SMOKE DETECTOR INDICATOR
The present invention relates to smoke detectors, and more particlllarly to a device that turns off a smoke detector, but gives a visual indication that the detector has been turned off.
The majority of households are today fitted with smake detectors of one type or another. Perhaps the most common smoke detector is a simple battery operated unit which is generall~ mounted on the ceiling in a passage, halIway, staircase or the like, in a location where there is at least a partial air flow so that if a fire does occur smoke will be manitored by the smoke detector, and a signal given. Most smoke detectors have a horn or a buzzer which sounds when the smoke is detected. The detector system may include ioniza-tion type detectors to detect smoke or gas, as well as heat detectors which sound the alarm when a preset temperatur~
is reached. The battery ensures that the detector operates even in the event of a power failure.
These types of smoke detectors are sold in hard-ware stores, department stores and the like/ and some house-holds have two or ~hree units at different locations in thehouse, apartment or living areas. Hotels, offices and public buildings usually have multiple units with monitoring heads in different rooms, however, the present invention relates more to a sing~e smoke detector battery operated unit, rather than a multiple unit.
One problem that exists with the single unit smoke detector and is apparent in households, is the difficulty in resetting the smoke detector alarm after it has gone off due to a false signal. False signals occur from time to time primarily when cooking occurs, for instance, burnt toast can produce sufficient smoke to set off a smoke detector, deep frying cooking can also set off an alarm as well as other types of cooking that occurs regularly in a household.
Once the alarm on the smoke detector commences, it can con-tinue for up to a half hour before the mechanism of the detecting device resets itself. Thus the household has to put up with this alarm for as long as a half hour, and this is generally considered intolerable. In most cases house-holders disconnect the smoke cLetector, and this has to be done by climbing up and disconnecting the battery from the smoke detector in the ceiling. Whereas there is an incentive to climb up and disconnect the battery, because of the noise from the detector itself, once the battery has been dis-connected it is often foryotten and not reconnected. There-fore, the smoke detector is inoperatiYe and stays in that condition until someone remembers to reconnect the battery.
Thus, the whole purpose of a smoke detector is destroyed because it has been disconnected for a false alarm and then not reconnected.
The purpose of the present invention is to provide an indicator wherein a smoke detector is disconnected temporarily, and when it i~ in the off position a visual indicator clearly shows that it is disconnected. When the particular smoke condition that triggered the alarm is dis-persed, the indicator can be clearly seen, and the smoke detector reconnected.
The present invention provides in a fire alarm system including a circuit connecting a smoke detector, a battery and an audio alarm, all in a single enclosure, khe improvement comprising a switch in the circuit to open the circuit and prevent the alarm from sounding, and a visual indicator means associated with the switch,-the indicator means being visually appaxent when the circuit is open and not being visually apparent when the circuit is closed~
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention the visual indicator means includes a visible probe, the enclosure has an aperture therein with the switch directly above the aperture. The probe fits into the aperture and activates the switch to open the circuit, the enclosure having 3 ~
retaining means to hold the probe in the aperture, thus leav-ing the circuit open a~d mean~ to remove the probe from the aperture to deactivate the switch, thus closing the circuit.
The enclosure is preferably ceiling mounted and the aperture is a key slot and the probe is retained in the slot by being rotated.
In other embodiments the visual indicator means includes a light associated with the circuit, the light being on when the circuit is open, and off when the circuit is closed. The light and the switch may be remote from the .enclosure. In one embodiment ! the light and switch are included.in the enclosure, and the switch has an operating lever that may be activated by a hand held rod or the like.
In another embodiment the switch is a two pole switch and the light is powered by.the building power supply. In yet a further embodiment a battery charging device may be included to charge the battery of the system, and in a still further embodiment a timer may be included in the circuit so that when the switch is activated to open the circuit, the timer runs for a preset time and then automatically closes the circuit.
In drawings which illustrate the embodiments of the invention, Fig. l is a schematic side view of a smoke detector with a visual indicator probe to deactivate a switch in the ~5 smoke detector circuitO
Fig. 2 is a par-tial schematic side view of the detector shown in Fig. 1 showing the probe inserted through a slot in the casing of the detector.
Fig. 3 indicates the key-hole slot in the casing of the detector of Fig~ l.
Fig. 4 is .a schematic diagram of a smoke detector havi.ng a light indicator therein.
Fig. 5 is a partial schematic of the drawing shown in Fig. 4 i.ncluding a timer switch.
Fig. 6 is a schematic diagram of another embodiment of the present invention.
Fig. 7 is a schematic diagram of the ceiling mounted detector having a larye operating lever.
Fig. 8 is a schematic diagram of another smoke detector having a battery charger incorporated in the circuit.
Referring now to the drawings, Figs. 1, 2 and 3 illustrate a ceiling mounted fire alarm system 10 within a container 11. The system 10 has a circuit 1~ with a battery 13 therein connecting to a smoke detector 14 having an audio alarm 15. A switch 16 is included in the circuit 12, when the switch is closed the circuit is closed and any smoke that is det~cted by the smoke detector 14 causes the alarm 15 to sound. A probe 18 having a-visual indicator panel 19 at the bottom thereof and a post with a T-section 20 at the top, passes through an aperture such~as key hole slot 21 as shown in Fig. 3 on the underside of the container 11. The probe 18 is inserted through the slot 21 as shown in Fig. 2 with the T arranged to pass through the slot. The top of the probe 18 opens the switch 16 and then by rotating the probe 18 through 90, the T-section 20 rests on the container 11 and holds the swi-tch 16 open. In another embodiment the probe 18 may have a groove ~not shown) at its end which when pushed into the aperture in the container 11 retains the probe 1~ in place by a spring clip (not shown) in the container 11. A further push upwards on the probe 18 releases the spring clip and the probe 18 can be removed, closing the circuit 12.
The visual indicator panel 19 may be clearly seen hanging from the smoke detector container 11. The visual indicator panel 19 may,be painted red or, alternatively, may have a red ribbon or other devic~ which is visually apparent.
The panel may extend down practically to head height, the important point being that the panel is easily visible so that thoss in the house will know the circuit 12 is switched of~ and the smoke detector is not in an operable mode. After a false alarm when the smoke i~ the house from cooking or the like has decreased a sufflcient amount so that the audible alarm 15 does not sound, it is merely necessary to rotate the indicator 18 and drop it out of the slot 21, so that the switch 16 makes contact and the smoke detector is once again in the operable mode.
Another embodiment is illustrated in Fig. 4 includ-ing an indicator light 40 with a separate circuit 41 so that when the switch 16 is in the oE)en position, it closes the circuit 41 and the indicator light 40 is energi~ed. The indicator light'40 is preferab].y a red light or coloured light so that it stands out from normal household lighting.
The indicator light 40'and switch 16 are located in a remote housing 42, preferably on the wall, or at some location which is clearly apparent to someone entering or passing through the household, so that the indicator light 40 clearly shows that the smoke detector circuit 12 is in the non-operable mode.
Another embodiment of this system is illustrated in Fig. 5 which includes a timer switch 50'connected to the switch 16.
The timer switch is preset so that when one opens the circuit 12 to place the smoke detector in the non-operable mode, the switch stays open for a preset time and then automatically closes. The timer switch i5 the type used for lights and is preferably of the wind-up kind, namely one that is rotated to the desired time and then unwinds slowly, similar to a kitchen~style timer~ In another em~odiment an electric timer may be used, either set at a particular time period~ for example 20 minutes, or allowing for an adjustable time period.
A double pole switch 60'is shown in Fig. 6 which is a similar circuit to Fig. 4, however, the double pole switch 60'allows the light 40 to be powered by a standard AC circuit from the household power system, so the light can be con-siderably brighter than a battery powered light.
A ce:iling mounted unit is illustrated in Fig. 7 having a circuit similar to that showm in Fig. 4 with an ~8~3 indicator light 40.integral wi-th the unit. A special switch 70 has two positions, a first position which closes the circuit 12 for thè smoke detector 14 and a second position which opens the circuit 12 and closes the circuit 41 for the 5 indicator light 40. The switch 70 has a long operating lever 71 with an aperture 72 at the end of the lever 710 A hand held rod such as a broom handle or -the like may be inserted into the aperture and the lever moved to open or close the circuit 12. It is apparent that when the smoke detector 10 circuit 12 is closed and the smoke detector is in the operable mode, the light 40 is turned off, however, when the switch 70 is moved and the smoke de-tector circuit 12 is in the non-operable mode, then the light 40 is switched on.
Another embodiment is shown in Fig. 8 which is 15 similar to that shown in Fig. 4, but with the addition of a battery charger circuit 80 so that the unit can be connected up to 115 volt AC household supply, thus avoiding the necessity of having to replace the battery. The battery 13 is of the type that is chargeable, rather than a standard 20:dry cellJ thus the smoke detector circuit operates regardless of whether there is an interruption in household power.
Various changes may be made to the scope of the present invention, which is limited only by the following claims.