Fire Alarms

I finally got the fire alarms installed after having the item on multiple lists since the electrical was finished. I’m trying to check off all the requirements for our final inspection.

LEED requires that we have a carbon monoxide alarm near the entry from the garage because the garage is attached. I purchased combination fire and carbon monoxide alarms that are interconnected throughout the house so that if one sounds the others do also. There is one in the entry to fulfill this requirement.

Each bedroom needs an alarm according to code. This requirement changed a bit during our project because originally we were told we needed an alarm within 15 ft. of the bedroom entries and one in the master bedroom. So we wired one between the bedroom doors in the hallway. Now that they are required inside the bedrooms, the hall alarm loses its function. However, the alarms in the bedrooms do not have to be wired alarms. I thought I had a couple of battery powered alarms from a previous project but I could only find one. So I ordered a second one today for the other bedroom.

Although we don’t really need the alarm in the hall now, the drywallers covered that fire alarm electrical box. They also covered the box on the dining room ceiling. The electricians didn’t extend the boxes for the depth of the drywall so it was easy to cover them. I will need to find the boxes and cut open the ceiling to install the alarms.

Hall Fire alarm before drywall

Hall Fire alarm before drywall

Rear Hall Drywalled Ceiling

Rear Hall Drywalled Ceiling

Someone mentioned that the dining room alarm might be too close to the kitchen and could result in nuisance alarms from cooking. But I think having the covered boxes is actually a fire hazard so I better install the extra alarms. I ordered five alarms and I have installed four but six were wired. Luckily Ebay still has the same model and I can get another one. There is one in the family room, in the master bedroom, in between the living room and the hallway, and in the entry.

I was also worried that perhaps the electricians didn’t include the third wire to connect the fire alarms on the circuit so that they were in sync. I didn’t remember specifying that to them, but they did include the third wire in each box.

Fire alarm box with third wire

Fire alarm box with third wire

The alarms are interconnected so that when one is triggered, the others repeat the same information. The voice announcement helps recognize which alarm is going off.

Voice Fire Alarm

Voice Fire Alarm

This is a video of the fire alarm sound which echoes from one alarm to the other.
Video of the fire alarm sound

I will need a sixth alarm to finish the project. I think I had not counted on the bedroom hallway alarm when the inspector told me we needed one within fifteen feet of the bedroom doors. But for now it is not obvious that more work needs to be done!

UPDATE: The alarms were delivered and now are installed. With the before and after photos I was able to cut the ceiling quite close to the boxes. Where the cuts went beyond the alarm plate I used painters caulk to fill in the space.

Cut ceiling for alarm box

Cut ceiling for alarm box

Patched ceiling at alarm

Patched ceiling at alarm

This was the last of the electrical installs for the final inspection. Although I did get a Sense Me switch for the Haiku fan and installed that too.

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