C02, Smoke Alarm Question

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Mangled, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. Mangled

    Mangled Read Only Funster

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    After hearing of the horrors that can happen I decided to buy a combined smoke/c02 alarm. It arrived today and I have just gone to fit it and read the instructions.
    They state that it needs to be fitted at least 3ft away from any doors to a kitchen or Bathroom where there is a shower. It also says to avoid doors and windows that open to the outside, any drapes and at least 15ft from any fuel burning appliance :Eek!:. This is impossible in a 7m motorhome and I was wondering where all yours are fitted. I was planning to put it on the ceiling of the van in the middle or about 6 inches down above the hab door, any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Cheers Gord
     
  2. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Our factory fitted smoke alarm is on the ceiling to the rear of the Luton and a bit to the right of centre as you look from the back.

    Thing is nobody seems to make special ones for vans so just put it somewhere not too close to a heat source (e.g. cooker) which would (falsely) set it off too often. Ours only goes off if we make toast but it's the kitchen type with a mute button so we can get round that.

    Graham
     
  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    like anything motorhome related you have to make compromises.

    mine is also a combined smoke /carbon monoxide and is about central in the van both side to side and back to front and works fine except its too sensitive and triggers when cooking.

    just position it where you think best, avoiding any 'drafts':thumb:
     
  4. imprint

    imprint Read Only Funster

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    The trouble with combined systems is that smoke rises, but carbon monoxide is heavier than air.

    So smoke alarms should be on the ceiling, carbon monoxide near the floor. Also, don't have smoke alarms near the kitchen - they are too sensitive and will drive you nuts, If there's a fire there, you'll know all about it anyway. (If it's a fat fire, don't use the extinguisher, it'll just spread it about.

    Don't forget to test them, preferably just before you leave on every trip, and renew batteries.

    The real thing is get out fast if the fire looks serious. We don't want cooked Funsters.
     
  5. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Absolutely!! I suppose the value of an alarm is really in case anything happens whilst you're asleep.

    Graham
     
  6. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Carbon monoxide is heavier than air when COLD ... but like all products of combustion, when it is being produced it is hot and rises ..

    .. by the time it cools and falls you are already dead. .

    Our CO monitor is fitted in the bedroom just above the bed headboard .. is 12DC, supplied from the RV electrics ..
     
  7. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    As Jim says, a CO alarm should be fitted at about head height, or a little higher. As the most likely time for poisoning is when you are asleep, just above the height of your bed is probably best. Having said that, ours is fitted just below the interior roof line, so it's a bit high.

    However, according to a leaflet by the Health Protection Agency, the vapour density of CO is 1.0 at 21°C (pretty much room temperature). Air has a vapour density of 1.0, so at normal 'comfortable' temperatures, the CO will mix generally throughout the air in the motorhome.

    Philip
     
  8. imprint

    imprint Read Only Funster

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    The first point is that carbon monoxide - not carbon dioxide or CO2 - is undetectable by smell or any other human sense.

    Second, when emitted from, say a defective heater, in practice it treks around at ground level, but, of course, it does build up, unkown to anyone asleep.

    It then kills them. End of story.

    Two or three breaths may be all it takes. So, the alarm should wakey ou in good time to get the hades out.

    On the other hand, smoke itself doesn't kill quite so quickly. It may. but you may well be burned pretty badly by then. That's why the smoke alarm is up top.

    So. CO alarm, keep high. Smoke alarm. keep low. Go the other way from the detector noise, in altitude terms.

    Also, Practice. Sounds daft, but it's your life, so don't be embarrassed. You didn't drive like Button onyou first lesson.
     
  9. Mangled

    Mangled Read Only Funster

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    Thanks everyone will have a go at fitting it tomorrow. I realise now that it will be a compromise in the MH and I will just have to see if I get any nuisance alarms.

    Thanks Gord
     
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