The Anonymous Widower

A Design Crime – The Average Smoke Detector

On Saturday Evening, the smoke detector in my bedroom decided to go off.

I was able to silence it about three times, but it refused to go off permanently.

I then decided to take it down, by standing on the bed.

Unfortunately, I slipped and broke the detector.

It is not the first altercation, I have had with the cheap and nasty smoke detectors in this house, which were probably bought in Istanbul market for a few pence.

  • In my view, there is a need for a superior type of smoke detector wired into a building in a better way.
  • It should be possible to replace a failed detector, like I had on Saturday in a simple operation without any tools.
  • There should also be a master switch in the house, that switches off all the smoke detectors.
  • Instructions on how to deal with the smoke detectors in case of failure should be in an obvious place in the house, like on the door of the meter cupboard.

Smoke detectors are too important, to be designed down to the cheapest possible station and most are a true design crime.

March 31, 2020 - Posted by | World | , , , , ,


  1. 1. You have not broken it, merely pulled it out of the ceiling.
    2. It probably does undo, and then you can remount the base [slightly offset] in the ceiling.
    3. Fit and forget (well for ten years anyway) detectors do exist and are not that expensive: – – also Wates, Toolstation etc.

    I fitted 16 in our flats around five years ago. There was a DoA and a subsequent failure (replaced under the ten year warranty), so not as reliable as I had hoped. Base screws to ceiling or wall, simple twist to remove unit. Does not activate until fitted.

    Yours looks like a main maintained unit, popular years ago, but now slightly deprecated.

    Comment by R. Mark Clayton | March 31, 2020 | Reply

  2. Your requirement list neatly matches commercial monitored systems. Available from commercial alarm companies (as part of a comprehensive alarm system) at a price (install plus monthly/annual maintenance)

    High end domestic systems may also fit the bill

    A bit overengineered for a small domestic property.

    Comment by MilesT | April 1, 2020 | Reply

    • There are some very good halfway-house systems. The Aico range are robust, mains-powered (no batteries), interlinked, and can be connected to wall switches for remote test, remote mute etc. Very good value-for-money!

      Comment by Anon | July 2, 2020 | Reply

  3. […] The smoke detector above my bed is just hanging there, as I wrote in A Design Crime – The Average Smoke Detector […]

    Pingback by Surviving Lockdown « The Anonymous Widower | April 18, 2020 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: