R

Fri, Aug 23, 2019 5:22 PM

Smoke detector not detecting smoke

For decades I have been testing smoke detectors by holding a lit match under them, typically 6 to 12 inches away.  Usually the detector goes off in 15 to 60 seconds.   When I did this test, the Simplisafe smoke detector did not go off, so I called the help desk.   Perhaps 20 or 30 minutes later the SS smoke detector went off.   I am returning it as defective.

Does anyone know if it is a photocell or ionization type detector?  I understand that for flaming fires, such as my match, the ionization type detector is faster; the photocell is faster for smoldering fires, per the National Fire Protection Association.   This corresponds to my limited personal experience with photocell type detectors.   But my photocell type detector goes off in about 60 seconds, not 20 minutes.  

Am I missing something here?   Is the Simplisafe smoke detector unusual in some way?  From my standpoint, any inordinately slow smoke detector is not functioning properly, as the whole purpose of a smoke detector is to wake you before the whole house is full of smoke.  Are all the SS smoke detectors that insensitive or slow?

Richard

429 Messages

3 y ago

SS detectors are photoelectric. I have never intentionally tested a detector in that manner, so I have no idea about how they should respond to that amount of smoke.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

3 y ago

Cutting some drywall (with a power saw, so lots of dust) set off my smoke detector.  It looks for particulates in the air.

13 Messages

3 y ago

I find the smoke detectors to be the weak link in the system.
I've had the system installed several years and have had several false alarms with the smoke.
The fire department showed up 2 times and had to get a neighbor out of bed at 2am to check the house the other.
I've called and had replacements sent and always the same , I just can't rely on it.
I clean and test them monthly and I've come up with a solution that one really shouldn't have to do.
I've bought a seconded smoke detector to mount close to the original thinking that if only one goes off it's a false and if both respond maybe a fire.
After talking with SS they agreed to give me 2 months free monitoring as they can't give away devices .
So while not perfect I'm going to try this method.Its funny none of my other 5 smoke detectors ever false just the SS detector.
BT