New Smoke Detectors vs. Used Smoke Detectors: What’s best?

 In Products, reconditioned products, Smoke Detector

So, even a 10 year NEW never been used smoke detector still in the box are in our view is new.

With the upcoming new UL smoke alarm and detector standards (UL 217 and UL 268 7th Edition) taking affect in May 2020, we have many clients and facility managers wondering what to do about their smoke detectors and system parts that will be discontinued. When new parts aren’t available anymore, is “Used”, or also called “Repurposed”, “Refurbished”, or “Gently Used” ok?

The answer we give is always the same for over 2 decades!…..Buy NEW when possible, and when not available then buy USED with a 1 Year Protection Plan from a reputable seller.

Here’s our reasoning and thoughts.

NEW and still in the box is of course always best. Without being previously installed and used, this will give you the best assurance of performance and reliability. With fire alarm parts being made for decades, this doesn’t always mean straight off the manufacturing line. Many times we sell online NEW smoke detectors
and alarms in the original box that are still 10 years NEW. These are still considered NEW since the wear and tear of a smoke detector occurs when they are installed, powered up, and the internal electronics of a smoke detector are “on alert” to detect smoke. So, even a 10 year NEW never been used smoke detector still in the box are in our view is new. They are new detectors and alarm parts just waiting to be put into service. While at Save More on Fire Alarm Parts we stock a range of older but still new and in the box smoke detectors, the bulk of our inventory is still in the box brand new less than 24 months old. Therefore, the best approach for maintaining your system long-term is planning ahead and buying NEW and stocking up on spare parts so you have them for years to come.

However, new parts are not always available. This is typically the case because technology improves pushing manufactures to develop and release new and improved products. An example of this, is the migration from single sensing technologies (ie photoelectric) to multi-sensor smoke detectors that incorporate smoke, heat, ionization, and sometimes carbon monoxide. An example of this transition can be seen from EST first offering the Siga-PS to then offering the SIGA-IPHS, a multi sensor smoke detector. Fire products are also often discontinued when new UL standards are released, which is what’s expected with the new 2020 UL standards. To date, EST and Notifier have already announced the final “LAST ORDERS” date for a number of products and the release of their new UL 2020 smoke detectors. Siemens and Simplex are expected to make similar announcements sometime this year. As seen in the EST SIGA migration table below, while EST now is no longer making even the SIGA-IPHS they have already announced its predecessor – the EST SIGA-OHSCD which is currently available to order from EST factory.

Source: EST, migration of EST SIGA smoke detectors

So, what do you do when you are forced to acquire USED Smokes? Find a reputable seller for your parts to maintain your system. Also, make sure they stand behind their new and used parts, with at least a 1 Year Protection Plan to insure you are buying good detectors and not the “beat to hell” detectors. Because, while not all used smokes are created equal, our expectation, from our over 35 years in the fire industry, and 15+ years for a manufacturer of fire alarm systems, is that properly cared for systems and parts can easily be reused and last for their expected 20+ years. At Save More on Fire Alarm Parts, we inspect and clean all of our refurbished parts and offer a 1 year replace or refund protection plan for all of our new and used products.. So remember, when NEW is no longer available, buying HIGH quality reliable USED parts is still much cheaper than having to upgrade your entire fire system. CHOOSE YOUR VENDOR WISELY!

-Tiffany Groode & Jim Avanzino