Smoke alarm batteries. 2:00 AM!

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Obsessed, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Why oh why do these smoke alarm batteries start to die and provoke the warning chirping in the middle-of-the-night? It could be 7:00 PM, but nooooooo, it is always during the middle of a restful sleep.:mad:

    And then you have to go get a ladder.:mad:

    And then the Mrs. is awake and not too happy either.:mad:

    And so, here I am, trying to calm back down in the Bad Dog at 2:50 AM.:rolleyes:

    Maybe always putting fresh batteries in at 9:00PM would change the cycle.o_O
     
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  2. johnny k

    johnny k Poster Extraordinaire

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  3. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A few years ago they razed a house behind ours and the workers went home leaving a huge mountain of rubble, somewhere in the middle of which was a smoke alarm. During the night it started to rain and around 3 am the alarm shorted or something and started blaring, which would’ve been bad enough, but every 30 seconds or so the beeping would stop and it would TALK, saying something like “fire! Please evacuate!” Totally impossible to ignore or go back to sleep, and of course there was nobody there to complain to… I went out there, but it was raining and dark and not my property and the footing looked absolutely treacherous and I had to give up.

    The battery ran out about three hours later…
     
  4. Ziggy587

    Ziggy587 Tele-Meister

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    Smoke alarm batteries ALWAYS fail in the middle of the night. I've yet to have a single low battery chirp happen during waking hours.

    They do make "smart" alarms now that will not do the low battery chirp over night, but they're usually pretty expensive. I know the Nest ones are like that, but are around $100 if I recall. My most recent alarms that I purchased have a non-replaceable battery that are good for the life of the alarm, which I think is 10 years. The "replace by" date is written on the side of the alarm, so as long as I remember to switch them out before they hit that date then I'll never have to worry about the low battery chirp.

    My parents recently told me of a middle of the night problem they had with an alarm. This was combo (smoke and CO) hardwired with battery backup that was just purchased in December of 2020. I wont post the brand name, but it was one of the top names for smoke alarms. A week ago, it went off in the middle of the night. Not the low battery chirp, the full fire alarm. And in between beeping it speaks out loud, "FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!" It startled them pretty good. There was no fire in the house, the alarm malfunctioned. But of course it can't malfunction during the day, it has to be in the middle of the night!
     
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  5. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    Those things have batteries in them?

    Who knew?

    :oops:
     
  6. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    That’s like my pet peeve in life. My wife and I basically have PTSD about it. We were cursed, our first three (yes, three) places we lived all had faulty wiring for the smoke detectors that caused them to chirp out of nowhere until we got an electrician in there. It would drive us insane.

    I’ll talk to people on the phone through work, the same people, and their chirps will be going off in the background for months at a time. Seriously. How can you live that way??!!!
     
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  7. drf64

    drf64 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Well I'd say those workers are dirty....

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Our last instance at 2:00 SM-AM resulted in not one, not two, not three, but five, that's right five HUGE pieces of fire equipment and police and ems units locking down our entire neighborhood. I have a row of large mature pine trees crowding my home and capable of lighting up our neighborhood if they catch on fire.

    Don't get me started. :mad:
     
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  9. Wallo Tweed

    Wallo Tweed Friend of Leo's

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    I usually change them with daylight saving time change. The old ones often have enough charge to use in something else till they die.
     
  10. telekaster1999

    telekaster1999 Tele-Afflicted

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    Mine are chirping as I type ‍this
     
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  11. Tenderfoot

    Tenderfoot Tele-Afflicted

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    Have changed batteries 5 times in the last 6 years. Two of the failures were circuit issues and the units replaced under warranty. The other 3 times it was just the batteries along that gave up the ghost. As to when the failures occurred. Like some of the folks posting, it's usually sometime between going to bed and just before getting up!

    My hearing is not that good, so I don't notice the "chirp's" when asleep, but the wife does and believe me I hear her when she is disturbed by the "chirp's" - so its up getting a ladder and replacing the battery (while the coffee is brewing:)).
     
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  12. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Safety officials recommend changing the batteries at every Daylight Savings change. (like @Wallo Tweed) said). That seems excessive and a waste of batteries, but what is your families' safety worth?
    On the other hand, I've seen studies that show many children are NOT awakened by a screaming smoke alarm.
    My grown daughter once threw away a perfectly good (and expensive) Carbon Monoxide detector because the low battery "chirp" annoyed her.
     
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  13. Mjea80

    Mjea80 Tele-Meister

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    Old Murphy’s been at it again.

    My dog and cat absolutely hate that chirping sound.. lol
     
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  14. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    I must have 20 smoke detectors and CO detectors. Code here at some point changed to put them in just about every room.

    Ours are Kidde/FireX. I feel your pain, they always chirp in the middle of the night. And the frequency they chirp at was specifically selected to make it hard to tell which one is chirping. And when they go end of life that chirp was chosen to be the same. They have one LED with a cryptic blink pattern that takes minutes to watch. Would it have been that hard to put in 3-4 LEDs that were labeled?

    Luckily I don’t really have any that require a ladder to reach. They are hardwired with the batteries as backup. The batteries last about 5 years (I put a piece of masking tape on the batteries and write the install date), so it’s really hard to justify just changing them every 6 months and end up with hundreds of extra 9V batteries.

    Better than a fire though!
     
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  15. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Well, I’m up and it is somehow very comforting that I am not the only one that suffers from these middle of the night maladies. If I was smart, I’d preempt another round by replacing batteries in the other smoke alarms today … or should I wait for the time change?
     
  16. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    They chirp in the middle of the night because batteries are kept warmer during the day then cool evening breezes chill them a bit at night and they have less voltage output to set the sensor off to chirping. Same issue trying to start a car in the winter compared to the summer, less battery output.

    One of the issues I've encountered, code for many areas are to use the 'ten year' 9v batteries in the units, but the coatings used on the battery terminals and alarm terminals seem to corrode just enough to cause a problem. The old battery has very good voltage and putting in a new battery has very good voltage but even the new battery starts chirping in a week or two because of the very slight corrosion. So make sure to verify the contacts are all clean when you are up there changing batteries.

    .
     
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  17. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yep. Same here.

    The recommendation is to replace all batteries in all detectors in the fall when you turn the clocks back; that way, they never get a chance to get that low and are always at the ready. You are also supposed to press the check button and make sure it still works.

    Does anyone do this? Given the responses here, no. Do I do that? Oh heck no - I wait until I am really irritated by the battery running low.

    A few years ago, I did check my detectors - 5 out of 7 of them no longer rang because the speaker had failed over time (18 years or so). Oops. I ended up replacing all 7 of them in my house, which required re-wiring the harness and mounting plate. No big deal, just a pain in the rear, as a number of them are up too high to reach without a ladder.
     
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  18. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Well, that makes total sense about the cold air finally doing the battery in. No way around that but to replace before needed. Of course the one that went on last night was near the ceiling of the hallway on the second floor above the flite of stairs, making it the toughest one to get to. Now who in the heck would mount one there? Yup, that would be that same guy I call an idiot on almost a daily basis.:oops:
     
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  19. Cheap Trills

    Cheap Trills Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Same exact situation happened to me a few nights ago, same time of night and even having to calm down my dog. But while I was getting the stool to swap the battery, my Mrs had looked up that bugs getting into the alarm can also set it off. So I asked her to fix it.
     
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  20. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Can't you just relocate that one that's hard to get to? Maybe it's in the "most ideal" position, but maybe you could find the "next most ideal" place? And.....is it located right to alert you if you have a fire?
    I have three detectors in my small house.....one in hallway, close to the three bedrooms, one in foyer, but VERY close to door to kitchen (for possible cooking fires) and one in an enclosed back porch, where clothes dryer is located. Fortunately....no "cathedral" ceilings in my house. ;)
     
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