Questions regarding the FireFighter audio detector

Hi all,

I am getting ready to order my system and I am a little conflicted on how best to monitor smoke and CO2 - I have considered using the 2GIG Smoke detectors, but am unsure as to whether they are ionizing or photoelectric. I am thinking I would like ionizing/photoelectric combo units throughout the house and CO2 in each of the bedrooms. I have also thought about getting the NEST detectors since they communicate with each other and let you know which room has the problem (or which one is triggering an alarm), but at $100 each, that seems a bit steep.

I would thing that an ionizing/photoelectric combo in each of the 5 bedrooms, and maybe one in the living room and one in the upstairs hallway would be good, and then carbon monoxide detector at each end of the upstairs hallway near all the bedrooms.

I was also considering going with a FireFighter Wired Smoke Alarm Audio Detector (ECFF345) but have absolutely no knowledge of the product or its reliability. How far can this unit be from a detector and still trigger in the event of an alarm? Will it sense an alarm through a closed door?

Anyway, any info on this device or any suggestions on how best to monitor smoke/CO2 is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

One update - I am considering putting these interconnected smoke detectors throughout the house:

I am not sure if the FireFighter will work with the alarm sound - I may try to contact them to find out.

Any thoughts on this smoke detector? It is a photoelectric only unit and it announces the room that is causing the alarm.


The FireFighter is installed right next to one of your interconnected smoke detectors. It has to be within inches of the detector and it depends on the fact that they’re interconnected to cover the other detectors in your house.

I think it should work with the Onelink detectors with voice alarm but I’ve never tried one so I’m not sure. The alarm sound that smoke alarms have to make is defined by UL and there is a pretty specific set of sounds that are allowed for it to be UL listed. The FireFighter claims to work with all of them. Even if the Onelink pauses for a voice alert it I think it still has to make a UL alarm sound. If you try it, let us know if it works.

The 2gig (smkt2/smkt3) are photo smoke and heat

It is in your best interest to put CO detectors throughout house (put one same place you install ion/photo detectors) Especially If you have gas, or an attached garage. If you become overcome with CO poisoning, you will die in your living room, and the CO detectors upstairs won’t help if you are downstairs.

CO is colorless, odorless, and is a silent killer. Warning signs are headaches, dizziness, tiredness, then death.

You should have both ion and photo and CO…those are just photo in your link above.

The firefighter detects the audible from the detector and operates much like a glass break, and alarms the panel as it is programmed as a smoke zone.

Ideally its for 120v interconnected fire alarm devices that are code requirement. They way they work is if one goes off, they all go off. The firefighter audibly detects it, and alarms the panel. Only one firefighter needs be installed near a single interconnected smoke.

CO and smoke detectors should be installed like so (minimum placement):

One question… Is this a new construction home?

If so, building codes (in the US) require the smoke alarms (usually combo with battery backup ion/co detectors are installed) be interconnected 120v wired. If this is case, then all you need do is add the photo smokes where each 120v interconnected smoke alarm is located (and a firefighter device if you want the ions monitored)

Hi all,

Rive, no - this is not a new construction. I don’t know that there are any hardwired smoke alarms, so I will be installing battery operated interconnected alarms throughout.

I will be placing one in each bedroom, one in the upstairs hallway, one in the downstairs family room and downstairs living room.

I will also be installing 2GIG carbon monoxide detectors in the downstairs hallway near the stairs and in the upstairs hallway near the stairs (about 15 feet from each cluster of bedrooms at each end of the hallway). I don’t know that I need 2 CO detectors at each end of a 30’ hallway, but if I am wrong, please let me know.

I will also install the FireFighter near one of the interconnected First Alert smoke alarms.

I actually called Encore Controls Inc yesterday regarding the FireFighter. They told me that the smoke alarm must adhere to the Temporal 3 (T-3) alarm pattern, which is 3 sets of 3 beeps in a row. They told me that if the 3 sets of beeps are interrupted by voice, the FireFigher may not detect the alarm. I watched a video of a smoke test with the OneLink alarms, and it appears that the alarm pattern on those are 3 sets of 3 beeps, then followed by voice, and then another 3 set of 3 beeps, etc. It should work - I will report back here once I have them and let everyone know.

Rive, I did quite a bit of research on ion and photo alarms. As I am sure you know, the photo alarms are quicker at sensing smoldering fires (Ion detectors are known for not sounding during smoldering fires, or as much as 30 minutes later than a photo sensor would), but that ion detectors are faster (usually only by 10 seconds or so) at detecting fast moving fires (as in grease fires). Also, the amount of false alarms are decreased with photo alarms vs ion alarms. From the expert articles I have read, it sounds like I am relatively safe by installing only photo sensors. Please let me know if you feel otherwise.

Thank you all!


I have been testing these Firefighter units here in my demo room and I think they are very impressive. I have yet to have one false alarm on me… I have tried to uses music and loud noises to get them to trigger since they are acoustical devices and I didn’t even get the light blinking on it. Once you get those 3 sets of beeps and bam-- signal to the panel and alarm is sent. I would recommend these

Thank you, Corxxgold - that is great to hear! Have you happened to try them with the First Alert Onelink alarms? The other thing I was wondering was, if the Firefighter is placed near a smoke alarm that is also near the panel, will the siren from the panel prevent the FireFighter from hearing the T-3 pattern?


That shouldn’t be an issue because the control panel would not start making noise until after the firefighter has determined there is a fire.

HAHA…you are absolutely correct…I guess I didn’t totally think that one through!

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Hi Rive,

Yes, I saw in your signature that you were a pro in that area. I am going with the First Alert OneLink system which is a photo only system. There are no battery operated OneLink photo/ion combos. There are also no 2GIG ion detectors that I know of. Would you say that putting an ion and a photo in a room fairly close to the kitchen area (not near the gas cooking appliances) would be good? I would prefer to use the interconnected units and have them monitored by the FireFighter, but there is no way to tie ion detectors into that system. Do you usually find that fast moving fires begin in the kitchen? Just wondering how best to do this and still have it all monitored by the 2GIG system.


Hi Rive,

OK, one other question for you. My plan was to put a CO detector near the familyroom/kitchen - that will be in relatively close proximity to the furnace and kitchen. I figure that is good since any gas leak would come from that general area.

I am also going to put 2 CO detectors in the upstairs hallway - one at each end, outside the sleeping areas.

For smokes, I know you are in favor of ions AND photos. I was planning to install 8 interconnected battery operated photos throughout the house (one in each bedroom, one in the upstairs hallway over the stairs, one with the CO near the familyroom/kitchen and one in the living room. I was also going to have the Firefighter monitor the connected photo smokes.

Do you feel that would be adequate, or would you strongly suggest the 2GIG photo smoke/heat detectors instead?

Lastly, if I do need to install ions, where in the house do you suggest placing them? I am just worried that I am going to have 11 + ion detectors all over the ceilings…

Thank you,

Hi All,

Slight change in my plans…I am still going to put a CO detector near the familyroom/kitchen – that will be in relatively close proximity to the furnace and kitchen. I figure that is good since any gas leak would come from that general area. I am also still going to put 2 CO detectors in the upstairs hallway – one at each end, outside the sleeping areas.

For smokes, though, I think I am going to go with the 2GIG photo smoke/heat detectors instead of the Encore Controls Firefighter and interconnected battery operated photo smokes. I am going to put one in each bedroom, in the hallway over the stairs, one downstairs near the kitchen/Family room and one in the living room. I might put a heat only detector in the garage if a 2GIG compatible one is available.

With the photo/heat detectors throughout the house, am I ok without any ions?

Thank you,

Even with functional smoke alarms/detectors in the home, over 40% of home fires resulted in death. Do it right, or live with the consequences.

It is recommended to install both CO, ion and photo detectors in the following locations:

Rive, are there any 2GIG compatible ions that can be monitored? And why do you prefer to have more ions than photo?

My setup is thus:

(6)120v/batt kiddie interconnected ion/CO detectors (installed per code requirement)

(3) 2gig monitored photo/heat detectors

Hi Rive,

I am mounting the smokes and CO detectors tonight. I am putting a smoke in each bedroom, one at the top of the stairway, one in between the dining room and living room and one in the family room near the kitchen. I am also putting a CO at each end of the hallway upstairs (outside the bedrooms), and one with the smoke near the kitchen.

My question is that at the end of the hallway with the 3 kids’ bedrooms, there is a large ceiling mounted AC return, which I understand a smoke or CO shouldn’t be mounted near - so, would I be best just putting one CO in the middle of the 30 foot hallway (about 15 feet - or less to each of the bedroom doors) so that it is far enough from the return?

Also, in each of the bedrooms, there is a fan over the beds and an AC register - so I would assume to just mount the smokes at least 3 feet away from the register and fan, but no closer than 18" to the corner between the wall and ceiling.

Is that all correct? Is there anything else I should take into consideration when mounting the detectors? Just trying to figure out best placement and if the one CO upstairs is adequate.


Any CO/Smoke devices in hallway should be properly placed.

Install them near the bottom/top of stairs on ceiling …as the smoke will rise/roll up the stairs at ceiling level as the density is less than air, whereas Co2 is the same density as the air itself. This is primary placement, you can add more wherever.

Failure to properly install the detectors in the proper locations may retard their activation times and cost your life.

As for rooms a couple feet from inside the door is good. Try not to place detector close to fan or above it. Away from register, If tray ceiling, put it inside tray, as close to door/far from fan as possible.

Ideally you want ion/photo in bedrooms if doors kept closed at night

The bedroom floor level is where I have the most detectors 5 in all. (1x co2/ion; 3x ion; 1x photo/heat). I could have installed the photo/heat beside the ion/co2, but I choose to space them out as the hall/corridor is short, and the photo/heat is placed near kid’s bedrooms/attic access. Any smoke that hits the ion/co2 will hit the photo/heat almost instantly, and vice versa.

Ion/Co2 in hall at stair landing

Ion/C02 and photo/heat in hall and fire/intrusion 100db strobe/siren

Bedroom Ion

Photo/heat in hall, and ion in bedroom

Hi Rive,

Thanks for the photos - that helps. So I know I will be placing a smoke at the top and bottom of the stairs - I have attached 2 pics - first one is where I think I should place the downstairs smoke and the second is the upstairs hallway near the kids room. There is an AC return, so not exactly sure where I should place the CO detector. I will be putting a smoke in each of the 5 bedrooms, but have to figure out the best place so that they are far enough from both the ceiling fan and the air conditioning register.

Other end of the hallway (picture 3) I will place a smoke (red dot) and CO (green dot).

Lastly is the family room, just off the kitchen. Is a couple feet from that beam on the family room side a good placement for a smoke and CO? To the left of the camera is the entrance from the garage.

Thank you!!!