Code 3 for residential smoke alarms.

Is it true that code 3 is the most common tone for residential smoke alarms these days? I’ve heard that is the case. All of my new smoke alarms I have beep in code 3.

I’d say so.

Mine beep like a System Sensor SpecterAlert set on 3000hz continuous. But, they’re fairly old.

It should be the ONLY sound modern residential or any smoke alarm make…

And it’s been that way since 1998…

You guys got to it before me, but yeah. That’s kinda the whole purpose. Code three is supposed to be a distinctive sound that people connect with a fire emergency.

Well, my house was built in '92, and the smokes came with the house. I guess that maybe it’s time for an upgrade? (They’re hardwired into the house, so it makes them rather difficult to replace.)

Being as they’re supposed to be replaced every 10 years, you should have replaced them twice by now, haha. But, my house was built in '92 as well and I just replaced the one in our upstairs hallway for the first time this past year. We had an AC-wired Dicon smoke alarm that never went off (supposedly during an alarm, it emitted a continuous high-pitched squeal), and after 20 years, I figured it was time to replace it (my dad refused to because he thought it worked fine and if it works, there’s no need to replace it) so I bought an AC Kidde smoke alarm. That’s the only AC smoke alarm in our house (that’s all that was installed), but there’s one on the main level and as well as one in the basement that are battery operated (First Alert/BRK SA303s). The one on the main level has gone off once because of a smoky oven (probably would have gone off more timees, but I always took it down before it could), and that one also does a “fast” code-3 while the one in the basement does a normal speed code-3.

My house has a Kidde code-3 smoke detector which replaced an older First Alert model that sounded in a very fast march time.

Your dad sounds like my dad here. When you replaced it, did you just do it yourself, or did you have to get an electrician and whatnot? Probably another reason why they haven’t replaced them is because, while 2/3 of them are easily accessible, the one in the kitchen-area is at the top of an extra-high ceiling. Ignoring all of the bad elementary-school art, you can see it here:

The backup standalone smoke alarm (compliments my system smoke) is due to be replaced in 2017.

I replaced it myself, with a bit of help from my dad (finding the breaker it’s wired to).

None of my smoke alarms do code 3…

Replacing a smoke 110V smoke alarm is a pretty easy process for you guys.

In many cases if you stick with the same brand the connector will be the same. Simply remove the old detector and compare the existing connector to the one that came in the package.

IF the connectors match you can simply plug in the new detector in some cases the mounting plate can stay you will have to compare mounting plates as well.

If the connectors do not match the most simple system is “colour for colour” simply replace the connector and wire it exactly as the old one was removed.

There are two types of 110V detectors interconnected and single station.

For inter connected you will use a “third wire” typically red or orange. This wire allows the signal to carry to other units

In some situations you have “single station” units which do not set other stations off.

Some advice -

If you are uncomfortable with working with line voltage shut off the breaker, if you do not know which breaker it is simply shut down all of the breakers one at a time until you find it.

Basic systems DO NOT contain heat detectors or remote horn/strobes if the system you are dealing with has relays or heat detectors I recommend calling a licensed electrician.

IF you replace one smoke, replace them ALL some units you buy today will not work with older units even if they are of the same brand.

To the user who posted the photo of the home smoke, it APPEARS the smoke is mounted in a spot where smoke will not gather. I recommend looking into that.

Lastley, home smoke alarms are not part of your fantasy or play land DO NOT play around, if you do not know what you are doing leave this up to a licensed and qualified electrician. People die every year because of people who do not know how to install a simple smoke alarm. Improper wiring, and improper placement are factors in deaths. Homemade systems and self installed fire alarm systems DO NOT provide the protection you need.

When in doubt fork over the cost of an electrician or call your local fire department they are more than happy to help you with smoke alarm issues.

I also want to add that First Alert and Kidde have adapters that come with some of their alarms (and are sold separately) that convert the plug so that a different brand’s smoke alarm can be replaced without rewiring.

That’s not all–FireX actually got bought out by Kidde, who is also owned by UTC Fire & Security, who now also owns EST and Edwards.