Saturday, December 12, 2009

One of those nights

I have hardwired smoke detectors throughout my home.  They are extremely good smoke detectors and though when one goes off they ALL go off (that feature can be frustrating!) I know that in the event of a fire, I will be thoroughly alerted.  What I discovered last night about my smoke detectors is that even though they are wired directly into the electricity, they have a battery backup feature.  I know that is a wonderful safety feature.  Really, I know that…however, when the battery needs to be changed the smoke detectors start to “chirp”.  And they continue to chirp until the battery is changed.  This chirping notification can start at any time of day.  Guess when my smoke detectors started making noise?  Midnight, you say?  Actually, a little after and now it is 4:30am and the chirping continues.  This is NOT a noise that you can drown out or cover up.  This is an extremely sharp, shrill chirp…AND IT WILL NOT STOP!   

My ceiling is very high.  I cannot reach it without my 8’ long step ladder which is in the basement.  I do not have any 9 volt batteries laying around.  I live in a really tiny town in the middle of nowhere and getting to Walmart is a hike.  The local hardware store doesn’t open until 8am.  Had I known, I would have kept spare batteries on hand.  Had the moron who rehabbed this house left any kind of installation manuals or user manuals here I might have been prepared.  Guess who didn’t get much sleep last night and is feeling pretty witchy this morning?  Good thing I just live with a cat…


  1. Also good thing this is Saturday and you don't have to go to work.

    I agree that is such an annoying sound.

    Perhaps after the installation of said battery (or batteries)you can take a nap this afternoon.

  2. Dang, Suzan, I feel for you. Just last Tuesday morning, about 2am, I woke up because I heard this high pitched beep. It went off about every 30 seconds. I laid there wondering what it was. My smoke detectors all have 10 year batteries, so I was puzzled, but I followed the beep. My 'plug in the wall' carbon monoxide tester read Err. Ok, so I hit the reset button, but it wouldn't clear, so I took out the battery. I didn't have any 9V batteries either, so I laid it on the counter til I could get new batteries. When I put in the new battery, it still wouldn't behave, so I fell to it's death in the bottom of the waste basket. I guess I had it for 14 years, so it doesn't owe me anything. Now I just need to remember to buy another one.

    Do you know which smoke detector it is, or do you have to check them all?

    Do you know that you can 'stop aging' of new batteries before you use them by putting them in the freezer? No kidding! We learned that from a nurse who had to change the batteries in a heart machine years and years ago. That was probably before they made battery backups that they have now. This gal had to change several AA batteries DAILY. They were still good batteries, but for peace of mind, they needed changing daily. She used to bring home the 'old' ones and give them away. God, I miss her. She was the wife of one of Louie's coworkers, and when Louie changed jobs, no more batteries. We keep all our batteries in the freezer, and you don't have to worry about thawing them out before you use them.

    I hope you get your chirping stopped today, and get some rest.
    Have a wonderful day, and be blessed!

  3. I feel for you. That hapened to me a few months ago. try and have a gpood nap after the batteries have been changed

    Love and hugs Gina xxx

  4. Happened to me to shortly after I moved in here. What a pain! And I didn't have a ladder and had to drag a chair around. And as soon as I changed the battery and went back to sleep, it started again! UGH!!!

    Hope you get some rest tonight!

  5. Hum, I take it you don't have a deringer in your house,eh? I think I would have shot those little bugers! (not really, I hate guns... but that might have changed my mind.) Hum, maybe there is a reason they say change your smoke alarm batteries at the change from daylight savings time. (Not that I'd ever remember to do that or whether I have to!)

  6. Oh I hate that. Our ceilings are high too and the chip absolutely drives me NUTS. Good luck with it.

  7. Our new smoke detectors can be tested by the signal from a TV remote. Good idea, you say, until you are lying in bed watching TV and lazily don't point the remote directly at the television, whereupon the signal reflects off the adjacent wall and up to the smoke detector, setting it squalling and terrifying the cat (and me!).

    And imagine if you had a bad hearing problem, two hearing aids actually, and your smoke detector starts to chirp like that, only a little softer because it's a battery powered one. That's what happened to my Mom, and with her bad hearing it sounded like a cricket had gotten into the house and was merrily chirping away, hidden somewhere. She looked for quite a while before pausing in the hall directly below the smoke detector, when she realized what was making the noise!


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