Pros: Easy to install. Recharges itself.
Cons: Not the most sensitive of alarms.
So what did it for me? Was it the exclusive 10-year self-charging power pack? Was the no need for battery changing a factor? Was it because I’ve never had a smoke detector that screws into a light socket? Was it the exquisite design of the alarm or the fancy packaging with the faux light bulb seemingly projecting from the encapsulated appliance? Did the word “new” printed on the top left corner of the insert sway me? Actually it was none of those things. Mostly I bought Dupont’s Self-Charging Smoke Alarm because of its great price at Ollie’s Bargain Store.
Du Pont Self-Charging Smoke Alarm
This little screw in smoke alarm is packaged in one of those “easy open” transparent clamshell packages. Using a blowtorch, small explosives, industrial snippers, and an instrument similar to the Jaws of Life, I finally got the package open. The device is quite light, weighing at only four ounces. It’s about five inches across and almost three inches deep in the midsection.
10-year self-charging power pack
Never needs batteries
Screws into light socket
Instant screw in installation
No tools required!
Works with light off (that should save some electric)
Simply test and silence from light switch.
Contains a maximum of 1.0 microcurie of Americium 241, a radioactive material.
Works in areas where temperatures may regularly fall to 5degrees F, such as garages and workshops.
Designed to detect products of combustion using the ionization principle.
Life of Product limited warranty. “The warranty is NOT a performance claim.” What!
Comes with two user’s manuals – one in English and one in Spanish!
Not for use in recessed lighting.
Not for use as a required detector in new construction in California.
My Experience With the Angel Eye Technology Smoke Alarm
While examining my new smoke detector I discovered I was now the proud owner of a vintage instrument manufactured in August 2005. The fine, light print directs the new owner (me) to replace the alarm in 2016. Sure hope I can remember that. Further examination of white on white raised print revealed that the unit was made in China. I also noticed the explicit “This Side Up” directive on the side with the lamp socket threads. This was very helpful. There was much more to read, but the only additional words I could make out were “do not paint”, and removing from lamp socket may cause false alarm due to static electricity.”
Using the illustrated directions on the insert I installed the smoke detector. First I located a ceiling light socket in the basement, turned off the light, and removed the light bulb (not easy to do in the dark). Next I screwed the smoke alarm into the light socket, removed the alarm disabling paper insert and screwed a light bulb (60 watt max) into the base of the alarm. The alarm chirped a couple times upon insertion. According to the manual, it had to be charged for about twelve hours to be fully operational. I turned on the light (fluorescent) and left it on all night.
The next day I tested the alarm by flipping the wall switch on and off two times. It gave out an audible signal for ten seconds. The English user manual suggests testing the alarm on a weekly basis. I can only assume that the Spanish manual says the same thing. Encienda y apague dos veces sequidas el interruptor de la luz para comprobar la alarma una vez a la semana.
Finally – The user manual is filled with if’s and but’s and caveats advising the owner not to totally rely on this one smoke alarm. It is an ionization type sensor that’s best “at detecting fast, flaming fires, which consume combustibles rapidly and spread fire quickly.” The user is advised to also purchase a photoelectric type smoke alarm that will detect smoldering fires and smoke. Attempts to set off my new self-charging smoke alarm with cigarette smoke blown upwards toward it were futile. I like smoke alarms with a little more sensitivity so I can be warned way ahead of time. More times than not I’d probably notice a raging fire on my own.
Should you buy one of these? It’s a little bit of extra protection as long as you pair it with a photoelectric sensor. By itself the Du Pont ionization alarm has limited value.
I got a kick out of an online ad I read for this product. The pitch is that your life is too busy to be bothered with changing the battery in a smoke alarm once a year. Amazing!