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Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Introduction
Transcript of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Introduction
Life Span of Device
The typical life span of a carbon monoxide alarm is seven years, on devices manufactured in the year 2013 and prior
After initial power, the devices are programmed to send an "End of Life" alarm, an alert sound, once every 30 seconds to notify of the end of the device usefulness. A unit with a display may indicate an ERR code or END notation
Sources of CO
Carbon monoxide results from incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, such as wood , kerosene, gasoline, charcoal, propane, natural gas and oil
Examples of these sources maybe be:
ranges/ovens, grills, clothes driers, furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, space heaters and vehicles
Because carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air and also because it may be found with warm, rising air, detectors should be placed on a wall about 5 feet above the floor. The detector may be placed on the ceiling. Do not place the detector right next to or over a fireplace or flame-producing appliance. Keep the detector out of the way of pets and children. Each floor needs a separate detector. If you are getting a single carbon monoxide detector, place it near the sleeping area and make certain the alarm is loud enough to wake you up.
Same considerations must be adhered to when observing 'dead space' installations, as with smoke alarms
Always read and follow the directions for the specific alarm, using the manufacturers literature accompanying the specific device
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a clear, colourless, odourless, tasteless gas
Each carbon molecule is bonded to a single oxygen atom.
The gas specific gravity is 0.9667 - it is slightly lighter than air
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Familiarization
Com-Plex Systems Ltd.
Smoke alarms are required in each level of multi-level dwellings. Placing outside the sleeping area is required, while placing one
each sleeping area is optimal.
Ideally, interconnected devices will allow the audible alarm to be heard throughout the entire home.
Dead spot - placement consideration
Carbon Monoxide deminishes the ability of the hemoglobin to carry oxygen and carbon monoxide
Red Blood Cell
Diminished Capacity-oxygen deprivation
When carbon monoxide is inhaled, it passes from the lungs into the hemoglobin molecules of red blood cells. Carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin at the same site as and preferentially to oxygen, forming carboxyhemoglobin. Carboxyhemoglobin interferes with the oxygen transport and gas exchange abilities of red blood cells. The result is that the body becomes oxygen-starved, which can result in tissue damage and death. Low levels of carbon monoxide poisoning cause symptoms similar to those of the flu or a cold, including shortness of breath on mild exertion, mild headaches, and nausea. Higher levels of poisoning lead to dizziness, mental confusion, severe headaches, nausea, and fainting on mild exertion. Ultimately, carbon monoxide poisoning can result in unconsciousness, permanent brain damage, and death. Carbon monoxide detectors are set to sound an alarm before the exposure to carbon monoxide would present a hazard to a healthy adult. Babies, children, pregnant women, people with circulatory or respiratory ailments, and the elderly are more sensitive to carbon monoxide than healthy adults.
Effects of CO on the Body
Testing and Maintenance
Test by means of the manufacturers test button-weekly, or as prescribed, to ensure the unit is powered and the audible alarm operates
Vacuum the cover monthly to remove accumulated dust
Avoid contact with air fresheners, hair spray, paint or other aerosols
Do not clean with detergents or solvents as this can damage the sensor operation
Temporarily relocate the device when performing any renovation tasks-stripping of paint/use of solvents etc
Be familiar with the specific device and the user's guide-pass it along to any subsequent user
Testing and Maintenance
Test smoke alarms monthly, using the manufacturers test button to ensure operation.
Vacuum device yearly, or as prescribed by the manufacturer
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
can be powered by a/c power (either plug into an a/c receptacle or hardwired into an electrical circuit directly) with a d/c (battery) back up
can be powered strictly by d/c power (battery)-a battery that can be either replaceable type by the user or a permanent unit that is installed during the manufacturing process, that is not removable
Ontario Fire Code
O. Reg 213/07
126.96.36.199. (1) This Article applies to interconnected smoke alarm systems in all residential occupancies and care occupancies, except in individual dwelling units and in buildings regulated by Section 9.8
(2) Interconnected smoke alarms shall be tested and maintained in operating condition in conformance with CAN/ULC-S552, "Standard for the Maintenance and Testing of Smoke Alarms", and as required by this Article.
(3) The power supply shall be checked weekly
(4) The operability of the interconnected system shall be confirmed monthly, by testing at least one smoke alarm using its test function, on a rotational basis.
(5) Where installed, each manual pull station shall be tested to ensure activation of the interconnected smoke alarms on an annual basis.
(6) Written records shall be kept of weekly checks of the power supply for at least six months after they are made, and be available upon request of the Chief Fire Official.
(7) Monthly and annual tests shall be recorded and kept in accordance with Article 188.8.131.52.
Subsection 6.3.3. Smoke Alarms-Testing and Maintenance
184.108.40.206. (1) This Subsection applies to smoke alarms
(a) in dwelling units,
(b) in dwelling units regulated under Section 9.8,
(c) in guest suites, and
(d) in each sleeping room not within a dwelling unit.
"dwelling unit", in light face, means "dwelliing unit" as defined in Sentence 220.127.116.11(2).
18.104.22.168. (1) Smoke alarms shall be maintained in operating condition by the owner.
(2) For the purpose of Sentence (1), in rental dwelling units, including rental dwelling units regulated under Section 9.8 the landlord is deemed the owner.
(3) In Sentence (2),
"dwelling unit", in light face, means "dwelling unit" as Sentence 22.214.171.124.(2)
Instructions for tenants
126.96.36.199.(1) The landlord shall provide a copy of the smoke alarm manufacturer's maintenance instruction or approved alternative to the occupant in each rental dwelling unit, including the occupant in a dwelling unit regulated under Section 9.8.
(2) Sentance (1),
'dwelling unit", in light face, means "dwelling unit" as defined in Sentence 188.8.131.52.(2).
Disabling not permitted
184.108.40.206. No person shall intentionally disable a smoke alrm so to make it inoperable.
220.127.116.11. (1) When smoke alarms are being replaced, the installation shall not reduce the level of detection required by
(a) the Buidling Code in effect at the time of construction of the dwellng unit, or
(b) municipal by-laws in effect before this Subsection came into force, whichever is applicable.
Smoke ALARM Types
Ionization,Photoelectric or combination type units available
Smoke DETECTOR Types
Ionization or Photoelectric type units
ALARMS vs DETECTORS
Smoke Alarms are local alarms (both detect and send out an alarm signal) which also may or may not send an alarm signal tied into dedicated monitoring systems (such as concierge desk monitor systems).
Detectors are simply that-detect only, sending signals to central alarm panels which send out an alarm signal on a separate audible circuit. These central systems are responsible for the base buiding, not just a single suite, for example.
Smoke alarms can be a/c powered-hardwired into an electrical circuit (with a d/c battery back up component), or strictly a d/c powered-battery operated (a replaceable type battery or sealed battery) unit.
There are certain requirements for hardwired smoke alarms:
can not be interrupt-able (not switched-to be turned off at a light switch for example) and, depending on the year of the installation-can not be on a dedicated electrical ciruit (to prevent convenient a/c disconnection at the breaker location).
Life Span of device
Smoke alarms have a general life expectancy of ten years
Both replaceable type and sealed type battery units have end of life warning signal (not to be confused with loss of battery life signal)
Most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomitting, chest pain and confusion. High levels of CO inhalation can cause loss of consciousness and death. Unless suspected, CO poisoning can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms mimic other illnesses. People sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before ever experiencing symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms-CO Poisoning
Carbon Monoxide Levels Parts per Million (PPM)
Where are we today on CO legislation?
Fire Code changes relating to CO alarms are part of the implementation of the Hawkings Gignac Act (Carbon Monoxide Safety), 2013, which received Royal Assent in December 2013, provides for the regulation of carbon monoxide (CO) alarms through amendments to the Fire Code and proclaims the week beginning November 1 as Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week.
The proposed changes to the Fire Code are based on expert advice the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services received from a CO Technical Advisory Committee (CO TAC) lead by the OFMEM and comprised of technical experts and representation from other government ministries and a wide range of stakeholder associations.
Proposed changes relating to the installation and maintenance of CO alarms in existing residential occupancies are consistent with CO requirements for new construction under the Ontario Building Code.
To date, the Ontario Fire Marshall's website contains a link to the "Public Consultation of Proposed Fire Code Changes Regarding Carbon Monoxide Alarms and Smoke Alarms" Bulletin #001/14, March 25, 2014. This bulletin is to notify of the OFMEM invitation to public comment on the proposed changes to the Ontario Fire Code related to new installation, maintenance and replacement requirements for carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in existing residential occupancies.
All proposals are just that-proposed changes to the Fire Code. There is an invitation to public consultation. From there, committees will meet and a finalized wording will be adapted into the Code. This process could still take months to complete, 'subject to government direction'.
All Fire Code requirements and any bylaws are still in effect, until such time that the new wording has been adopted into the Code.
Maintenance Request form with an Inspection Section for Smoke Alarm-
How much Co is too much?
1-9 PPM-It may be difficult to avoid those often occurring spikes in transient or chronic CO levels without life-style changes
9 PPM-This concentration is often measured around busy city streets and intersections
25 PPM-8 hour time weighted average (ACGIH-American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists)
10-35 PPM-Marginal-Small children, elderly and those suffering respiratory or heart problems are cautioned these are chronic exposures concentrations. May increase heart stresses
35 PPM-8 hour time weighted average (NIOSHA-National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health Administration) of the CDC (Centre for Disease Control)
50 PPM-Maximum average level for continuous exposure in an 8 hour work day per American Federal Law
70 PPM-If CO at this level for 50 minutes up to 4 hours, UL 2034 alarm should be sounding.
150 PPM-UL 2034 Listed alarms must respond within a range of 10 to 50 minutes if this concentration or higher is present
200 PPM- A worker will not be exposed to more than this amount (NIOSH)
400 PPM-Frontal headaches within 1-2 hours; life threatening within 3 hours; UL 2034 alarms should sound within 4 and 15 minutes
800 PPM-Nausea within 20 minues, death within 1 hour
1,600 PPM-Neusea within 20 minutes, death within 1 hour
12,000 PPM-Death within 1-3 minues
Carbon Monoxide-"The Silent Killer"
Information from a manufacturer
Generally above 100 PPM with no one experiencing symptoms. This should be trerated as an urgent situation.
Generally between 50PPM-100 PPM. This should be cause for concern and should not be ignored or dismissed.
Generally below 50 PPM. You should take action to eliminate the source of CO.
This information is usually supplied with the proviso that people are of average age and in a good state of health.
Carbon monoxide alarms can be interconnected, when hardwired (typically new installations) utilizing a dedicated interconnect wire
d/c type units can be interconnected wireless while,
Other units are simply stand-a-lone type devices (either a/c or d/c powered)-battery type or a/c plug-in with d/c battery back up
Installation of Smoke Alarms
Standard for Installation of Smoke Alarms CAN/ULC-S553-02
Maximum number of interconnected smoke alarms as specified by manufacturer
Must be the same type or listed as being compatible when connected on the same branch circuit
Must not be interrupted by a disconnect means-light switch or over current device
Accessory devices such as visual signals connected to smoke alarms equipped to operate these devices shall not interfere with the operation of the smoke alarms
Upon completion of installation, all smoke alarms will be tested in accordance with CAN/ULC-S552 Standard for the Maintenance and Testing of Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms shall comply with the equipment standard CAN/ULC-S531 Standard for Smoke Alarms
Situated so that the alarm is heard from its location from a sleeping room, over high background noise levels with intervening doors closed (ie. air conditioners, dehumidifiers etc.)
Situated as close to sleeping area, without the risk of nuisance alarms from excess water vapour from a bathroom, cooking vapours, smoke from a fireplace or wood stove
Smoke alarms shall not be located in 'dead air' space areas
Ceiling fan considerations, discharging air flow from air conditioners or make up air units
Smoke alarms installed in the vicinity of a doorway to a bathroom, a laundry room or a kitchen, shall be located not less than 1m from the centre of the doorway header wherever possible...
Ionization vs Photoelectric Detection Principles
Ionization principle smoke detectors detect smoke from fire that are flaming fires which spread rapidly, such as a burning waste paper basket or cooking fires. These fires produce large quantities of small invisible products of combustion, invisible particles that are produced as a result of cooking, heating appliances such as fireplace or wood stoves and humid conditions may also cause nuisance alarms. These type of devices should not be located near kitchens, furnace rooms or fuel burning appliances
Photoelectric type smoke alarms respond more quickly to smoldering fires which produce more visible, larger smoke particles. Photoelectric type smoke alarms are useful when located near kitchens in small apartments and where ionization type smoke alarms may be subject to nuisance alarms.
Com-Plex Systems Ltd.
Pause or "Hush" Button
Helps reduce/eliminate removal of an alarm or its battery/disconnection of a/c power due to a nuisance alarm condition
Operating the pause/hush button silences the audible alarm for up to ten minutes.
Before silencing-a thorough check of the area should be made to ensure the alarm has been activated by a nuisance event and not a real fire in its earliest stage
Highlights included in the:
Maintenance and Testing of Smoke Alarms
Highlights included in the:
Visually inspected to ensure that the smoke alarm is securely fastened to the ceiling or wall
Not obstructed in a manner that would prevent smoke from reaching or entering the smoke alarm. The ventilation holes of the smoke alarm shall be kept clean
When testing interconnected smoke alarms either by simulated smoke or by means of the test button, all smoke alarms shall sound when any one of the smoke alarms is tested. Each interconnected smoke alarm shall be individually tested
Testing shall be carried in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations
The results of testing shall be documented
Standard for the Maintenance and Testing of Smoke Alarms CAN/ULC-S552-02
Maintenance and Annual Testing
The exterior of the smoke alarm shall be vacuumed with a household vacuum cleaner. A brush attachment may assist...(A/C powered smoke alarms should only be vacuumed externally and no attempt be made to open the case
After vacuuming, test by means of simulated smoke...
Battery operated smoke alarms shall be inspected to ensure that the battery is securely connected to the battery clips
...battery clips shall be inspected to ensure they have not corroded and batteries have not leaked. Where batteries are leaking or corroded, the smoke alarm shall be replaced
smoke alarm batteries shall be inspected to ensure that it is the correct type recommended by the manufacturer. Smoke alarms requiring alkaline type batteries shall have only alkaline batteries installed. Rechargeable batteries shall not be used in smoke alarms unless specifically recommended by the manufacturer
Smoke Alarms shall be replaced if:
Smoke alarm does not sound during either of the following tests-for AC powered units, or having replaced the battery in battery operated units by button or simulated smoke
exterior case is physically damaged
exterior case has been painted
covered in smoke stains or heavy grease dirt accumulation
causes frequent false alarms that are not the result of cooking or steam, or
battery terminals are corroded
Recommended to replace after ten years of original installation
Additional Testing and Battery Replacement
Batteries shall be replaced when a low battery signal sounds. Battery operated smoke alarms sound an intermittent audible signal to indicate a low battery condition (although the low battery signal will normally provide a warning signal for up to 7 days when the battery is nearing the end of life, the correct battery shall be installed immediately to provide continued operability
Smoke alarms shall be tested after a change of tenants
Smoke alarms shall be tested when occupants have been absent for more than 7 consecutive days
AC powered smoke alarms shall be tested by simulated smoke or test button after any changes made to the electrical system in the dwelling. Switches installed controlling lighting or receptacles shall not remove power to the smoke alarm (Refer to CSA C22.1 Canadian Electrical Code, Part I section 32
Batteries should be replaced at least once a year, as a general 'rule of thumb'-when the time change occurs. More often may prove to increase the level of safety
In buildings that utilize manual devices interconnected with smoke alarms in areas other than dwellings
shall be maintained in operational condition
checks of the power supply to the smoke alarms checked weekly-with written records kept of the inspection for up to six-months after they are made
operation of the interconnected system shall be tested monthly, on a rotational basis
where installed, each manual device shall be tested to ensure activation of the interconnected smoke alarms annually
written records shall be kept of monthly and annual tests for a period of at least 2 years
Smoke Alarms in suite (owner's responsibility):
Smoke alarms shall be maintained in operating condition by owner
landlord is deemed to be the owner
landlord shall provide a copy of the smoke alarm manufacturer's maintenance instructions or approved alternative
No person shall intentionally disable a smoke alarm
When smoke alarms are replaced, the level of detection shall not be diminished
Technical Advisory Committee Recommendations
Expand scope from residential to include Care Occupancies and Care and Treatment Occupancies, at a later phase
Support Technical draft, with exceptions:
Benchmark smoke alarm installation to 2001 O.B.C.
Benchmark replacement alarms to latest editions of CSA 6.19 and UL2034 standards
Relax requirement for "mechanically fixed" installations to permit attachment or placement of battery operated alarms
Change 'alter' to 'reduce' with respect to level or type of protection required for replacement
Add a Chief Fire Official discretionary approval option for replacement of alarms' level or type of protection required
Consider expanding alarm testing requirements to residential property owners beyond those in a landlord-tenant relationship as appropriate
Add alarm replacement schedule that references manufacturer's instructions.
Consider adding the following compliance schedule:
6 months after 'in force' date for installation requirements for single family dwellings, and
12 months after 'in force' date for installation requirements for all other residential buildings
Request the Standards Development Organizations responsible for administering the CSA 6.19 and UL 2034 standards to address visual alarms for the hearing impaired in their next addition.
OFMEM MMAH to discuss technical amendments to the OBC to include additional CO alarm requirements. Corresponding harmonization amendments can the be considered for the OFC. Amendment items include:
Add a visual alarm component for the hearing impaired
Clarify what "adjacent" means in relation to a service room, storage garage and sleeping area
Add a secondary poer source requirement for hard-wired alarms
Review OBC refence to UL 2034 standards
Review appropriate type and certification of alarms located in service rooms
Consider concealed spaces containing fuel-fired appliance ducts and chimneys when dermining alarm installation location
Permissibility of CO "detectors" that are connected to a fire alarm system
Expand installation requirements to include dwelling units locatd adjacent to other dwelling units that contain fuel-fired appliances
Include failure to install and maintain operating CO alarms as a tickatable offence under Part 1 of the Provincial Offences Act
'...add a requirement to address tenants' responsibility to report non-functioning alarms
'...add a Chief Fire Official discretionary approval option for replacement alarms' level or type of protection required
'...add alarm replacement schedule that references manufacturer's instructions
'...consider adding the following compliance schedule;
6-months after 'in force' date for installation requirements for single family dwellings, and
12-months after 'in force' date for installation requirements for all other residential buildings
So-All current bylaws remain -
a patch work of varying requirements across the GTA
When reading the CO proposal, there does not seem to be any detail on placement within the building, only within certain suites. The framework is in its early stages-more detail may yet come from the process-which is on-going
The largest benefit to this act is that it will become law and that it will harmonize requirements across the province
Hawkins Gignac Act (Carbon Monoxide Safety)
The Hawkins Gignac Act
Installation and maintenance;
owner shall ensure that carbon monoxide alarms are installed and maintained
if a building contains only one suite for residential occupancy, a carbon monoxide alarm shall be installed adjacent to each sleeping area in the suite
if a building contains more than one suite designed for residential occupancy, a carbon monoxide alarm shall be installed;
adjacent to each sleeping area in a suite in the building if;
a fuel-burning appliance is installed in the suite
a fuel-burning appliance is installed in a service room that is adjacent to the suite, or
a storage garage contained in the building is located adjacent to the suite and
in the service room, if a fuel-burning appliance is installed in a service room that is not located in any of the suites
Highlights Included in the:
The Hawkins Gignac Act
the carbon monoxide alarm shall be installed permanently connected to an electrical circuit and shall have no disconnect swtich between the over current device and the carbon monoxide alarm
be wired so that its activation will activate all carbon monoxide alarms in the sutie, if the detector is located in a suite that is used for residential occupancy
conforms to the doucment CAN/CSA-6.19
Highlights Included in the:
The Hawkins Gignac Act
In the case the building existed August 6, 2001 or for which a permit was issued under the Building Code Act 1992 on or before that day, a battery operated carbon monoxide alarm or a carbon monoxide alarm that is plugged into an electrical circuit in the building is deemed to comply
Highlights Included in the:
Instructions for tenants
If a building contains rental units, the landlord shall provide a copy of the maintenance instructions from the manufacturer of the carbon monoxide alarm, or a prescribed alternative
Disabling not permitted
No person shall intentionally disable a carbon monoxide alarm required by this section as to make it inoperable
Other recommendations which may be implemented;
'...add a visual compoent for the hearing impaired'
'...clarify what 'adjacent' means in relation to a service room, storage garage and sleeping area'
'...review appropriate type and certification of alarms located in service rooms'
'...consider concealed spaces contaning fuel-fired appliance ducts and chimneys when determining alarm installation location
'...permissibilty of CO 'detectors' that are connected to a fire alarm system'
'...expand installation reqruirements to include dwelling units located adjacent to other dwelling units that contain fuel-fired appliances'
Include failure to install and maintain operating CO alarms as a ticketable offence under Part I of the Provincial Offences Act
Some Points of Interest from the CO TAC
Although not identified as recommendations, discussion throughout the meeting surrounded the need to direct public education efforts towards various CO safety themes including:
CO characteristics (sources, symptoms)
Alarm installation, maintenance and testing
The need to replace alarms according to manufacturer's instruction
Recognize CO alarms "end of life" signal
Hazards associated with;
idling cars in garage, unsafe generator use, using barbecues indoors
Smoke alarms can be interconnected by a interconnection wire directly (hardwired units-typically new installations)
Interconnected wireless using devices internal circuit communication - like a 'bluetooth' type technology
Devices using existing wifi networks in the area of installation
Other units are stand-a-lone that do not communicate with other devices-either a/c or d/c powered
Proposed Changes to The Ontario Fire Code