do now, at least partially. I can't silence an alarm from SmartThings (ST) or by voice command to Alexa but I don't really care about that. I like that everyone in the house can get a notification on their phone if an alarm goes off or a battery is dead and that notification is identified by the name given to the detector in ST or Alexa. I'd like to have at least that much interoperability in the new system. I see new battery-operated wireless systems can interconnect and pass on alarms to all connected units when one alarms which I believe is required by code now.

So curious what others are using and what you like or dislike about the system you have. And if you dumped one system for another, problems with being deployed in a shop environment where the particulate level will be higher than normal, etc.

My shop takes up half of the 24x48 garage structure and is walled off from the garage area where the car is parked. I do not fully condition the shop space so the temperature swings from 40 in Winter to 85°F in the Summer. I keep the temp above 40 using a ceiling mounted electric heater controlled by a WiFi t-stat.

I have been looking at the First Alert ONELINK® TALKING COMBINATION SMOKE/CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM, Model SCO500 so if anyone has first hand knowledge of this alarm I'd like to hear about it.

I was looking at the X-Sense but I've read many negative reviews on Amazon about it so steering away from that brand.

Nest is another brand I was considering but I can not find anything that states it works with ST and I am too heavily invested in the ST ecosystem with over 80 devices to dump it. Most of those would probably work with another HA system so not a total loss if I did but still not looking to dump ST.
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Offline squall_line

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Re: Smoke/CO Detectors For Shop Use
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2022, 10:41 AM »
After Google bought Nest, the chances of it integrating with Samsung's SmartThings platform went from "maybe" to "probably never".

Perhaps in the future they may move to a Thread-connected version, but until then it's pretty much walled into Google's ecosystem.

If you already have a ST hub, your chances of interoperability with other ecosystem-agnostic brands is pretty high, I would think.

The 10-year sealed battery and sensor lifespan works against innovation in a sense, because most people abhor replacing detector batteries to begin with, so they're even more loath to replace a working detector that still has 3-5 years of life in it, reducing the overall market size for new units and thus innovation.

Offline Peter_C

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Re: Smoke/CO Detectors For Shop Use
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2022, 04:31 AM »
A smoke detector in my garage hahahaha...smoke is a normal occurrence, as metal fabrication is often performed, and a welder billows smoke.

Dust kills smoke detectors, and a false positive could be a problem. I used to have Nests in my house and after a couple false alerts I got my money back. I was far from home once and ready to call the fire department due to an alert on my phone. Instead I called my neighbor who walked around and said no smoke inside. I will admit to the house being remodeled at the time for the false alarms meaning they were eating dust routinely.

Offline Bob D.

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Re: Smoke/CO Detectors For Shop Use
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2022, 06:37 AM »
I agree there is little chance of linking Nest products with ST, so Nest is probably out.

I don't use my welders or torch in the woodshop. I have another area for that work so no issues there but I understand where you are coming from with your situation.

Yes, fixed 10 year batteries have some negative aspects to them but I believe the reason they were brought out was to deal with all the battery detectors that were useless once the batteries died and not replaced. Having a battery that lasts as long as the detector is functional mitigates the potential for loss of life. Too many fires result in loss of life due to non-functioning detectors, especially in rental properties. But that's not my situation.

I have multi-sensors that monitor the temperature and other conditions in both the garage and the shop. I get an notification on my phone if the temp drops below or above a set temperature and those values are different for both spaces. I also have cameras with 24/7 audio and video that are part of our security system from which I can see what it happening in real time, as long as they are functional of course. So I have a way to see and/or hear what the source of a notification might be.
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It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?