Mains smoke-alarm; tenant channges battery back-up ??

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    Mains smoke-alarm; tenant channges battery back-up ??

    I just wondered what LL's/agents do about changing the back-up battery in mains wired smoke-detectors.

    Do you make tenant responsible for changing the back-up battery? I ask because there is a risk of electrocution/shock from the mains wiring if the supply is not isolated and T fails to read instructions correctly.
    All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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    #2
    Originally posted by Bel View Post
    I just wondered what LL's/agents do about changing the back-up battery in mains wired smoke-detectors.

    Do you make tenant responsible for changing the back-up battery? I ask because there is a risk of electrocution/shock from the mains wiring if the supply is not isolated and T fails to read instructions correctly.
    Where do you get this info from? I have smoke alarms like these, and there's really no conceivable way that I can see that that a user could be electrocuted by accessing the battery compartment. Indeed the instructions make no mention of taking any special care with changing the battery due to the fact that they are mains powered, or of any requirement to isolate the supply.

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      #3
      Better to use unwired units, which fit between lightbulb socket connection and bulb. The current flow to bulb keeps detector fully charged.
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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        #4
        Hello this is my first post on here so firstly my name is Ross and my company is Caltech Electrical. I can see where you are comming from as most of the user manuals inc. Kidde (one of the most popular detectors) tell you to ensure the power is disconnected before replacing the battery. If you have this type of detector make sure your consumer unit/ fuse box is clearly labled to make sure the tennant knows exactly how to isolate the power before replacing the battery. Maybe get them to sign some form of paperwork to show you have explained the correct procedure for doing this. Alternatively why not replace the detectors with 10 Year Long Life Sealed Lithium Battery type. I wouldn't personally recommend the ceiling rose type as they will often end up being removed when the batteries go.

        Hope this helps, Always happy to offer free advice
        Last edited by Caltech Electrical; 18-04-2008, 07:33 AM. Reason: added text
        Caltech Electrical Ltd, Bury / Free advice given.

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          #5
          Ceiling rose type do not use batteries as such- just a sealed unit constantly recharged from mains.
          JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
          1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
            Better to use unwired units, which fit between lightbulb socket connection and bulb. The current flow to bulb keeps detector fully charged.
            Council would not agree to this in the HMO's I manage. They said when light is off there is no charge so if someone goes on holiday for a couple of weeks smoke alarm could be dead on their return for a bit.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by ah84 View Post
              Council would not agree to this in the HMO's I manage. They said when light is off there is no charge so if someone goes on holiday for a couple of weeks smoke alarm could be dead on their return for a bit.
              Nope. Using the light even occasionally stores several weeks' charge (and, anyway, it's sensible to have the lighting on a time-switch when one's on holiday: this deters intruders and of course charges-up the unit too).
              JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
              1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
                Where do you get this info from? I have smoke alarms like these, and there's really no conceivable way that I can see that that a user could be electrocuted by accessing the battery compartment. Indeed the instructions make no mention of taking any special care with changing the battery due to the fact that they are mains powered, or of any requirement to isolate the supply.

                A tenant changed the battery one time, with out bothering to read instructions. Quite a meal was made out of the process; taking several attempts and the unit being removed from its location on the ceiling.

                I have not changed the battery myself , so I would not know much about the units construction and location of the live wiring etc.

                No harm was done. But i had a look at the instructions and there were quite a few caveats in there that made me feel uneasy with the action the tenant had taken.

                Caltec; good due dilgence there.
                All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

                * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

                You can search the forums here:

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                  Nope. Using the light even occasionally stores several weeks' charge (and, anyway, it's sensible to have the lighting on a time-switch when one's on holiday: this deters intruders and of course charges-up the unit too).
                  You may be right, but Barnet Environmental health told me I cannot use them for mains powered smoke alarms.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Sorry Jeffrey i didn't realise the ceiling rose type didn't have a replacable battery. I have had a quick look at them and there are two types of ceiling rose smoke detector available. The ones that clip inline with the lamp/bulb only need to be switched on for a minimum of 1 hour per week as they have rechargable lithium battery. Can't find any references to BS5446 pt1(covering smoke detectors in dwellings) on them though which is probably why Barnet Environmental health said they where un-suitable. If you where refering to the other type which replace the ceiling rose altogether they do confirm to BS5446 pt1 and are as good as any other mains powered smoke as they are connected to a permanent Live.
                    Caltech Electrical Ltd, Bury / Free advice given.

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