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-   -   Smoke alarms require manufacturer-specified battery brand (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=9326)

snopes 27 May 2007 03:27 AM

Smoke alarms require manufacturer-specified battery brand
 
Comment: I recall a news story that stated a certain brand or brands of
smoke alarms require a specified brand name of battery and that using the
wrong battery brand caused the batteries to either explode or malfunction.
Can you confirm if this is possibly correct?

TrekkerScout 27 May 2007 04:22 AM

In my 21 years as an electrician, I have installed many smoke detectors. Most of the units that I am familiar with recommend specific brands and models of replacement batteries (usually Duracell, Eveready, and/or any long-life lithium battery). From my understanding, the recommended batteries are the ones that have been proven in lab and field tests to be the most reliable batteries for the specific model of smoke detector. The use of a non-recommended battery (especially in battery powered units) may cause premature failure of the unit. This is primarily due to many batteries (bargain brands) having an inadequate power rating for the smoke detector in either not being able to provide enough power for the unit to operate (slow discharge rate) or by having a short battery life. I have never heard of a battery exploding while in a smoke detector. However, using non-recommended batteries may cause a smoke detector to malfunction and almost certainly will invalidate the warranty.

Troberg 27 May 2007 05:13 AM

Quote:

However, using non-recommended batteries may cause a smoke detector to malfunction and almost certainly will invalidate the warranty.
The warranty is only affected in some jurisdictions. In Sweden, it's not, as it would limit consumer choice.

SALAManda 07 June 2007 09:07 PM

Smoke detectors use radioactive material to detect smoke: Perhaps some types of battery have substances inside that are also mildly radioactive, affecting the detector's performance?

Silas Sparkhammer 07 June 2007 10:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SALAManda (Post 202609)
Smoke detectors use radioactive material to detect smoke: Perhaps some types of battery have substances inside that are also mildly radioactive, affecting the detector's performance?

Afraid not. The ugly truth is that the manufacturer of the alarm has signed an endorsement agreement with a battery manufacturer, getting money in return for their naming of a battery brand.

Voiding the warranty would not stand up in court in the U.S. If the smoke detector manufacturer recommended "Duracell" and I used "Energizer," and they tried to void the warranty, not only would the consumer have a strong claim against them...so would Energizer!

Also, the UL would step in and threaten to remove their approval from the manufacturer, since both Duracell and Energizer are UL approved.

Silas

hambubba 08 June 2007 12:46 AM

You could also hardwire a properly sized DC adapter to one, via a 9-V battery clip, and it would work perfectly well, other than in a power failure.

No way that would void the warranty, as long as you didn't modify the detector itself.

Silas Sparkhammer 08 June 2007 02:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hambubba (Post 202940)
You could also hardwire a properly sized DC adapter to one, via a 9-V battery clip, and it would work perfectly well, other than in a power failure.

No way that would void the warranty, as long as you didn't modify the detector itself.

I just looked at mine, and there is a kind of lever that the battery depresses. If the battery weren't there, the lever would be open. I don't know if that has any effect on operation.

Personally, I'm with you: I like using AC adapters for various household thingies. Maybe a little wasteful, but saves a heap of labor.

Silas

P.S. It does occur to me that a power failure might not be an unexpected event accompanying a fire.

Malmensa 19 May 2016 05:16 AM

Like shampoo.
 
Most shampoo has a recommendation that you use the same brand of conditioner. I doubt anything dreadful would happen if you didn't.

Eoin 05 June 2016 11:49 PM

Sometimes I play my Brunswick records with Columbia needles on my Victrola, and drink Jell-o shots made with Royal gelatin.

musicgeek 06 June 2016 12:44 AM

Holy zombie threads, Batman! :D

Welcome to the boards, Malmensa!

Brad from Georgia 06 June 2016 01:25 AM

Gee, for one brief shining moment I thought Silas was back....

ganzfeld 06 June 2016 01:36 AM

:(   

crocoduck_hunter 06 June 2016 01:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brad from Georgia (Post 1918508)
Gee, for one brief shining moment I thought Silas was back....

No kidding. This thread has been a trip down memory lane.

Tweetilynn 06 June 2016 07:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brad from Georgia (Post 1918508)
Gee, for one brief shining moment I thought Silas was back....

Brad, me too. I just purchased one of his books, Web of Futures, for my Kindle. I always enjoyed his posts and missed him when I came back on line and didn't see any posts from him. He has a fan page on Facebook, but it's not run by him.

UrbanLegends101 07 June 2016 01:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer (Post 202757)
Afraid not. The ugly truth is that the manufacturer of the alarm has signed an endorsement agreement with a battery manufacturer, getting money in return for their naming of a battery brand.

Voiding the warranty would not stand up in court in the U.S. If the smoke detector manufacturer recommended "Duracell" and I used "Energizer," and they tried to void the warranty, not only would the consumer have a strong claim against them...so would Energizer!

Also, the UL would step in and threaten to remove their approval from the manufacturer, since both Duracell and Energizer are UL approved.

Silas

Also see The Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act (P.L. 93-637) is a United States federal law, (15 U.S.C. § 2301 et seq.). Enacted in 1975, it is the federal statute that governs warranties on consumer products.

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/article...ne-maintenance

firefighter_raven 07 June 2016 02:23 PM

It's actually getting to be a moot point in regards to smoke detectors. 10 yr smoke alarms are becoming a national requirement for new sales. The battery is non-removable and when the smoke alarm is just replaced after 10 yrs or whenever stops working.

mbravo 09 June 2016 09:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by firefighter_raven (Post 1918648)
It's actually getting to be a moot point in regards to smoke detectors. 10 yr smoke alarms are becoming a national requirement for new sales. The battery is non-removable and when the smoke alarm is just replaced after 10 yrs or whenever stops working.

And then it just sounds a continuous tone if you try to replace the battery, I think. We had this happen on one that was pretty new- maybe a few months old. It just started to sound a tone and we could not get it to stop. Wrapped it in a towel, in a blanket, put it in a cooler in the basement, still could hear the whine.... we even had it in the freezer for a while just to muffle the sound. My dad ended up taking a hammer to it.

This happened a while ago though, I think there was something else we were supposed to do but didn't do :lol: My dad's not much one for reading the instructions on things.


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