First Alert Smoke & Fire Detector

If you accidentally set off your smoke alarm, you probably race for something to fan it with, to clear the air and get it to shut up! A new detector promises no more fanning. Instead, a simple push of your TV remote control should silence the beeping.

Smoke detectors can save lives. At least those with working batteries can. The danger comes when people unhook the battery to silence the *false* alarms from things like cooking, or bathroom steam.
"That's a definite no no," says Cape Girardeau Fire Marshal Mike Morgan. "You cut off any life-saving function the detector may be able to give you."

A new detector by FirstAlert

may be the sensible solution. Makers say you simply use your TV remote control to silence a false alarm. And no more mop handles or climbing on chairs to test the battery -- your remote can do that, too.
First, Mike proves the remote control we use is working. Next he uses canned smoke to activate the detector.
Mike reaches for the remote, presses the correct button... but the beeping continues. We have to fan it to clear the air and get some relief. So it's back to the directions, to double-check we're doing everything right.
"If it doesn't respond, there may be an obstruction," Amy Jacquin reads off the directions. "No..."

We try it two more times, in hopes of finding some secret to make the remote work with the FirstAlert

detector. But again, there's no relief until we fan the detector.
Mike tries the remote to test the battery. And THAT works.
"I don't know why it wouldn't silence the alarm, but... maybe the particulate matter is too heavy," he suggests.

Just in case the canned smoke

is too dense for the infrared beams to penetrate, Mike uses a cigarette to set-off the detector. It takes a long time for the thin smoke to make the alarm sound. And once again, the remote has no effect.


and Fire detector has two sensors -- photoelectric and ionization.
"It covers both smoldering fires and open burning fires," Mike explains. "So it's good in that aspect."
But the TV remote claim is more neat than necessary. "If it would have worked, it would be great, I suppose," Mike shrugs his shoulders. "But then you have to run and chase down your remote control."
And Mike says most of the time, false alarms are caused by your detector being in the wrong place. He says ANY fire department will help you find the right spots to hang them in your home.

So as a smoke

detector, this new FirstAlert product passes with flying colors. And the remote control works to test the batteries. But it's biggest selling gimmick -- using it to silence a false alarm -- fails. So overall, the FirstAlertSmoke and Fire Alarm gets a D+.