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Smoke or Heat Alarms?
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2724 Posts
Question
Mornin' All,

I am familiar with open fires that burn logs or coal.  I am not so familiar with enclosed "log burners" or enclosed "multi-fuel stoves".

When using these is there a chance of some or fumes being created when using them that could trigger a smoke alarm, especially at the time of first lighting them?

I am about to plan a system for a holiday let cottage that has two log burners in  two separate rooms. We don't want false alarms as the detectors will be interlinked.

Smoke or heat types?

Z.
19 Replies
aligarjon
102 Posts
i thought it was smokes in circulation areas and heats in living/kitchen areas.  i think the original thinking was to do with people smoking in their own homes setting them off otherwise.  i doubt you can smoke in a holiday let though.   probably doesn't fully answer your question . sorry 

Gary
I was always taught smoke detectors are protection to life and heat detectors are protection for property. So heat detectors should only be used in kitchens and garages in a domestic setting. You could use a multi sensor maybe?
wallywombat
432 Posts
Well my personal experience with a friend's enclosed wood-burning stove was that, when first lit and if the wind was blowing the wrong way (or something), her lounge would initially fill with smoke until enough heat had built up to force a convection flow back up the chimney.
Yes my dads does exactly the same. He took to warming the chimney with his blow torch before lighting the fire. To improve the draw.
AJJewsbury
2491 Posts
My log burner is in an open plan kitchen/diner - so has Heat + CO detectors. Smoke spill is normally rare - but can happen - especially due to user error (e.g. opening both the man door and ashpan door at the same time.
   - Andy.
mapj1
3413 Posts
you want some sensible separation to any smoke detector, there will be some smoke released while the door is open and it is being lit or refueled, though non in normal operation. If the room is small,  then heat detection or some other smoke-resistant  technology is going to be best.  Optical sensors are less easily fooled by a fine whisp of smoke than the ion beam type.
More importantly is CO detection and ventilation - the ventilation is down to the installer of the stove and the flue but check the CO detection is not being left to you ?
The draw on a flue is best  it if is both tall, and well insulated.
M.
That should always be the case Mike, a dual wall liner is always specified for enclosed fires. They do not have enough air when throttled back for a normal flue to work, so give the above problems with smoke into the room. I would go for the rate of rise heat detector, probably less false alarms, someone is bound to have the door open in use at some point to make toast or something!
Chris Pearson
2495 Posts
In my experience, smoke is much more likely to spill out from an open hearth.

CO detectors are mandatory. If the flue is (partially) blocked over an open hearth, the fire will probably never get going; but with a stove, it could smoulder and give off CO.

Occasionally birds fall down our chimneys. The tell tale sign in the stove was debris so I took off the inspection hatch at the bottom of the flue. I found either a crow or a very sooty pigeon.
mapj1
3413 Posts
My point was that if you get a lot of smoke, the installation may not be correct -  woodburners may be notifiable works to building control, but I think plenty just appear in fire places without the paper trail  or more importantly proper testing,, and not always following the best advice.
I have recently seen one where the neighbour's builders removed the chimney breast upstairs, without realising that the chimney pots for the two houses were front and rear rather than either side , (i.e.two chimneys, one per house, forming a wider but less intrusive column as a bulge in the party wall)  and they left both pipes, including the one  to next door's woodburner,  open to the bedroom at floor level.
Luckily the bits of brick dropping into the grate alerted the side with the wood burner, and in the end the whole thing became more comic than tragic, and the chance was take to fit a proper flue liner as well as to reinstate half a chimney breast, but it could have been nasty, - if it misbehaves it may be wrong -  there are some very funny set-ups out there.
Mike.
ebee
1147 Posts
owwh Nasty!
Chris Pearson
2495 Posts
By contrast to Mike's example, when daughter had some repairs and repointing done, the builder put 6 pots on the 4 flues in the chimney - originally 2 on either side of semi-detached cottages. I could not convince her that there were only ever 4 hearths (which still exist).

When I got my wood burner (with pizza oven ) I could not get a quote from anybody without lining the flue at a cost of £2k. They seemed to think that chimneys blow rather than suck. 🙄
davidwalker2
161 Posts
Log burners need Building Control permission and must be installed by a HEATAS installer.  In my experience the installer will arrange the Building Control;  CO detectors are mandatory and will be supplied by the installer.

David
Chris Pearson
2495 Posts
Same as new circuits, for example! 😉
AJJewsbury
2491 Posts
a dual wall liner is always specified for enclosed fires
Perhaps for a new stand-alone flue, but when lining an existing chimney as simple single wall stainless steel liner can be used (at least was for mine, done my a HETAS engineer and as far as I remember was in accordance with the stove manufacturer's instructions).
   - Andy.

 
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2724 Posts
Nobody seems to have answered my original question.

The wood burners are o.k. and have been professionally installed. That is not the concern.

Used by people that are not used to log burners,  which do the rooms require a smoke alarm or a heat alarm? I am not concerned with CO alarms. The alarms are to be interlinked. I don't want the whole house awaken at night if a log burner smokes. 

I think that I agree with Mike that an optical detector/alarm may be best, but with a big billowing cloud of smoke even they may trigger.

Z.
Chris Pearson
2495 Posts
Zoomup:
Nobody seems to have answered my original question.

Oh dear, too much thread drift?

I wouldn't worry about the escape of smoke in normal service, so for me it's a smoke detector. That is smoke as in the contents of the dwelling are on fire.

Do a multi sensor combined heat and optical. They according to the manufacturers have an increased resistance to false alarms.
Zoomup
2724 Posts
Nick Bennett:
Do a multi sensor combined heat and optical. They according to the manufacturers have an increased resistance to false alarms.

What is the purpose of the heat detection part of the combined alarm please? How will that prevent false alarms?

Z.

Andrew Ince
16 Posts
The heat detector portion of the alarm will detect temperature rise. A smoke event with a temperature/heat rise will trigger alarm. Not sure how sensitive the threshold is but the principle is to reduce false alarms resulting from burnt toast etc just resulting in smoke!
I have smoke alarm in living room with log burner and never had alarm triggered when accidentally opening fire door without ensuring flue damper was fully open. All alarms interlinked with heat alarm only in kitchen to avoid false alarms. Soldering fumes during plumbing work definitely set the smoke alarms off!
cheers Andy

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