CHOICE membership

Smoke Alarm Ten Year fixed battery Rundown Test


#1

You can now purchase smoke alarms with ten year fixed non replaceable batteries. These alarms need to include a wifi or hard wired interconnection feature to meet Qld regulations. Aside from the safety enhancement of the interconnection, there is a reasonable probability these requirements may become universal.

The ten year built in battery option with wifi may be the only practical option for many older and exisiting homes.

Can we rely on any of the alarms available to last ten years, with some false triggering along the way. I’ll note some of us are prone to burning the toast, and when one alarm near the kitchen sounds, so will every other. Hence affecting the battery life of every alarm in the house.

Would Choice be able to test say a set of three wifi alarms, retriggiering them once every xx mins and counting how many cycles they last for. This would give a guide to relative difference between models or brands as well as a guide to which ones might last the ten years.

I’ve noted the warranty wording in some of the alarms is a little vague as to whether the battery is covered.

For the wifi interconnect, it may be wise to test the effective range as for a wifi modem and standard blocking walls. Is a greater effective range a guide to better quality?

How likely are wifi interconnected alarms to suffer interference or crosslink to a neighbours alarm?


#2

Hopefully the router is not what started the fire :smiley:


#3

Thanks for the request @mark_m, I’ll be sure to pass it on :+1:


#4

Good thoughts and questions @mark_m.

In addition to what you have:

  • You would need to be able to set the IP address of any alarm to fit into the home’s existing network.
  • There should be an app for smart phones that would allow you to check the status of the wi-fi enabled alarm(s).

#5

Those who have a device in their hand every waking hour (and some of the others) could then obsessively check their fire alarm as well as their texts, emails, the temperature of their fridge and the status of their aircon, household security and solar panels.

The addiction will eventually reduce their life expectancy because of the risk of checking while crossing roads and driving. And from attacks by acquaintances (they don’t have friends) who snap and strangle them: no jury will convict. There will be an app to automatically monitor this condition, and like heroin was made to replace morphine, it will appeal to the addicted.


#6

Just a simple extension of the connected home. From a smart fridge that checks your milk and orders more to the robot vacuum cleaner.

We just need the fridge to talk to the smoke alarms and vacuum cleaner so that when there is a fire at home the smart vacuum cleaner will grab a fire extinguisher and attempt to douse the source?

Not all that relevant to the battery test suggestion, but of interest if you are considering replacing your smoke alarms. It might be best to defer if possible and wait for the smoke alarm industry to catch up with the IP security alarm business?


#7

If one bundles smoke and fire sensors into the perimeter, video, and motion alarms on the market there is no catchup required.

I have mates who check their home systems multiple times an evening so right on and no future tense required.


#8

Great question.
I have had to replace smoke alarms 4 times last year. The 10 year battery life sounds like the way to go.


#9

Burning a lot of toast? Or were you unlucky with batteries?


#10

I wish it was that simple LOL. I’ve replaced the batteries several times now and they still beep for no apparent reason.


#11

Assume you mean the batteries, not the whole alarm?

If you might like to indicate the age, type and model that is misbehaving?

The other consideration is the brand and type of battery in use?

How long after you replace the battery does the battery last?

Cheap batteries often drain faster and will trigger the low battery beep sooner. That may be what is happening. I’ve also had issues with old ionisation type alarms, (they have a little radiation sticker usually) not lasting more than 6 months on a quality alkaline 9v battery. Replacement seemed the only cure.


#12

Yes that is exactly what I thought. We bought Duracell last time, Energizers the time before that. They last about a week if that so we figured it was the actual smoke alarms.


#13

If you are a Choice member, they did a review of AA Lithium batteries back in 2016.

Have a look if you can, and use that as an indicator for which are/were the best batteries to buy.


#14

They last at several years for us in any of the detectors/alarms we have installed in the previous 5 years. Even longer in the one mains powered detector/alarm we have.

If they are recently purchased smoke alarms there would seem to be a defect with them. It might be beneficial for the rest of the community to know the brand, model, supllier in the instance there are other similar issues out there?