Carbon Monoxide Detectors Posts

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Hi DIYers! Today, we're giving a quick lesson on Response Types, also known as Sensor Groups. Every sensor used with your security system will have one. It is important that you get these settings correct so that your alarm system responds appropriately when a sensor is activated!

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Starting with the basics, the Response Type is the setting that tells the system how to respond when the sensor is activated or faulted. Most Honeywell and 2GIG Systems refer to this as a Response Type. Other systems like the Qolsys IQ Panel 2 Plus refer to this setting as the Sensor Group. For the purpose of this post, we will generally use the terms interchangeably. Just know that when we are talking about Response Types, we also mean Sensor Groups.

When it comes to sensors for alarm systems, there are many types. Some common examples include door and window contacts, motion sensors, glass break sensors, shock sensors, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide sensors, panic buttons, medical alert buttons, temperature sensors, and flood sensors, just to name a few. As a result, there are many Response Types as well. What you use for one sensor type is likely very different from what you would use for another, though there is some overlap from time to time.

Now, we're not going to cover each and every Response Type and Sensor Group here today. But what we will do is cover some general rules for Response Types so that you know a little bit more about them. If you do want some more extensive knowledge on Response Types or Sensor Groups, check the programming manual for your panel. We also have the following FAQs that you may want to check out:

With that out of the way, let's take a look at some of the most basic and general Response Types you will encounter.

Entry/Exit: An Entry/Exit Zone is used for coming and going. This is almost always going to be a door that you use to enter and/or exit your home or business. When this zone is faulted while the system is Armed Away or Armed Stay, you will need to Disarm your system within a preset Entry Delay period, or else an alarm will occur. Additionally, if your system has Auto-Stay Arming enabled, then you will need to fault an Entry/Exit Zone during the Exit Delay countdown when Arming Away, or else the system will revert to Armed Stay instead.

  • Common Sensor Types: Door and Window Sensors for Entering/Exiting the Building

Interior: An Interior Zone refers to a sensor that can trigger an alarm while the system is Armed Away, but not while the system is Armed Stay. The idea here is that when your system is Armed Away, there should be nobody inside the building, and faulting an Interior Zone would mean there is a security breach. But when the system is Armed Stay, there is still someone inside the building, and you want them to be able to move around freely. A very common sub-type of an Interior Zone is an Interior Follower Zone. The "follower" portion of the name refers to the fact that the zone will not cause an alarm if the sensor is after (e.g. it follows) an Entry/Exit Zone. The reasoning is that you may need to fault an Interior Zone to get to your system and Disarm after faulting an Entry/Exit Zone.

  • Common Sensor Types: Interior Motion Sensors, Interior Door and Window Sensors

Perimeter: A Perimeter Zone is a very secure sensor. If a Perimeter Zone is faulted while the system is Armed Away or Armed Stay, then an alarm will occur immediately. You should only assign a Perimeter Zone to a sensor that should absolutely never be faulted while the system is Armed. Perimeter Zones are commonly used for Window Sensors (unless you like to climb in through the window!), as well as Glass Break Sensors and Shock Sensors that indicate forced entry into the building. Some panels also have a similar Response Type called Day/Night. This Response Type is the same as Perimeter, except that a Day/Night Zone will also trigger a Trouble condition if the sensor is faulted while the system is Disarmed.

  • Common Sensor Types: Window Sensors, Glass Break Sensors, Shock Sensors

24-Hour: A 24-Hour Zone is the most secure Zone Type available. This is a sensor that should never be activated, unless there is an emergency or something seriously wrong. There are many sub-categories of 24-Hour Zones, including 24-Hour Burglary, 24-Hour Fire, 24-Hour Carbon Monoxide, and 24-Hour Auxiliary. Since these are very secure zones, you will likely want to provide special instructions regarding these zones for the central monitoring station. This way, the operator will know how to respond when they see the alarm come through. For example, if you give your Flood Sensor a 24-Hour Auxiliary Response Type, you will want the operator to know that it isn't an emergency medical alarm! The 24-Hour Auxiliary Response Type is often used for both environmental sensors and medical sensors, so you will want to provide specification.

  • Common Sensor Types: Smoke & Heat Detectors, Carbon Monoxide Sensors, Panic Buttons, Medical Alert Buttons, Flood Sensors, Temperature Sensors

Of course, this is just a small list of the available Response Types and Sensor Groups. But you will usually find Zone Types just like these no matter which panel you use. If you want to learn more about Response Types, you are welcome to send us an email at support@alarmgrid.com. We will check your email when we have an opportunity and reply back as soon as possible. Remember that our support hours are from 9am to 8pm ET M-F. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Back in February, a tragedy occurred. A man accidentally left his vehicle running in his garage. He went to bed with his dog by his side. The next morning, the man was found dead in his bed. His dog was seizing on the floor and later died. The cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning.

2gig co3 wireless carbon monoxide co detector

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless and tasteless gas that kills hundreds of people every single year. Most casualties caused by carbon monoxide occur without the individual realizing they are being affected before it is too late. The gas can render people and pets unconscious without them even realizing what is happening. If no help is provided, then it is likely that they will never wake up.

When people think of carbon monoxide deaths, they usually think of incidents that occur during the winter months when heaters are commonly used to heat buildings. But not every CO-related death is caused by a faulty heating system. Incidents like the one that occurred in February happen more often then they should. And they can be easily prevented with carbon monoxide detectors.

A CO detector will activate upon detecting unusually high levels of carbon monoxide gas. This is typically before CO concentrations reach lethal levels. At Alarm Grid, we specialize in carbon monoxide detectors that will alert a security system upon activation. Once activated, the system will immediately go into a carbon monoxide alarm. This will involve activating the system's sounder or siren so that everyone inside the building is alerted.

If you have alarm monitoring service, then action will be taken as soon as a carbon monoxide alarm is received. A central station operator is required to request emergency dispatch for any CO alarm that comes through. In addition, they attempt to contact the premises to make certain any occupants are aware that a Carbon Monoxide alarm has been triggered. Rescuers will be on the way to save anyone inside the building. With a quick response, most CO-related deaths can be prevented.

Users with self-monitoring service will receive text, email, and/or push notifications from Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com to let them know that a carbon monoxide alarm has occurred. This way, they will know not to enter the building and to request help from the local fire department. To learn more about alarm monitoring, check our alarm monitoring page.

It never hurts to be proactive and get your home or business prepared for a carbon monoxide outbreak. The decision may ultimately save your life and the lives of others. If you need help choosing carbon monoxide sensors, we encourage you to reach out to us. The best way to contact us is to email support@alarmgrid.com with any questions you might have. You can also call us at (888) 818-7728 during our normal business hours of 9am to 8pm EST M-F. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Last week at ISC West, Honeywell received a SIA new product award for the newly released 5800COMBO. The Security Industry Association (SIA) rewards products that balance industry innovation with false alarm prevention. The 5800COMBO encapsulates this criteria almost perfectly. This is the first professionally monitored, fully UL listed wireless heat, smoke and CO combination detector in the industry. This feat alone is quite an accomplishment. The technology packed into the device makes this product even more deserving of this award.

Honeywell did not just integrate standard smoke, heat and CO detection into a single detector housing. They did much more. The individual technologies inside the COMBO are fairly standard. Photoelectric smoke detection, fixed temp (135F degrees) heat detection and electrochemical CO sensing. There is a new infrared (IR) technology designed to pick up ambient light levels and flame flickers. Also the CO detector does have a longer than average life expectancy of 10 years. Everything else is fairly common across other non-monitored combination detectors on the market. So what is it that makes the 5800COMBO so special?

(Photo: Honeywell's booth at ISC West just after the award was given by SIA.)

There are 3 programmable zones: smoke (loop 1 with serial), low temp (loop 3 with serial) and CO (loop 1 with serial + 1 on last digit). The low temp and CO zones are standard and only rely on a single sensing element to trip that zone on the alarm system. The smoke zone is much more advanced since this is the most common zone type for false alarms on these types of life safety detectors. This is especially the case in residential environments. It is the "multi-criteria algorithm" that sets this product apart. Yes Honeywell did it again and engineered a state of the art sensor.

The smoke zone requires two of the four sensing elements to be tripped in order to trigger a fire alarm at the alarm system and dial out to a central station. The four elements are photoelectric smoke detection, fixed high temp, CO and the new IR technology mentioned earlier. The first element must be photoelectric smoke detection. Then any of the other three elements in combination with smoke detection will trigger an immediate alarm and report if the system is monitored. If there is only airborne particulate detected the COMBO requires at least 5 minutes of alarm level contact before triggering.

This dual technology of sorts makes the 5800COMBO extremely versatile and less prone to false alarms. That means better protection for your property and more importantly life safety for anyone within the protected premise. False alarms are not only an issue for local authorities. End users are seeing increasingly higher fines per false alarm across the country. That means by using devices like the COMBO will potentially save you money in the event that your local authorities deliver fines for false dispatches.

All in all, we are very excited about the added value of the 5800COMBO to the Honeywell 5800 series line up. The barrier to monitoring smoke, heat and CO just lowered with the introduction of this simple to install, multi-faceted product. We believe that every Alarm Grid customer should have every form of life safety equipped in this device. If you do not already we recommend adding it today!

Note: This is a 5800 series wireless sensor that requires a compatible RF receiver. To confirm panel compatibility you can contact us at support@alarmgrid.com. There is a list of panels mentioned in the product description as well.

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