Everyone knows that every home should have proper functioning Smoke Alarm/Detectors. The required location of these devices has evolved over the years to the current standards that call for them being installed in every room that can be used for sleeping and on every floor level. In new construction, they also have to be "hard-wired" and have a battery back-up. They should be tested frequently and replaced every 10 years. How often does that get done? Not very often I would guess.
Now the reality is that the "actual" functionality of these units will vary and most likely they will continue to work long after the manufacturer's recommendations. Welcome to the world of conservative engineering, and planned obsolescence. To protect themselves----the manufacturers are going to be as conservative as possible when "predicting" the life of units that save people's lives. We could call this "well justified planned obsolescence" or "CYA Engineering."
Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to easily test these units----beside standing on a chair and pushing the test button----or poking it with a broom handle?
While not designed with this function in mind-----this toaster I found in a recent kitchen would also function as a smoke alarm tester.
There is no way that a toaster located under wood kitchen cabinets is ever going to be safe. Sooner or later the bottom of the cabinet will catch on fire. There was some overheating/discoloration on the bottom of these cabinets----the occupants have gotten away with this installation for 8 years.
This unit is apparently much older than the kitchen and has been recycled from days gone by----perhaps from the 50's when all kinds of built-in kitchen gadgets were created. While it was an interesting idea and might be acceptable in a different location----there may be a good reason no manufacturer seems to make these recessed wall toasters anymore.
Even a regular toaster will function as a smoke alarm tester if so desired-----it ruins the toast though!
PS, for those of you that are new to my blog (or for some other "unexplained" reason have never noticed)all pictures and smiley-face inserts (emoticons) (when I use them) have messages that show up when you point at them with your cursor.
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WA State, Home Inspector Advisory Licensing Board