The aesthetically pleasing alarm has the following key features:
• 10 year long-life battery
• Penetrating sound of 85dB(A) at 3 metres
• 10 minute pause option
• 30 day low battery warning
• Uses the unique “smart clip” ceiling mechanism for installation
• NZ Building Code compliance
The tiny alarm, as shown in the actual size photo below, is a collaboration between CAVIUS Nano, a New Zealand-based company founded by Peter Smith of Papamoa, and CAVIUS APS, the Danish parent company and design team.
The actual size of a Cavius smoke alarm is 40mmx40mm or approximately the size of a golf ball.
Smith says smoke alarms have never been considered fashionable before. “But the Danes excel in that area. They have transformed the common domestic smoke alarm into a designer product – without the designer price tag.”
Since its launch, CAVIUS has sold over 1.5 million smoke alarms worldwide.
They are more affordable long term than the cheapest smoke alarms on the New Zealand market as there is no battery replacement cost every year.
“The cost of buying new batteries each time Daylight Saving rolls around adds up to $120 over 10 years,” Smith says, “Plus there is always the issue of taking the old one down with the best intentions of replacing the battery but never actually doing so.”
Within the fire protection and prevention industry, it is recognised that photoelectric smoke alarms are significantly better at detecting smouldering fires (which are more common in households), whereas ionisation sensors respond marginally faster to flaming fires.
A photoelectric smoke alarm’s sensing chamber contains a light emitting diode and a light sensitive receiver. When smoke, or other by-products of combustion, fills this chamber the light beam is scattered and sets off the alarm. Photoelectric smoke alarms are suitable for living rooms, dining rooms, hallways and bedrooms. This is because these rooms often contain large pieces of furniture, such as sofas, chairs, and mattresses etc. Which, while burning will create more smouldering smoke than intense flame and heat. However photoelectric smoke alarms will recognise both fire stages.
This type of smoke alarm is now the internationally recommended solution for household use.
Q How many smoke alarms do I need in my house?
A A reasonable minimum recommendation is one in the hallway 3 metres from every bedroom door, one in the dining room and one in the lounge. CAVIUS and the New Zealand Fire Department recommends one in every room!
Q Where is the best location for a smoke alarm?
A The best place for any smoke alarm is on the ceiling in the centre of the room they are intended to protect. Installation on a wall is not recommended, nor is it recommended to install one within 300–500 mm from the corner where the wall and ceiling meet. This is a dead air zone, where no smoke gathers, and greatly reduces the effectiveness of the smoke alarm.
Q Why does my smoke alarm always false alarm when I cook toast?
A This is a common problem with ionized smoke alarms. They are actually operating as they are designed to, but for the wrong reasons. Changes in the air caused by cooking appliances or steam will reduce the conductivity within the alarm causing it to activate. Photoelectric Smoke Alarms do not suffer from this problem, due to the way they are designed