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New Jermany at it again

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The state has decided they know what is best for you and are mandating you throw away your property and buy new stuff  -  ARG!

Homeowner update for 2019:
Please be advised that as of January 1, 2019, the state of New Jersey requires that battery powered single station smoke alarms be replaced with a ten year sealed battery powered smoke alarm.

While the State of NJ acknowledges that there will be an additional cost for these units, they determined that the increase was warranted to account for safety. These new units are not required to replace AC-powered smoke alarms or multi station alarms.

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48 minutes ago, Howard said:

Please be advised that as of January 1, 2019, the state of New Jersey requires that battery powered single station smoke alarms be replaced with a ten year sealed battery powered smoke alarm.

Molon Labe

 

The fee structure for certifying compliance whenever there is a change of occupancy is pretty steep; up to $161.   And while hard-wired AC-powered fire alarm systems with battery backup are acceptable, it looks like the interconnected, monitored systems from SimpliSafe and other vendors don't qualify as compliant because they run off of replaceable lithium batteries.  

All of the hardwired systems I'm familiar with are DC powered, run off of a transformer, but I presume that is what NJ meant when they said AC powered.  They've never been much on getting the language right in legal docs.  

Seasonal rentals are exempt.  Properties that are occupied only intermittently have the greatest need for 10 year alarms, but the plutocrats who put this requirement in place tend to own a lot of rental properties, and it would inconvenience them.

Oh, and the fire extinguisher you are now required to have wall-mounted in your kitchen now has to be recertified at an approved facility every year.

 

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37 minutes ago, 10X said:

All of the hardwired systems I'm familiar with are DC powered, run off of a transformer, but I presume that is what NJ meant when they said AC powered.  They've never been much on getting the language right in legal docs.  

While I hate NJ as much as the next guy, the interconnected units do indeed use 120v, usually with a 9v battery backup. They use the 3/1 conductors with a hot, neutral, and interconnect

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12 minutes ago, Shocker said:

While I hate NJ as much as the next guy, the interconnected units do indeed use 120v, usually with a 9v battery backup. They use the 3/1 conductors with a hot, neutral, and interconnect

I stand corrected.   Maybe I've just owned too many old houses with oddball systems.

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Old school  single 9v units only have a "real" life of 5 to 7 years anyway .. not the battery of course, as those should be changed every six months .. but the little radioactive module inside of it.  I know on paper it may say 10 years but more often than not they lose their effectiveness after 5 to 7 years and are no longer sensitive enough. So if you have any older than that they should be replaced right away anyway

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Smoke obscuration chambers of the smoke detectors radioactive device in the sensor, not so much have a shelf life, but get dirty.

Home detectors for the most part 120V units linked, have no form of sensitivity test or adjustment - they just need to be cleaned.

Without the ability to self adjust based on dirt for the greatest sensitivity possible before failure - and or the ability for home owners to test sensitivity of the device - in lieu of batteries cleaning of detectors is MUCH MUCH MUCH more important than a 9v battery change.

I would suggest a can of air and a vacuum of all your heads and clean and blow out the changers so you can get the earliest incipient stages of combustion detected.

The idiots in Trenton do not know the first thing about what they are writing laws about - but this is not necessarily a bad law though in regard to batteries.

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35 minutes ago, USRifle30Cal said:

Without the ability to self adjust based on dirt for the greatest sensitivity possible before failure - and or the ability for home owners to test sensitivity of the device - in lieu of batteries cleaning of detectors is MUCH MUCH MUCH more important than a 9v battery change.

I would suggest a can of air and a vacuum of all your heads and clean and blow out the changers so you can get the earliest incipient stages of combustion detected.

That's what I do with mine when I do battery changes every Spring and Fall. I vacuum them and bring in my tank of air and blow them out.

I also write the date on each one when I buy and install them, and at approx. the 5 year point, I replace them.

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When I sold my house in Morris County in June it was a total shit show with the fire inspection.  They could not tell me what was required.  My home was built in 1973 so battery smoke detectors was what was required, but we added a large addition in 1990 that was approved with the wired system as part of a central alarm system.  When I asked what we had to have in June they were puzzled.  They finally decided that we should have battery units throughout, and had me install battery powered units in the rooms that were already covered by the central alarm - how stupid.  They claimed that a new owner might disable to central system, but that owner could also pull the batteries from the units I was installing.

We had a fire extinguisher on the kitchen counter but they insisted it had to be mounted on the wall.  The inspector said they fully know that immediately after inspection it will be taken down and put on a counter.  He then went on to say they don't want people using fire extinguishers, they want them to get out of the house immediately and call the fire department.  He also said when the CO detectors go off they don't want people to open doors and windows.  They want them to exit and leave the house sealed so when they come they can track down the source.  Further went on to say that they think it is stupid to require extinguishers because most people have no clue how to use them, which is probably true.

 

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On 2/1/2019 at 9:26 AM, 10X said:

Molon Labe

Oh, and the fire extinguisher you are now required to have wall-mounted in your kitchen now has to be recertified at an approved facility every year.

 

As Much as I Molon Labe as the next patriot, I have to ask; What happens if there is a fire in your home and the fire inspector notes you have old smoke detectors. I'd bet lunch after the range that the insurance company will attempt to avoid paying on a claim. 

When did the fire extinguisher law go into effect? Is that all existing dwellings or on a CO transfer?

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10 minutes ago, Howard said:

 Further went on to say that they think it is stupid to require extinguishers because most people have no clue how to use them, which is probably true.

It is probably true, and the way you make it not true is to find a safe place to build one or more small fires outside, and every time you have an extinguisher that has expired or is reading a sufficiently low pressure that you will have to service or replace it, you bring every family member outside, explain how to properly use the extinguisher, and then have them extinguish a fire.   It’s kinda fun, it prepares them to react appropriately, and it doesn’t cost anything since the extinguisher needed service or replacement anyway. 

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On 2/1/2019 at 12:42 PM, voyager9 said:

They’ll make it part of the requirements when selling your house, like they do Fire extinguishers now. 

Battery-only has been against code for new construction for a while. 

I guess we may soon be learning what is required. Seriously looking at selling and leaving this state, we have had enough!

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28 minutes ago, Howard said:

He then went on to say they don't want people using fire extinguishers, they want them to get out of the house immediately and call the fire department. 

This is true, as most people who die in fires actually die from smoke inhalation, not the actual flames. In trying to fight the fire, you can get quickly overcome from smoke and fumes. In every body that we pulled out of a burning building, it was the smoke that got them.

31 minutes ago, Howard said:

He also said when the CO detectors go off they don't want people to open doors and windows.  They want them to exit and leave the house sealed so when they come they can track down the source. 

Also true, they need the concentrated gas to help pinpoint the source, versus having to check each appliance after the house was ventilated.

32 minutes ago, Howard said:

Further went on to say that they think it is stupid to require extinguishers because most people have no clue how to use them, which is probably true.

Definitely true. I went through CERT training last year, and part of it was training with a fire extinguisher. Watching the class fumble around trying to put out a small fire, was scary and comical, all at the same time.

 

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11 minutes ago, ChrisJM981 said:

As Much as I Molon Labe as the next patriot, I have to ask; What happens if there is a fire in your home and the fire inspector notes you have old smoke detectors. I'd bet lunch after the range that the insurance company will attempt to avoid paying on a claim. 

When did the fire extinguisher law go into effect? Is that all existing dwellings or on a CO transfer?

It’s enforced at the time of change of occupancy, so I don’t believe the insurance company can avoid paying if you have battery operated smoke detectors before that.   I don’t even know if insurance companies would avoid paying out if you don’t have functional detectors at all.   Maybe they could, but I’m not sure they would.  It would be a potential PR nightmare.

I could see them refusing payment if your meth lab exploded and burned down your house, but not because you used the wrong kind of battery in your smoke detector.  

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26 minutes ago, 10X said:

It is probably true, and the way you make it not true is to find a safe place to build one or more small fires outside, and every time you have an extinguisher that has expired or is reading a sufficiently low pressure that you will have to service or replace it, you bring every family member outside, explain how to properly use the extinguisher, and then have them extinguish a fire.   It’s kinda fun, it prepares them to react appropriately, and it doesn’t cost anything since the extinguisher needed service or replacement anyway. 

That's a great reminder for everyone. It's exactly what I've done with old extinguishers with my family. Everyone needs to experience it so if it ever happens, they'll know what to do.

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On 2/1/2019 at 10:20 AM, Lakota said:

Old school  single 9v units only have a "real" life of 5 to 7 years anyway .. not the battery of course, as those should be changed every six months .. but the little radioactive module inside of it.  I know on paper it may say 10 years but more often than not they lose their effectiveness after 5 to 7 years and are no longer sensitive enough. So if you have any older than that they should be replaced right away anyway

Same is true for carbon monoxide detectors.  Newer ones have a set # of years for service life, then the entire unit must be replaced.  It's not designed to have just the battery replaced. 

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The cynic in me thinks the reason this is now required is economics. All else being equal most people would buy the model with  10-year battery. I bet the cost of the new model is higher than the old model plus 10-years of 9v. So now the state is stepping in to force the market. 

There is a real safety benefit to the 10-year version though. Battery-only units have no safety net once the battery dies. People can leave them dead (knowingly or unknowingly). Extending the longevity of the battery is really all you can do. Dual-power units usually won’t let you let the batteries die, or leave without batteries. They’ll continue to chirp until a new battery is inserted. 

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On 2/1/2019 at 10:20 AM, Lakota said:

Old school  single 9v units only have a "real" life of 5 to 7 years anyway .. not the battery of course, as those should be changed every six months .. but the little radioactive module inside of it.  I know on paper it may say 10 years but more often than not they lose their effectiveness after 5 to 7 years and are no longer sensitive enough. So if you have any older than that they should be replaced right away anyway

I bought my house in 1998.  The same alarms are still there and quite active with a fresh battery.  I know this because they go off whenever we cook something too smoky.

 

NJ can kiss my ass. You want to install new ones, go right ahead.  But I ain't paying for it.  Period.

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22 minutes ago, AlDente67 said:

I bought my house in 1998.  The same alarms are still there and quite active with a fresh battery.  I know this because they go off whenever we cook something too smoky.

FYI, maybe you have the Tom Brady of smoke detectors, but most have a lifespan of 10 years from date of manufacture. This isn’t a state mandate. The sensor gets dirty and/or wears out.  Like the Martian Rover, eventually your units will fail. 

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51 minutes ago, voyager9 said:

Battery-only units have no safety net once the battery dies.

Actually they do, they will also chirp for a while to let you know to replace the battery. Only if you ignore that chirping for quite a while (or take the battery out, a normal occurrence), will the battery finally die.

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4 minutes ago, Sniper said:

Actually they do, they will also chirp for a while to let you know to replace the battery. Only if you ignore that chirping for quite a while (or take the battery out, a normal occurrence), will the battery finally die.

Yeah, I know. That’s why I specified after the battery dies.  They can die and be forgotten about. The dual power ones will continue to chirp as long as they have AC. 

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Can someone tell me if the RF interconnected units are ok?  Can only one unit be hardwired and the rest be RF?  How many per floor?  Basement?  Bedrooms? Hallways?   Do state regs supercede town regs?  Sorry for all the questions but I have to install these before I can dump this joint and get the hell out of here...

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2 hours ago, Tunaman said:

Do state regs supercede town regs? 

No.

Your best answer will come from either the CO inspector or the Fire inspector, depending who your town sends out. Towns determine on their own what they want, similar to how police departments decide what paperwork they want for FIDs.

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You know, the tea that was spilled into the bay near Boston had a tax on it that wasn't that onerous.   It was symbolic.  That was the birth of the American Nation, and is now its on life support on Obamacare, or maybe the birth of the Sovereign State.  

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You need a background check and a walk through and a FAP to purchase.   And it is illegal to have the high capacity alkaline battery models.  And if you get caught there is jail time.   And when you purchase a fire alarm you have to buy the extended manufacturer's warranty!l

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2 hours ago, Maksim said:

Wait... so now even the dual powered units are not good enough?  And you need to have a sealed unit one instead?

I think the new regulation only applies to battery-only units.  Depending on the age of your house you can be compliant with the fire code and use battery-only. Thst is still true but the units must be sealed 10-year battery ones. 

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