Fire sensors for the attic…best advise I didn’t get.

Heat sensors in an attic can warn of a fire way before a smoke alarm on an upper floor would trigger an alert. This year two friends had very serious fires that started in the attic and worked their way down. By the time the smoke alarms went off the sleeping families had time to get out, but no more.

Smoke alarms in the attics are not a good idea because the dust interferes with their proper operation. I inquired of the experts and found out that heat sensors in an attic are the best way to detect a fire, and they are not affected by the dust. For some reason I had never heard that, not even from the company that sold me an alarm system, complete with a unit that can autodial a central station.

The wiring in the attic in an older home can start a fire, and no, fuses and circuit breakers will not always trip to prevent a catastrophe. Attic fans and air handlers can also start a fire when they malfunction. In the case of one of my friends who lived in an attached home, his house caught fire when the neighbor’s house caught fire, and the flames traveled across the attics, and down.

Adding two heat sensors to my system cost $159, well worth the price.


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