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Thread: smoke detectors

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    1

    smoke detectors

    In a resedental home how far away does a smoke detector have to be from the wall? Also how far from the peak of a valted ceiling? Where do they have to be located in a house used to take care of elderly people?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    New York, 40.7514,-73.9925
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    3,342

    Re: smoke detectors

    A lot has to do with which code you local municipality follows. Check your building code and the NFPA 72 (National Fire Alarm Code).
    Ron

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Posts
    5,319

    Re: smoke detectors

    In a house the IRC doesn't adress vaulted ceilings or proximity to walls. If this house you speak of is for taking care of the elderly, you might not have a house, but rather an institution. I would check with the AHJ. If it is an institution, the NFPA 72 should govern locations.
    Ryan Jackson, Salt Lake City
    Inspector, Instructor

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    381

    Re: smoke detectors

    Every smoke detector comes with instructions. Follow them!
    The International Building Code requires smoke detectors to be installed in accordance with NFPA 72.
    NFPA 72, The National Fire Alarm Code, Section 5.7.1.9: "The location of smoke detectors shall be based on an evaluation of potential ambient sources of smoke, moisture, dust, or fumes, and electrical or mechanical influences to minimize nuisance alarms." and 5.7.1.11: "Detectors shall not be installed until after the construction cleanup of all trades is complete and final."

    Looking at the installation instructions included with the detector, we find that all these concerns, plus the design of the ceiling, etc. is taken into consideration. Most of the detectors I've installed require a minimum clearance of 4-12" to the wall. (and ceiling for wall mounting) The theory is that smoke curls at corners, and would delay the activation of the detector if too close.
    Earl

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    161

    Re: smoke detectors

    see http://www.systemsensor.com/html/guides/A05-1003.pdf

    this is a good general application guide for smokes.

    remember that fire alarm applications are life safety systems and that bungling one could cost someone their life, not to mention a nasty suit.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    South carolina
    Posts
    222

    Re: smoke detectors

    One of the appendices of NFPA 72 has some specific instructions for installing smoke detectors for these conditions. There is an illustration in the appendix that actually shows where to install the detector in a vaulted ceiling condition. You will also find an illustration that shows where not to install a detector in proximity to where the ceiling and the wall meet. Study the NFPA 72 and the applicable appendix and you should get most of you answers there. Are you working for and engineer to produce drawings? An engineer or someone licensed to design and issue fire alarm documents needs to be consulted.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    4,994

    Re: smoke detectors

    In my area of work, the AHJ consider the dead air space to be six inches out from where the ceiling meets the wall. See: Minneapolis Smoke Detector Placement
    The point, again, is to check with your local AHJ(s).

    [ September 16, 2003, 09:14 AM: Message edited by: al hildenbrand ]
    Another Al in Minnesota

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