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Old 23-10-2016, 23:44   #61
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

the ball is made of some kind of soft plastic, filled with DCP and a tiny heat sensitive explosive charge.....
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Old 24-10-2016, 07:21   #62
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

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Just a guess, but I wonder if the detector will go off if there is too much humidity. Some home alarms WILL trigger if the humidity is too high. Reading the box and/or instructions state this can happen.

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Dan
Put a pot of boiling pasta water near one, and the answer is yes.
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Old 24-10-2016, 14:13   #63
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

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Put a pot of boiling pasta water near one, and the answer is yes.
Just crack the oven door. If that don't work, replace the battery although most will drive you crazy with a beep. Broiling chops is the acid test.
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Old 24-10-2016, 18:20   #64
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

with smoke detectors, its possible that over time the salt laden air will damage the sensor..... also beware - the test circuit does not trigger the sensor, therefore without using smoke or a smoke simulant, you can never know if the sensor will actually work.

where I work, every year a contractor comes around and sprays a smoke simulant on every sensor to ensure they work.
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Old 24-10-2016, 18:23   #65
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

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"Because Halon is a CFC, the production of Halon ceased on January 1, 1994, under the Clean Air Act. There is no cost-effective means of safely and effectively disposing of the Halon that has already been produced, therefore recycling and reusing the existing supply intelligently and responsibly to protect lives and property is the best solution.

The EPA recognizes that that Halon remains the most effective "clean" extinguishing agent available, despite its ozone depleting potential, and there are no federal or state regulations prohibiting the buying, selling or use of Halon extinguishers. All Halon available now is recycled so it is an environmentally responsible choice."
Source

3M Makes NOVEC which it says is safe for the ozone layer and also has no harmful effects on humans.

DuPont also makes a competing product, although its somewhat different.
Anyone who has had to clean up foam extinguishant will realise the benefit of halon.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 25-10-2016, 10:08   #66
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

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Just crack the oven door. If that don't work, replace the battery although most will drive you crazy with a beep. Broiling chops is the acid test.
I'd much rather crack a bunch of fresh clams over the pasta
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Old 25-10-2016, 10:31   #67
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

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Anyone who has had to clean up foam extinguishant will realise the benefit of halon.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
Can I recycle my carbontet extinguishers.
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Old 17-11-2016, 03:56   #68
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

Inexpensive detectors are good insurance for boats when it comes to fire safety. I totally agree with you that in most cases the cabin crew rarely realises the fire. Though many marine associations still do not require installation of smoke alarms. Most of the boat fires start slow in a smoldering state. Most of them are of electrical origin. Check this article which says how electrical wiring cause fire Electrical Fires in Canada - The Shock Doctors . Further there is no annual inspection requirement to find possible reasons. Third is gasoline vapor event which can stimulate fire.
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:09   #69
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Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
All modern compartments have an opening meant to be used by fire extinguishers and covered by a removable plastic seal; so if the portable unit is placed close to that the builtin soundproofing of the compartment wouldn't deaden the noise.

And just in case your compartment isn't modern, it can be. The FIRE-PORT is under $20 USD addition with the main benefit being not adding oxygen by opening in the event of a smoldering compartment.

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/marin...-port--3734464

Hole saw and done.

I run 3 of the multi detectors (fire, co2, propane) -- 2 high and 1 low. IMO the low unit should be near the master berth. My observation is household units have worked reliably - years of service no issues. One detector is above the stove and I know I'm really tuned in to the cruising groove when the detector comes down before, not during, cooking. By week 2 I usually have that drill down.

Cooking also makes a good, real world detector test. Purchase three identical units and you can also rotate them occasionally among the bases when one goes off so they all get the cooking test.

And big thanks to the contributing poster mentioning the electrical tape hazard - I'm always learning here on the forum.

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Old 21-04-2021, 16:18   #70
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

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The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
recently approved a first-time requirement for smoke
alarms aboard pleasure boats with sleeping quarters.
It states, “All vessels 26 feet or more in length with
accommodation spaces intended for sleeping shall be equipped with a single station smoke alarm that is
listed to UL217 for recreational vehicles and is installed
and maintained according to the device manufacturer's
instructions “.
As this is a relatively inexpensive
commodity capable of a huge safety return, it is the
opinion of this office that a smoke detector is installed.
The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.

Most people including regulators are very uneducated about smoke detectors. Household ionizing smoke detectors contain radioactive Americium-241. This is very radioactive and is the decay product of plutonium. It is safe from a distance but is very hazardous if ingested or inhaled. The design of the detector is such that the ionizing radiation would be blocked if the element was sealed. This means the radioactive element is not sealed or very poorly sealed and can be an issue in my opion. The boat constantly vibrating could cause this to break apart. Also in the event of a fire you then have radioactive contamination.

Smoke detectors have a radioactive exception in the name of public safety. However, this is old technology from 1965 that is still in place because people resist change. Photoelectric smoke detectors are not radioactive and are way better at detecting smoke which is what kills most people that are sleeping during a fire.

I see many comments that my detector has false alarms. That is because you have ionizing or radioactive detectors that are good at detecting flames, not smoke in most cases. If you get a detector for a boat please get photoelectric detectors. Stay away from anything that has an i or ionizing on the packet or alarm. This is just a less scary way to say radioactive.

It should be required that all houses only have photoelectric smoke detectors as well. So far New Hampshire is the only state that requires photoelectric smoke detectors in every bedroom. Albany in California also requires photoelectric detectors. Some states require dual-sensor detectors but this is bad as it requires people to install Americium-241 in every bedroom of their house. Many states require having at least one photoelectric smoke detector because they are better at detecting smoldering smoke.
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Old 21-04-2021, 18:25   #71
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

Photoelectric works better fir smoke. Ionization better for flames. False alarms from cooking are more common with ionization detectors.
But as far as the alpha radiation?

https://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q11701.html

Nope. Alpha particles have low range (1-4 inches) in air and pretty much nil range in water, ie your body. (Tens of MICRONS)

And I suggest you donít eat the smoke detector.

Or if you really care about that low a dose do not ever get in an airplane or climb a mountain.
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Old 21-04-2021, 20:59   #72
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

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Originally Posted by dfelsent View Post
Photoelectric works better fir smoke. Ionization better for flames. False alarms from cooking are more common with ionization detectors.
But as far as the alpha radiation?

https://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q11701.html

Nope. Alpha particles have low range (1-4 inches) in air and pretty much nil range in water, ie your body. (Tens of MICRONS)

And I suggest you don’t eat the smoke detector.

Or if you really care about that low a dose do not ever get in an airplane or climb a mountain.
These are arguments some people make which is why we still have hundreds of millions of radioactive detectors in our homes and in our boats evidently now. I agree that external exposure to the source causes negligible radiation dose.

The article you sited says "In fact, most common radiation detectors cannot detect the 241Am source while it remains in the steel chamber that it is sealed in."

It is in a steel chamber, but it has air vents so the source is not sealed. The smoke needs to reach it and the radiation need to be strong enough to ionize the air. As stated in the article a piece of paper can block the ionized radiation, so the Americium-241 button is not sealed much better than a piece of paper.

These things are cheaply built for $7, what are the quality standards of a thin gold-plated layer? In years past they also did not even have that layer. Electroplated anything can still break apart. It is a god way to deposit very thin films of metal though. There are constant vibrations on a boat, bashing, corrosion, and the piezoelectric buzzer adds to this possibility of pieces flaking off and being inhaled. These are placed right over our beds in many cases.

I will say that 99 Percent of the time even ionizing detectors are safe. However, the melting point of Americium 241 is below that of steel. In the event of a fire the Americium-241 will liquefy and create dust that can be inhaled and ingested.

In 1965 ionizing smoke detectors were a reasonable risk reward trade off. Today people buy them cause they are $7 rather than $25. Photoelectric detectors are better at detecting smoke and less likely to be disabled due to nuisance alarms. Ionization/radioactive alarms are better at detecting byproducts of flames but smoke is what typically causes people to be incapacitate resulting in death in most cases.

People can buy which ever one they want. My issue is they do not properly label them radioactive and make it mandatory to have ionization or dual sensor detectors in homes or boats. Photoelectric is the much better option. People are just stuck in the past and it is safety related so it is hard to get people to see the light. Dual sensor carbon monoxide and photoelectric smoke sensors are good. Just stay away from anything with an i or say ionizing, that means radioactive.

I am not trying to give everyone anxiety if they have them, most people do. Just replace them with photoelectric detectors.

Americum-241 is nasty stuff. This is from Wikipedia.

If consumed, americium-241 is excreted within a few days and only 0.05% is absorbed in the blood. From there, roughly 45% of it goes to the liver and 45% to the bones, and the remaining 10% is excreted. The uptake to the liver depends on the individual and increases with age. In the bones, americium is first deposited over cortical and trabecular surfaces and slowly redistributes over the bone with time. The biological half-life of 241Am is 50 years in the bones and 20 years in the liver, whereas in the gonads (testicles and ovaries) it remains permanently; in all these organs, americium promotes formation of cancer cells as a result of its radioactivity.

The reason we have this material poorly labeled and in 90 percent of bedrooms in America is not smart in my opinion. Even if some other scientist says it is impossibly for them to break. The life cycle of all smoke detectors is not properly considered in my viewpoint, especially melting in the event of a fire, which is what they are made for.
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Old 21-04-2021, 22:03   #73
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

Is there any actual evidence that ionizing smoke detectors are causing any measurable health problems? There are now enough of them out in the wild that I'd have expected any issues above background to have become detectable by now, especially in, eg, firefighters who, pretty much by definition, are the most likely population to be regularly exposed to burned units.

All the ones I've seen (UK and Australian markets, so US may be different) have been very clearly labelled as presenting a radiation hazard if opened.
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Old 21-04-2021, 22:37   #74
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

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Originally Posted by Jake Longhorn View Post
These are arguments some people make which is why we still have hundreds of millions of radioactive detectors in our homes and in our boats evidently now. I agree that external exposure to the source causes negligible radiation dose.

The article you sited says "In fact, most common radiation detectors cannot detect the 241Am source while it remains in the steel chamber that it is sealed in."

It is in a steel chamber, but it has air vents so the source is not sealed. The smoke needs to reach it and the radiation need to be strong enough to ionize the air. As stated in the article a piece of paper can block the ionized radiation, so the Americium-241 button is not sealed much better than a piece of paper.

These things are cheaply built for $7, what are the quality standards of a thin gold-plated layer? In years past they also did not even have that layer. Electroplated anything can still break apart. It is a god way to deposit very thin films of metal though. There are constant vibrations on a boat, bashing, corrosion, and the piezoelectric buzzer adds to this possibility of pieces flaking off and being inhaled. These are placed right over our beds in many cases.

I will say that 99 Percent of the time even ionizing detectors are safe. However, the melting point of Americium 241 is below that of steel. In the event of a fire the Americium-241 will liquefy and create dust that can be inhaled and ingested.

In 1965 ionizing smoke detectors were a reasonable risk reward trade off. Today people buy them cause they are $7 rather than $25. Photoelectric detectors are better at detecting smoke and less likely to be disabled due to nuisance alarms. Ionization/radioactive alarms are better at detecting byproducts of flames but smoke is what typically causes people to be incapacitate resulting in death in most cases.

People can buy which ever one they want. My issue is they do not properly label them radioactive and make it mandatory to have ionization or dual sensor detectors in homes or boats. Photoelectric is the much better option. People are just stuck in the past and it is safety related so it is hard to get people to see the light. Dual sensor carbon monoxide and photoelectric smoke sensors are good. Just stay away from anything with an i or say ionizing, that means radioactive.

I am not trying to give everyone anxiety if they have them, most people do. Just replace them with photoelectric detectors.

Americum-241 is nasty stuff. This is from Wikipedia.

If consumed, americium-241 is excreted within a few days and only 0.05% is absorbed in the blood. From there, roughly 45% of it goes to the liver and 45% to the bones, and the remaining 10% is excreted. The uptake to the liver depends on the individual and increases with age. In the bones, americium is first deposited over cortical and trabecular surfaces and slowly redistributes over the bone with time. The biological half-life of 241Am is 50 years in the bones and 20 years in the liver, whereas in the gonads (testicles and ovaries) it remains permanently; in all these organs, americium promotes formation of cancer cells as a result of its radioactivity.

The reason we have this material poorly labeled and in 90 percent of bedrooms in America is not smart in my opinion. Even if some other scientist says it is impossibly for them to break. The life cycle of all smoke detectors is not properly considered in my viewpoint, especially melting in the event of a fire, which is what they are made for.
Jake, you speak with much authority, do you have a background in this subject or is this all sourced from wikipedia/social media and similar sources?
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Old 21-04-2021, 23:57   #75
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Re: Smoke Alarms : Are Home Units Suitable on Boats?

PatB: In the USA they do not label the outside well. Some companies will put i for ionization and P for photoelectric. However most of the time you do no know until you handle them. It should have an external radioactive waring symbol on the front of the device.

Uncle Bob, I am a mechanical engineer and looked into how they are designed. The source has a back larger of silver, thin layer of Americium 241, then a very think layer of gold. Then this is punched out as a circle disk which is bonded into a metal puck. This material is known to be dangerous in the event of a fire. It can also be scraped out as shown in this YouTube video. This shows that it is not impossible to have the material removed.

https://youtu.be/iPI0Xx77snA

99+ percent of the time the sources stays in and it is not hazardous. I do think this should be revisited though and people should be aware of potential issues. Photoelectric detectors are the way to go.

This video is also good. Dual sensor might seem like the way to go but it more likely to be disabled due to nuisance false alarms.

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