Smoke detector below 40F needed


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Old 11-25-14, 10:57 AM
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Smoke detector below 40F needed

I have a non-profit that builds unheated huts for the homeless. We have provided secure, safe shelter for more than 50 people this way but cannot find a smoke detector rated for below 40 degrees. We are in Oregon where it rarely goes below 20 degrees. Is there any affordable detector that runs on batteries we might use in our huts?
 
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Old 11-25-14, 11:53 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

Most of the problem with using a smoke detector in the cold is the battery.
You may have to use a lithium 9v battery.
 
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Old 11-25-14, 01:59 PM
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_Any_ battery technology is going to be a problem at temperature extremes. It's a chemical reaction, and temperature does have an effect. Even system type smoke detectors, which have an external source of power are only listed to 32F.
 
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Old 11-25-14, 03:28 PM
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Thanks

Thanks for the replies. Sounds like there aren't a lot of options.
 
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Old 11-25-14, 03:34 PM
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We can't wire these units with 110 as that would cause all kinds of code issues, but it occurs to me that maybe we could wire them with a low power 9 volt system off a central transformer and thereby by-pass the battery issue. Would that work? I'd have to get our local fire marshall to sign off on it, but seems like that would be better than a system that only works over 40 degrees.
 
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Old 11-25-14, 04:05 PM
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There are wired 12 volt units for rv and boat use.
That might get you past the reliable power hurdle but if it's the low-temp RATING that's the problem, it might not help.
 
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Old 11-25-14, 06:12 PM
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I have seen low temperature smoke detectors but only the head which was a part of an integrated building smoke detector panel.

What do these shelters look like?
I assume that the people who use them would sleep in them.
When you say
our local fire marshal to sign off on it,
what sort of codes do you need to build them too.
Here, believe it or not they would need a smoke detector and a sprinkler if the occupant would be expected to sleep in it.
Even commercial walk-in freezers and coolers need to be sprinklered in new construction.
 
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Old 11-26-14, 02:42 PM
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You can see pictures of our project at Opportunity Village Eugene. We have 2 styles of units, "conestogas" which are 6 x 10 with a vinyl roof (like a conestoga wagon) and bungalows which are 8 x 8 or 8 x 10. Basically they are external sleeping units, well insulated. To hard wire them with 110 we would have to secure the foundation in order to meet code. (I think the standard requires ability to withstand wind gusts up to 90 mph. I don't recall if it was the fire marshall or the building inspector who told us that we could not install 110 without some major design changes.) Plus we are running this outfit for $3/day per person so we need to keep utility cost to a minimum. The village includes a large yurt that has a pellet stove so in very cold weather there is a place where folk can sleep. In any event, our current challenge is to figure out how we can provide maximum fire safety given the limitation of smoke detectors. Either that or we need to figure out some way to keep these units above 40 degrees without using 110 or any appliance with an open flame or that produces any kind of noxious gas or consumes oxygen.
 
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Old 11-26-14, 02:47 PM
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BTW, our fire marshall has been very supportive of this project. Sprinkling is not required in our city fortunately. This project was built partly using codes for campgrounds. We were able to get around some issues because it is considered transitional shelter.
 
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Old 11-26-14, 03:01 PM
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Not the battery that's the issue, it condensation on the sensor.
See if they will allow a heat sensor instead.
It senses a rapid rise in heat and is not effected by the cold.
What a dam shame the hoops we have to go through to deal with the reality of being homeless.
No one wants to admit it but there's many of us one pay check away from joining them.
God bless you for trying to help.
 
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Old 11-26-14, 05:11 PM
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A rate of rise heat detector is a good idea but but they are not generally considered a life safety device.
As far as I know they are only available for a central panel type system, similar to the low temperature smoke detectors.

Would it be feasible to have all these shelters wired with this type of detector and have a panel somewhere close by in a building with 120 volts.

Looks like a fine project by the way!
 
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Old 11-26-14, 11:08 PM
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There is no heat in those units..... so the fire Marshall is concerned with fires by cigarettes ?
 
 

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