FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ONELINK® ENVIRONMENT MONITOR WITH WI-FI® CONNECTIVITY

What is a mesh network and how does it work?

 

First Alert® ONELINK® smoke alarms operate on a “mesh network” to integrate smoke alarms for better safety and response in an emergency. All of the First Alert® ONELINK® alarms send, receive and resend the initiating alarm’s signal. Why is this important? Let’s say the signal is blocked from reaching the master bedroom alarm either by distance or some obstruction in the home. With First Alert® ONELINK® safety products, the mesh network of alarms re-routes and resends the signal via the other alarms, providing a greater chance all alarms will receive the signal. The “mesh network” is a more reliable means of wireless communication.

 

How many First Alert® ONELINK® alarms can be integrated in a system?

 

First Alert® ONELINK® is a complete integrated wireless smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm system. As with hardwired units, NFPA states that up to 18 total units can be interconnected (RF or hardwired) with a maximum of 12 of those being smoke alarms and the balance carbon monoxide alarms. Take maximum advantage of the flexibility and protection that a First Alert® ONELINK® integrated wireless alarm system can provide.

 

How do the First Alert; ONELINK; smoke alarms link with each other?

 

The First Alert® ONELINK® wireless integrated smoke alarm system automatically links through the software using 65,000 security code combinations. This eliminates manual dip switch programming saving confusion and time when installing. With First Alert® ONELINK® alarms there is an extremely small chance of a duplicate code being programmed in an adjacent home, ensuring that your wireless integrated smoke alarm system should not receive interference from another system nearby.

 

How do I program and link the First Alert® ONELINK® smoke detectors?

 

It is important to follow these steps carefully when programming your First Alert® ONELINK® smoke detectors. TO PROGRAM FIRST ALARM: 1. Insert 2 AA batteries. Alarm will say: “Welcome, First Alert® Smoke Alarm.” It will then say “No location programmed” if this is the first time the device has been activated, or “[Location, example: “Basement”] location programmed” when changing batteries. The ONELINK® detector will then say “To select location, press and hold test button now.” 2. Press & Hold Test Button if you would like to program the location or change the location of the alarm. Release button after alarm responds. Alarm will say: “To save location, press and hold test button after location is heard.” The ONELINK® smoke detector will speak list of locations. 3. After you hear the location of where you are placing the Alarm, Press & Hold the Test Button. Alarm Will Say: “[Location, example: “Basement”] location saved.” If no location is chosen: “No location saved.” Your Alarm has now been programmed for the location of your choice. ADDING AND LINKING ADDITIONAL ONELINK® ALARMS NOTE: To create your integrated smoke detector system, steps 1 through 3 below need to be completed within two minutes. If more than two minutes pass, the green power LED will stop blinking. Simply open the battery drawer of the second detector and repeat steps 1 through 3. 1. Insert the batteries into the battery drawer of the next detector. DO NOT CLOSE THE DRAWER. 2. Press and hold the test button and then close the battery drawer. 3. Once you hear the unit chirp, release the test button. The green power LED will start to blink indicating the ONELINK® detector is waiting for program data from one of the other existing ONELINK® alarms that are already set up.

 

Are First Alert® ONELINK® alarms listed to ANSI/UL Standards?

 

Yes. All First Alert® ONELINK® alarms are listed by ETL, an accredited NRTL (nationally recognized testing lab) to ANSI/UL 217 standard for smoke alarms and ANSI/UL 2034 standard for carbon monoxide alarms.

 

Does the First Alert® ONELINK® system use photoelectric smoke sensor technology?

 

The First Alert® ONELINK® system uses photoelectric smoke sensors. Photoelectric sensor technology is more nuisance resistant around kitchens and bathrooms, which traditionally are more prone to nuisance alarms from cooking smoke and steam from showers. Some areas of the country require photoelectric alarms near high nuisance areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

 

How can I silence the First Alert® ONELINK® smoke or carbon monoxide alarm?

 

In all First Alert® ONELINK® alarms, there are two silence features: Alarm Silence can quiet nuisance alarms for several minutes. Low Battery Silence can temporarily silence the low battery chirp for up to eight hours before replacing the battery. This is a key feature when the low battery chirp begins in the middle of the night and you do not have any replacement batteries. You can quiet the chirp and then replace the batteries when it’s more convenient.

 

What type of batteries do First Alert® ONELINK® alarms use?

 

Each First Alert® ONELINK® alarm requires only 2 “AA” batteries. This includes smoke alarms and integrated smoke and CO alarms, including the battery operated alarms and the hardwired alarms with battery backup.

 

What is the length of the First Alert® ONELINK® alarm warranty?

 

All First Alert® ONELINK® smoke alarms have a 10-year limited warranty, and the combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have a 5-year limited warranty.

SMOKE ALARMS

Why does my smoke detector go off when I install a battery or turn on the AC power?

 

It is normal for the smoke alarms to go off and sound briefly (up to 5-10 seconds) when you install a new battery or they are powered up. If the alarm continues to go off and no smoke is present, the cause may be:

  • There may be insufficient battery power. Try another battery.
  • Problems with voltage or insufficient electrical power (brown out) may cause a continuous weak sounding alarm. For hardwired alarms, temporarily disconnect power at the service panel until the brown out is over. If you do not restore the AC power, your smoke alarms cannot warn you of a fire.
  • Incompatible warning device. If an incompatible alarm or auxiliary device is linked into a series of hardwired smoke alarms, it may cause the system inadvertently go off.

 

My smoke alarm keeps chirping, even with a new battery. What is causing this?

 

There are a number of possible causes for your smoke alarm to keep chirping even with a new battery:

  • It is possible that your smoke detector “silence” button was pushed by mistake. The alarm will now “chirp” once a minute for up to 15 minutes before resetting.
  • Are you sure it’s the smoke alarm? funny to ask, but other devices have similar low battery chirps or warning tones.
  • Even “new” batteries may not be fresh. If batteries are stored, especially in cold areas like refrigerators, they lose their charge more quickly. Always check the freshness date on the package when buying new batteries. Keep plenty of replacement batteries on hand so that you are sure to always be protected by your smoke alarms.

 

I lost my First Alert® smoke alarm owner’s manual. How can I get a new one?

 

First Alert® smoke alarm owner’s manuals are available online for download at no cost. We will, for a small shipping fee, also gladly send you a replacement owner’s manual or equivalent instructions.

Please have your smoke detector model number handy when requesting a replacement owner’s manual.

For a replacement owner’s manual, please contact:

First Alert Consumer Affairs
3901 Liberty Street Road Aurora,
IL 60542

Or call: 1-800-323-9005
Hours: 7:30AM-5:00PM CST

To Download an owner’s manual, please visit www.firstalert.com

 

What is the proper placement of smoke detectors?

 

To ensure maximum protection it is important that you have the proper placement for your smoke detectors. Alarms should be installed at least 20 feet from appliances like furnaces and ovens, which produce combustion particles. Alarms should be at least 10 feet from high humidity areas like showers and laundry rooms, and at least 3 feet from heat/AC vents.
proper placement of smoke detectors
Because smoke rises, it is recommended that you install your smoke alarms near the top of a wall or on the ceiling.proper placement of smoke detectors2

 

Why doesn’t my smoke alarm sound when I push the test button?

 

It is important that you frequently test your smoke detectors. When you are testing your Smoke Alarm, there are a number of reasons why the alarm might not sound:

  • You may not be holding the test button down long enough. Try holding it down for up to 10 seconds (20 seconds on photoelectric models.)
  • Your battery may not be installed properly or snapped all the way in place. Even if the alarm sounded briefly when the battery touched the terminals, it may not be snapped securely in place. A loose battery cannot power the smoke alarm properly.
  • Your AC power may not be on. Hardwired units will have a power indicator light (red or green) that shines continuously when they are receiving electrical power.
  • If you have a 10-Year model, the smoke alarm may not have been properly activated. If the tab broke away before the alarm was activated, you can use a toothpick to move the switch over to test the alarm.

 

Why does the National Fire Protection Association of Canada (NFPA) recommend that home smoke alarms be replaced after 10 years?

 

Smoke alarms have a limited life. Although each smoke alarm and all of its parts have passed many stringent tests and are designed to be as reliable as possible, any of these parts could fail over time. Therefore, you must test the devices weekly. The unit should be replaced immediately if it is not operating properly.

The performance of smoke detectors older than 10 years is simply not reliable. To ensure your family’s safety, all carbon monoxide and smoke/CO combination alarms need to be replaced every 7 years. All smoke alarms need to be replaced every 10 years.

Remember: Once an alarm has passed it’s 10-year life span, your level of protection is greatly reduced. It is important to replace old alarms to maintain a maximum level of protection.

 

Why does my smoke alarm sound when I can’t see smoke?

 

Any of the following situations can cause a false alarm from your smoke detector:

  • The cover or sensor chamber may be covered by dust or dirt. Alarms may look clean, but dust can accumulate inside the cover, even in newly built homes. Gently vacuum your smoke alarm regularly using the soft brush attachment.
  • Insects may have clogged the sensor chamber. Clean the smoke detector with the soft brush attachment on your vacuum. To prevent repeat problems, clean and treat the surrounding area with insect repellent (DO NOT SPRAY THE SMOKE DETECTOR ITSELF).
  • You may have experienced a power interruption. Hardwired smoke detectors may sound briefly when power is interrupted then restored.
  • If you have hard wired smoke detectors, you may have a loose electrical connection on your AC or AC/DC smoke alarm. In AC or AC/DC smoke alarms, loose connections can intermittently disconnect power to the smoke alarm. The effect is the same as a power failure. When power is restored, the units may sound briefly.

 

What should I do if my “remote control smoke detector” (a smoke alarm that allows you to use your TV remote control to silence or test this alarm) will not operate?

 

If a “remote control smoke detector” does not respond to your remote control, there are a number of simple fixes that could be causing issue:

    • There may be an obstruction between you and the Smoke Alarm.
    • You may be standing too far away from the Smoke Alarm.
    • Your remote control may not be compatible with this model of Smoke Alarm.
    • The batteries in your remote control may be drained.

Try a stepping closer to your Smoke Alarm, stand at a different angle and replace the batteries in your remote.

 

What is the difference between Ionization Smoke Alarms and Photoelectric Smoke Alarms?

 

There are generally two types of smoke detectors – ionization smoke detectors and photoelectric type smoke detectors. Smoke particles of a varying number and size are produced in all fires.
Ionization Sensor Technology – Smoke Alarms using ionization sensor technology are generally more sensitive than photoelectric technology smoke detectors at sensing small particles, which tend to be produced in greater amounts by hot, flaming fires, that are consuming combustible materials rapidly and may spread quickly. Sources of these fires may include paper burning in a wastebasket, or a grease fire in the kitchen.

Photoelectric Sensor Technology – Smoke Alarms using photoelectric sensor technology are generally more sensitive than ionization technology at sensing large smoke particles, which tend to be produced in greater amounts by smoldering fires, which may smolder for hours before bursting into flame. Sources of these fires may include cigarettes burning in couches or bedding.

For maximum protection, use both types of technology on each level and in every bedroom of your home.

First Alert® safety products offer full lines of Photoelectric, Ionization and Combination Smoke Alarms. to view an alarm that utilizes both sensor types, click here

 

What replacement batteries can I use in my Smoke Alarm?

 

Different models of First Alert® smoke alarm use different sizes of battery. The most common are: 9v, AA, AAA or long life lithium.

When selecting a replacement battery, First Alert® recommends Using a high-quality battery such as lithium smoke detector batteries – having plenty of power is worth any extra cost.

To find which batteries are approved for your First Alert® Smoke Alarm, check your users manual or the nameplate on the back of the alarm.

Never use rechargeable batteries because they may not always provide a consistent charge.

Why does my smoke alarm sound when I can’t see smoke?

 

Any of the following situations can cause a false alarm from your smoke detector:

  • The cover or sensor chamber may be covered by dust or dirt. Alarms may look clean, but dust can accumulate inside the cover, even in newly built homes. Gently vacuum your smoke alarm regularly using the soft brush attachment.
  • Insects may have clogged the sensor chamber. Clean the smoke detector with the soft brush attachment on your vacuum. To prevent repeat problems, clean and treat the surrounding area with insect repellent (DO NOT SPRAY THE SMOKE DETECTOR ITSELF).
  • You may have experienced a power interruption. Hardwired smoke detectors may sound briefly when power is interrupted then restored.
  • If you have hard wired smoke detectors, you may have a loose electrical connection on your AC or AC/DC smoke alarm. In AC or AC/DC smoke alarms, loose connections can intermittently disconnect power to the smoke alarm. The effect is the same as a power failure. When power is restored, the units may sound briefly.

 

What should I do if my “remote control smoke detector” (a smoke alarm that allows you to use your TV remote control to silence or test this alarm) will not operate?

 

If a “remote control smoke detector” does not respond to your remote control, there are a number of simple fixes that could be causing issue:

    • There may be an obstruction between you and the Smoke Alarm.
    • You may be standing too far away from the Smoke Alarm.
    • Your remote control may not be compatible with this model of Smoke Alarm.
    • The batteries in your remote control may be drained.

Try a stepping closer to your Smoke Alarm, stand at a different angle and replace the batteries in your remote.

 

What is the difference between Ionization Smoke Alarms and Photoelectric Smoke Alarms?

 

There are generally two types of smoke detectors – ionization smoke detectors and photoelectric type smoke detectors. Smoke particles of a varying number and size are produced in all fires.
Ionization Sensor Technology – Smoke Alarms using ionization sensor technology are generally more sensitive than photoelectric technology smoke detectors at sensing small particles, which tend to be produced in greater amounts by hot, flaming fires, that are consuming combustible materials rapidly and may spread quickly. Sources of these fires may include paper burning in a wastebasket, or a grease fire in the kitchen.

Photoelectric Sensor Technology – Smoke Alarms using photoelectric sensor technology are generally more sensitive than ionization technology at sensing large smoke particles, which tend to be produced in greater amounts by smoldering fires, which may smolder for hours before bursting into flame. Sources of these fires may include cigarettes burning in couches or bedding.

For maximum protection, use both types of technology on each level and in every bedroom of your home.

First Alert offers full lines of Photoelectric, Ionization and Combination Smoke Alarms. to view an alarm that utilizes both sensor types, click here

 

What replacement batteries can I use in my Smoke Alarm?

 

Different models of First Alert smoke alarm use different sizes of battery. The most common are: 9v, AA, AAA or long life lithium.

When selecting a replacement battery, First Alert recommends Using a high-quality battery such as lithium smoke detector batteries – having plenty of power is worth any extra cost.

To find which batteries are approved for your First Alert Smoke Alarm, check your users manual or the nameplate on the back of the alarm.

Never use rechargeable batteries because they may not always provide a consistent charge.

CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) ALARMS

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

 

If you suspect that you or someone else are experiencing sickness as the result of exposure to carbon monoxide, get to a well-ventilated area immediately and contact emergency services.

Symptoms of mild carbon monoxide exposure can include:

  • Slight headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Flu-like symptoms

 

Symptoms of medium carbon monoxide exposure can include:

  • Throbbing headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Elevated heart rate

 

Symptoms of high exposure to carbon monoxide can include:

  • Convulsions
  • Unconsciousness
  • Heart and lung failure

 

Prolonged exposure can lead to brain damage and even death.

 

Why is carbon monoxide dangerous? What is the cause of carbon monoxide poisoning?

 

Carbon monoxide can be extremely dangerous. Exposure to Carbon Monoxide could result in carbon monoxide poisoning, or even death.

When you inhale carbon monoxide, it bonds with the hemoglobin in your blood, displacing life-giving oxygen. This produces a toxic compound in your blood called “Carboxyhemoglobin” (COHb) which is the source of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Over time, exposure to CO can make you feel sick or worse, victims exposed to sufficiently high levels of carbon monoxide can suffer brain damage, or even die. Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of fatal poisonings in North America. According to the Canada Safety Council, each year 200 Canadians are killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, and more than 1,500 are exposed to levels dangerous enough to require medical attention.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas. Since you can’t see, smell, or taste it, carbon monoxide can poison you before you even know it’s there.

 

What should I do when the carbon monoxide alarm sounds?

 

Your Carbon Monoxide Alarm is designed to alert you before you feel sick, it should never be ignored or disabled.
When you hear an alarm:

  • Don’t’ panic. Press the silence button to temporarily quiet the alarm
  • Immediately move everyone to a source of fresh air. Moving outside is the safest solution
  • Call 911 from a safe location away from your home
  • Don’t re-enter your home. Emergency responders will advise you when this is safe
  • Be sure to leave the Carbon Monoxide Alarm where it is. Emergency responders will need to check the alarm when they arrive
  • Have the problem corrected as soon as possible

 

Will carbon monoxide alarms detect explosive gas leaks?

 

A single function Carbon Monoxide Alarm reacts to carbon monoxide only.

To detect explosive gas, you need an Explosive Gas Alarm. Different kinds of explosive gas can be detected and it is recommended that any home that utilizes natural or propane gas have at least one explosive gas leak detector.

To find out more about First Alert’s Explosive Gas Alarm, click here.

 

Is there anywhere I shouldn’t install carbon monoxide detectors?

 

It is important to remember that Carbon Monoxide Alarms must be placed in an area that the siren can be heard. CO moves freely through the air, so it is important that the Carbon Monoxide Alarm is not located near vents or ceiling fans, and is not blocked by furniture or curtains.

Do not install carbon monoxide detectors in garages, kitchens, furnace rooms, or in any extremely dusty, dirty, humid, or greasy areas. Do not install detectors in direct sunlight, or areas subjected to temperature extremes. These include unconditioned crawl spaces, unfinished attics, un-insulated or poorly insulated ceilings, and porches.

Carbon monoxide detectors should not be installed in outlets covered by curtains or other obstructions. Do not install in turbulent air-near ceiling fans, heat vents, air conditioners, fresh air returns, or open windows. Blowing air may prevent carbon monoxide from reaching the CO sensors.

If you are placing your Carbon Monoxide Alarm on a wall or ceiling, keep the following in mind. Always follow the included installation instructions when placing your Carbon Monoxide Alarm.
carbon-monoxide-detectors

 

Can you reset a plug-in CO alarm with the test – silence button?

 

A First Alert Carbon Monoxide Alarm cannot be reset using the test – silence button.

To reset the alarm, the unit needs fresh air and time to burn the contamination off the sensor. Push and hold the silence button for 5 seconds to silence the alarm while contamination is being burned off the sensor. You may need to do this a number of times to give the carbon monoxide detector enough time to reset.

 

What is the proper way to do a carbon monoxide detector test?

 

Press and hold the Test Button on the front of the Carbon Monoxide Alarm until the siren sounds. Be sure you hold the button down long enough. It can take up to 20 seconds for the alarm to respond to your Carbon Monoxide Alarm test.

 

What is the expected carbon monoxide alarm battery life?

 

Actual carbon monoxide detector battery life depends on the specific carbon monoxide alarm and the environment in which it is installed. Batteries specified in the user’s manual are the only acceptable replacement batteries. Regardless of the manufacturer’s suggested carbon monoxide detector battery life, you MUST replace the battery immediately if the unit starts “chirping” to signal the end of its battery life.

 

What should I do if my “remote control Carbon Monoxide detector” (a smoke alarm that allows you to use your TV remote control to silence or test this alarm) will not operate?

 

If a “remote control Carbon Monoxide detector” does not respond to your remote control, there are a number of simple fixes that could be causing issue:

  • there may be an obstruction between you and the CO Alarm.
  • You may be standing too far away from the CO Alarm.
  • your remote control may not be compatible with this model of CO Alarm.
  • The batteries in your remote control may be drained.

 

Try stepping closer to your Carbon Monoxide Alarm, stand at a different angle and replace the batteries in your remote.

 

Does my First Alert® carbon monoxide Alarm have an audible and visual warning for carbon monoxide presence?

 

In the First Alert® family of carbon monoxide detectors, an 85-decibel alarm will sound when carbon monoxide reaches the alarm level. Some of our carbon monoxide alarms have lights to indicate if the alarm is in early warning or full alarm.

Check your user’s manual to determine how your CO alarm works.

 

Why should I leave the Carbon Monoxide Alarm plugged in all year?

 

Carbon monoxide gas problems can happen at any time. Remember, your furnace or space heaters aren’t the only source of carbon monoxide. Gas ranges, water heaters, dryers, charcoal grills, or vehicles left running in an attached garage can all cause carbon monoxide gas problems.

 

My battery powered CO alarm keeps chirping. Tell me how to get a carbon monoxide alarm to stop chirping.

 

If your CO alarm keeps chirping, the battery may be low or weak. On First Alert® carbon monoxide detectors, check to see if the battery light is yellow or green. If the alarm is chirping and the light is yellow, it means the battery is low. The way to get a carbon monoxide alarm to stop chirping is to replace the battery.

 

Can I remove the battery from the CO alarm to silence or reset it?

 

Removing the battery from your Carbon Monoxide Alarm will leave you unprotected from an increase in CO levels in your home.

Do not remove the battery from your Carbon Monoxide Alarm to silence or reset it. The Carbon Monoxide alarm is designed to reset automatically. Use the Test/Silence Button to quiet the alarm while the alarm is resetting. The only time the battery should be removed from the Carbon Monoxide alarm is when it is being replaced.

 

Can I test my Carbon Monoxide Alarm in any way besides pressing the test button?

 

Pressing the test – silence button is the only proper way to test the CO alarm. NEVER use vehicle exhaust or any other source of combustion fumes. Exhaust causes permanent damage and voids your warranty.

For alarms with the remote control Carbon Monoxide alarm test – silence, you can also use your household IR (standard television) remote control to test or silence the alarm.

 

Why is the green power light flashing on my First Alert® plug-in Carbon Monoxide Alarm?

 

A flashing green light is a normal part of the power up cycle.

Any time there is a power outage, brownout, surge or other problem with the power, the alarm goes through a power up cycle. The flashing on your plug-in carbon monoxide alarm should stop after 5 minutes, then the light will stay a steady green.

This power up cycle occurs with all First Alert® plug-in carbon monoxide detectors.

 

Why does the red light flash on my carbon monoxide alarm?

 

On First Alert® carbon monoxide alarms, the red light flashes to show the Carbon Monoxide Alarm is properly receiving battery power. If you do not see the red light flashing, change the batteries in the alarm immediately.

 

Where should I install my carbon monoxide detectors, particularly how high off the floor?

 

Carbon Monoxide Alarms can be placed at any height on a wall or ceiling.

It is a common misunderstanding that Carbon Monoxide Alarms must be placed near the ground to accurately detect levels of CO. In truth, Carbon Monoxide is roughly the same weight as air, and distributes evenly throughout a room. This means a CO detector can be placed at any height on a wall or ceiling.

It is important to keep in mind that the CO Alarm must be placed in an area that allows for the siren to be heard. The First Alert® brand team recommends placing a Carbon Monoxide Detector in all sleeping areas, as well as living areas and the basement. As Carbon Monoxide moves freely through the air, the Alarm must not be located near a ceiling fan, or blocked by furniture in order to detect CO levels accurately. Be sure to keep your Carbon Monoxide Alarm clean, and out of the way of children or pets.

It is important to refer to your user’s manual for specific installation requirements as to where to install your carbon monoxide detector.
carbon-monoxide-detectors2Carbon Monoxide Alarms should be installed in each sleeping area, living area, and basement. Always follow the included instructions when installing your Carbon Monoxide Alarm.

 

How many Carbon Monoxide Alarms should I have in my home?

 

The National Fire Protection Association of Canada (NFPA) recommends that you should have a Carbon Monoxide Alarm centrally located outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedroom. For added protection, you should have additional Carbon Monoxide Alarms in each separate bedroom and on every level of your house, including the basement. Some provinces now require that you have a Carbon Monoxide Alarm in each bedroom of the house. If you install only one Carbon Monoxide Alarm in your home, locate it near or in your bedroom.carbon-monoxide-detectors3

 

Is it a false alarm if my Carbon Monoxide Alarm sounds and there doesn’t seem to be a problem?

 

Your Carbon Monoxide Alarm is designed to alert you before you feel sick. It should never be ignored or disabled.

Carbon Monoxide Detector false alarms should not occur if your alarm is in working order. Remember, CO is an odorless, colorless gas. If your carbon monoxide alarm went off, it detected potentially harmful amounts of CO. After the professionals have evaluated the situation, make sure no one has any symptoms of CO poisoning. Here are a few situations that may cause a Carbon Monoxide Detector false alarms:

  • The CO alarm needs to be relocated. Carbon monoxide alarms should be located 15-20 feet away from all fossil fuel burning sources like furnaces and stoves. Alarms should be located 10 feet away from sources of humidity like showers.
  • Fossil fuel burning appliances may not be burning fuel completely. Check pilot lights/flames for blue color. Appearance of yellow or orange flames indicates incomplete combustion-a source of carbon monoxide.
  • The type and age of the CO alarm may cause a false alarm. If your carbon monoxide detector is one with a Sensor Pack Module, the SensorPack Module should be replaced after 2 years of use.

 

Remember: Carbon Monoxide Alarms must be replaced after 7 years.

 

How long will my Carbon Monoxide Alarm last?

 

A First Alert® carbon monoxide detector life span is warranted for 7 years. After 7 years any detector should be replaced with a new CO Alarm.

Alarms may have an actual life span that is shorter due to environmental conditions and may need to be replaced sooner. Test them weekly and if a problem arises while still under warranty, please call for a replacement. Batteries should be replaced as needed for those alarms requiring them.

 

Why didn’t the emergency responder find Carbon Monoxide after an alarm?

 

If your carbon monoxide alarm went off, it detected a dangerous level of CO gas. Here are some reasons why a responder may not find CO during an investigation:

  • Carbon monoxide gas dissipated in fresh air. If windows and doors open before a responder arrived, the same concentration of CO gas may no longer be present. Be safe first and vent dangerous carbon monoxide gas to the outside. The responder can try to recreate the conditions.
  • The alarm may have been caused by an on-again, off-again problem. CO alarms measure gas exposure over time, so the exact conditions that cause an alarm may be difficult to duplicate in an investigation.

 

What causes carbon monoxide in the home?

 

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a by-product of incomplete combustion. Common causes of carbon monoxide production can be gas or oil appliances like a furnace, clothes dryer, range, oven, water heater, or space heaters that are not working properly.

When appliances and vents work properly, there is enough fresh air in your home to allow for complete combustion. In these typical conditions, trace amounts of CO produced by these sources are typically not dangerous. However, there are common conditions that can cause CO levels to rise quickly:

  • Appliance malfunction, i.e. the heat exchanger on your furnace cracks.
  • Vent, flue, or chimney is blocked by debris or even snow.
  • Fireplace, wood burning stove, charcoal grill or other source of burning material is not properly vented.
  • Vehicle is left running in an attached garage and carbon monoxide seeps into the house.
  • Several appliances running at the same time and competing for limited fresh air can be a cause of carbon monoxide buildup. This condition can result in incomplete combustion and produce CO, even if all appliances are in good working condition.

carbon-monoxide-detectors4
Never Ignore an Alarm. Your Carbon Monoxide Alarm is designed to alert you before you feel sick, it should never be ignored or disabled.

FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

Can a fire extinguisher be stored in an automobile?

 

A fire extinguisher can be stored in an automobile if the ambient (usual/average) temperature does not exceed the UL Rating listing in the owners’ manual (usually -40 to 120 degrees F.) First Alert® makes auto fire extinguishers specifically designed for easy mounting and storage in your automobile or vehicle.

 

What is the difference between a rechargeable and non-rechargeable fire extinguisher?

 

It is important to understand the difference between rechargeable fire extinguishers and non-rechargeable fire extinguishers. Non-rechargeable fire extinguishers are intended for one time use only. If you use your non-rechargeable fire extinguisher even once, you must replace it. It will not be effective in fighting a fire. Never test a fire extinguisher by using it. Once used, it will gradually lose pressure and will not be fully charged for use in an emergency. Rechargeable fire extinguishers are intended to be recharged once they are used, or when it loses pressure over time. Once a year or according to your local fire codes, rechargeable fire extinguishers in business or commercial applications should be serviced by a certified fire equipment dealer, in accordance with the service manual and as identified on the fire extinguisher label. If it is discharged, a rechargeable fire extinguisher must be refilled by a certified fire equipment dealer regardless of how much of the contents were used.

 

Where can recharge my rechargeable fire extinguisher?

 

A certified fire equipment dealer or service company are the only ones that should recharge your rechargeable fire extinguishers. For a certified fire equipment dealer, check your local yellow pages or your favorite local service search engine under “Fire Extinguishers.” First Alert® rechargeable fire extinguishers include units FE5GR, FE10GR, FE1A10GR, FE2A10GR, FE3A10GR, FE3A40GR, FE4A60B, and FE20A120B.

 

Can fire extinguishers be stored in a horizontal position? What is proper fire extinguisher storage?

 

A modern fire extinguisher can be stored horizontally. The contents are under pressure, and the angle of storage will not cause the system to leak. Proper fire extinguisher storage includes using the appropriate mounting brackets, and being sure that you do not allow for your fire extinguishers to freeze. It is also proper to be sure to store your fire extinguisher within easy reach of areas where there is more fire danger, such as within easy reach of the kitchen stove, or near the door of your garage.

 

I am wondering the date of a fire extinguisher’s manufacture?

 

To determine the date of fire extinguisher manufacture, you can typically find the year of manufacture on the UL nameplate. On First Alert® fire extinguishers, the UL nameplate is the label on the fire extinguisher canister. The date of manufacture can be found next to the Underwriters Laboratories logo.

 

The gauge on my unused fire extinguisher is in the red-what should I do?

 

If a fire extinguisher pressure gauge shows that the charge is in the red zone, a disposable fire extinguisher should be replaced. If it is a First Alert® disposable fire extinguisher that is still under warranty, return it to BRK Brands, Inc. for warranty service. Please note – completely empty the unit before shipping – turn the extinguisher upside down and the agent will run out. Since the unit is no longer pressurized, no shipping precautions are necessary. If any of your rechargeable fire extinguishers show a pressure gauge reading in the red, they should be taken to a local fire extinguisher service business to be recharged and serviced if necessary. If it is a First Alert® rechargeable fire extinguisher that is still under warranty, contact Consumer Affairs at 1-800-323-9005. Please Note: If you trigger-test a First Alert® fire extinguisher, your warranty will be void.

 

Can First Alert (Canada) Inc. send a replacement safety tag?

 

Unfortunately, First Alert (Canada) Inc. cannot send a replacement safety tag. Proper tagging is a critical component of a fire extinguisher meeting proper safety standards. The fire extinguisher’s safety tag is installed at the factory, or by a certified service person after confirming the integrity of the fire extinguisher. Contact your local fire extinguisher service provider to confirm the integrity of your extinguisher first.

 

How do you recommend to clean fire extinguisher residue after using a fire extinguisher?

 

To clean fire extinguisher residue after using an extinguisher, sweep and vacuum up as much of the residue as possible. Then use a damp cloth to wipe up the remaining residue.

 

What is a fire extinguisher life expectancy?

 

A fire extinguisher life expectancy depends on a number of factors. Remember, a fire extinguisher should be tested weekly according to the user’s manual. Industry experts generally recommend replacing fire extinguishers every 6 years. As long as the pointer is in the green area or the pin indicator pops back up when pushed, the extinguisher is properly pressurized and ready to use.

 

My fire extinguisher appears to be almost empty-will it still work?

 

For rechargeable fire extinguishers, as long as the needle is in the green, the fire extinguisher is fully pressurized. If you have discharged a non-rechargeable fire extinguisher, it is recommended that you replace the unit.

 

What do I do if the pin does not pop back up on my unused fire extinguisher?

 

If you have an unused disposable fire extinguisher and the pin does not pop back up, the unit should be replaced. If it is a First Alert® Fire Extinguisher and it is still under warranty, contact Consumer Affairs at 1-800-323-9005 for warranty service. Please note: if you have trigger-test your First Alert® disposable fire extinguisher, your warranty will be void.

 

Do First Alert® fire extinguishers come with a mounting bracket and mounting hardware?

 

While a fire extinguisher mounting bracket is included on some First Alert® fire extinguishers, mounting hardware is not included. Depending where the fire extinguisher will be installed (wood, metal, drywall), different hardware is needed (wood screws, metal screws, toggle/anchor screws). These are readily available at your local hardware store.

 

Can I test my fire extinguisher by discharging a small amount?

 

Do not test a fire extinguisher by discharging it at all. If you do discharge any amount of product to test your First Alert® fire extinguisher, your warranty will be void. This is not the recommended way to check your fire extinguisher. If any amount is discharged, the unit should be replaced. The recommended way to test fire extinguishers with the pressure pin on top is to press in the pin. If it pops back up, your extinguisher is still pressurized. On models with a pressure gauge, if the needle is in the green, the unit is pressurized.

 

Please explain proper fire extinguisher use. How do I use the fire extinguisher to put out a fire?

 

Proper fire extinguisher use is easy. Unless you simply can’t lift the particular unit, using a fire extinguisher is straightforward. Some people believe that when used, a fire extinguisher will be difficult to handle or have a heavy “kick-back” effect. Neither is true. If you ever have to use a fire extinguisher to fight a small fire, remember the P.A.S.S. system – PULL the pin, AIM the extinguisher at the base of the fire, SQUEEZE the handle or trigger, SWEEP from side to side.

 

How do you read the fire extinguisher ratings?

 

A fire extinguisher is rated according to the kind of fire it is designed to extinguish. Fire extinguisher ratings are printed on the canister of the extinguisher.

ESCAPE LADDERS

Does the ladder work for buildings with more than two stories?

 

No, the First Alert® Steel Fire Escape Ladder is only meant for two stories. Do not use this ladder if you are on a floor above the second story.

 

Can more than one person use the ladder at the same time?

 

No, this ladder should not be used to support two people at the same time. DO NOT carry any pets or other objects when using the ladder and unless absolutely necessary, do not carry a child.

 

Can we use this ladder on any type of window?

 

No, the window must first be structurally safe for the intended load. It is not recommended for use with storm windows or other windows that do not open to the recommended minimum dimensions of 20 inches (51 cm) wide and 32 inches (81 cm) high. The windowsill must be between 6 inches (15 cm) and 10 inches (25 cm) wide.

The intended window of use should be clear of any obstructions such as furniture, radiators, air conditioning units, or security devices such as grilles or bars. It is also important to check for external obstructions such as electric lines, telephone wires, or fences.

 

Where is a good location to store the ladder?

 

It is recommended that you store the ladder in a convenient location near the intended exit window. These locations could include under a bed or in a closet. It is also important to periodically inspect the ladder for loosening of any items, or significant deterioration of the materials of construction.

 

Can the ladder be hooked onto objects other than windowsills?

 

No, the ladder is only intended to be hooked onto a windowsill with a width between a minimum of 6″ (15 cm) and a maximum of 10″ (25 cm). Gutters, siding, or any other interior or exterior fixture do not provide a safe foundation for proper use of this fire escape ladder.

 

Does this ladder meet local fire codes?

 

No, this fire escape ladder does not meet your local codes as a primary means of exit from multi-family dwellings. It is not intended to replace fire escapes in multi-family residences, institutions, or rental properties. This ladder is intended for use as a means of escape from residential buildings, and may supplement the primary means of exit required by codes and other local regulations.

SAFES

Help! I forgot my safe combination, what can I do?

 

If you’ve forgotten or lost the safe combination for your First Alert® Safe, you can:
a. Provide a notarized letter stating you are the owner of the safe. The owner’s name must be different from the notary public. Please include your name, address, phone number and email address. Please let us know your preferred method of contact as well. The notarized letter should be sent to: First Alert Consumer Affairs Department at 3901 Liberty Street Road, Aurora, IL 60504. You may also fax your request to 630-851-7995. NOTE: This same process must be followed to receive a replacement override key for your safe.
b. If you have any questions, please call us toll free at 800-323-9005 (US and Canada). Customer Service hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 7:30am-5:00pm CST. Please allow 48 hours to return your inquiry.
For First Alert® Digital Safes, in most cases you will need to use your override key for access to your safe. Please refer to your owners manual for instructions on how to access your safe with the override key.

 

Where do I find the serial number for my safe?

 

On the bottom right hand corner on the front of the safe or the right wall on the outside of the safe. It is located on a silver sticker (usually 6-10 digits).

 

Where can I find the key number?

 

  1. Engraved on the key itself.
  2. Engraved on the lock cylinder.
  3. Engraved underneath the black plastic cap that says digital electronic safes.
  4. The silver sticker on the bottom right hand corner of the Anti-Theft Safes.
  5. On the key cover.

 

My digital keypad won’t work and I can’t access my safe.

 

  1. Your batteries may be weak, try changing the batteries.
  2. Use your square top override key that came with your safe for immediate access.
  3. Contact Customer Service for further assistance.

 

My key is not broken, but it does not work in the safe.

 

It may be possible that some debris/dust is caught in the lock your unit Please try the following:

  1. Check the engraved key number and verify it matches the engraved letter on the key cylinder.
  2. Spray WD-40 oil in the lock.
  3. Tap it lightly with a hammer.
  4. Try the key again. If the key still does not work, please contact Customer Service and they will send you a replacement key free of charge.

 

How do I open my First Alert® Small Molded Fire Protector? (Models 2011, 2013, 2017, 2037 and 2040)

 

Insert the key all the way and turn it clockwise (to the right), and press the black button to release latch.

 

The dial on my First Alert® safe won’t make a complete rotation, what’s wrong?

 

  1. There may be a plastic pin inside the safe that holds the dial in place during shipping. Simply turn the dial hard, forcing the plastic pin to break off and the dial will spin freely.
  2. Spray some WD40 around the dial.
  3. If neither of the above work, please contact Customer Service for further assistance.

 

How do I close/lock my First Alert® Top Opening Drawer Safe (Models 2074 and 2079)?

 

You need to push the chrome handle down hard until you hear it lock into place. If the safe is locked in an open position re-enter the combination followed by the letter “A” and close the safe.

 

The door to my First Alert® safe is stuck, what should I do?

 

This may happen if the bars do not disengage fully. You can try one of the following:

  1. Insert your override key (the one with the square top) and while turning the key take a flathead screwdriver and insert it in the crack of the door and slowly pry it open.
  2. Another method is to lay your First Alert® safe on the right hand side and using the over ride key open the door.

 

What is the turning sequence for my First Alert® Combination Safe?

 

For the First Alert® Waterproof Fire Safes (Models 2087 and 2092), use the following:

  1. Turn dial LEFT (counter clockwise) three times to clear settings.
  2. Start the dial on 0 (zero) to dial combination.
  3. Turn dial LEFT, passing the first combination number FOUR (4) times and stop at number on fifth time around.
  4. Turn dial RIGHT, passing second combination number TWO (2) times and stop at number on third time around.
  5. Turn dial LEFT, passing third combination number ONE (1) time and stop at number on the second time around.
  6. Turn dial RIGHT, to the last combination number and STOP.
  7. Turn bottom of handle to RIGHT to open.

For the First Alert® Protector™  Model 6740/2740 Executive Safes use the following:
These safes have a three-number combination.

  1. Start with the dial on zero.
  2. Turn the dial LEFT passing your number TWO (2) times and stop at this number on the third time.
  3. Turn dial RIGHT, passing your number ONE (1) time and stop at this number on the second turn.
  4. Turn dial LEFT, stopping on the third number.
  5. Grab the lever handle and move it to the right. Then pull the door open.

For all other First Alert Safes use the following:

  1. Turn dial RIGHT (clockwise) three times to clear settings.
  2. Start the dial on 0 (zero) to dial combination.
  3. Turn dial RIGHT, passing first combination number FOUR (4) times and stop and number on fifth time around.
  4. Turn dial LEFT, passing second combination number TWO (2) times and stop at number on third time around.
  5. Turn dial RIGHT, passing third combination number ONE (1) time and stop at number on the second time around.
  6. Turn dial LEFT, to the last combination number and STOP.
  7. Insert the key in the lock and turn key RIGHT to open.

 

What does “U.L.” stand for?

 

U.L. stands for Underwriters Laboratories. This is a US-based independent testing facility that certifies various public safety products. They test First Alert® Safes to ensure they meet stringent standards for performance as claimed.

 

What is the UL Classification for First Alert® Fire Safes?

 

The UL Classification on our Fire Safes is Classification 350 which means that during testing the interior of the safe will maintain a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit or less. At this temperature the interior of the safe is cool enough so that paper does not char or burn. The 1-Hour Fire Safes will maintain this temperature in a fire with heat up to 1700°F for one hour, whereas, the 2-Hour Fire Safes will maintain that temperature for 2 hours.

 

Can I store my media, CD’s, photos, in a First Alert® Fire Safe?

 

These items require more fire and humidity protection than our standard Fire Safes. Items such as CD’s, disks, photo negatives, etc. begin to damage at temperatures above 125°F. First Alert offers our Model 2040, Media Waterproof Fire Protector, which is U.L. approved at 125°F for 1 hour.

 

Are the First Alert® Cash and Security Boxes fire proof?

 

No, they are not. They are made of heavy gauge steel but they do not have a fire rating.

 

My safe is under warranty and it appears to be defective. How do I get a replacement?

 

If your First Alert® safe fails to operate because of a manufacturing defect, any time up to five (5) years from the date of original purchase, we will, at our discretion, repair or replace the unit at no charge to the original owner provided you return the product, shipping prepaid, to First Alert. You should contact Customer Service for prior authorization in advance and they will direct you on what steps to follow.

 

What is your Lifetime After-Fire Replacement Guarantee?

 

If your First Alert® safe product is damaged by fire at any time while still owned by the original owner, we will replace it with a comparable model at no charge. Freight on the replacement unit is not included in the guarantee. You will need to provide us with the following information:

  1. Your name and address.
  2. The model number and a photo of the burned unit.
  3. A copy of the fire department, insurance or police report.

Send this information to:
First Alert/BRK Brands, Inc.
3901 Liberty Street Road
Aurora, IL 60504

 

What type of plastic is used to manufacture the First Alert® Molded Fire Safes?

 

They are made of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene or better known as ABS Composite plastic.

 

Are there any hazardous materials in your products?

 

The First Alert® Safe line contains no toxic or harmful substances and is constructed with the greatest regard for health and safety.

 

I notice some moisture inside my molded safe. Why?

 

These safes are designed to be airtight to protect the contents during a fire. It is recommended that you open your safe at least twice a month to allow air circulation. We will also be happy to provide you with a silica gel pack, free of charge, which will help minimize the moisture. To receive a gel pack contact Customer Service.

 

I need to order a replacement part for my First Alert® Safe. Where do I order them from?

 

Simply contact Customer Service and a representative will be happy to take your order.

 

Is an electronic lock (digital), less secure than a standard combination lock?

 

No, they are both U.L. rated and offer the same level of security.

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