Author Topic: Smoke Alarms Chirping  (Read 1543 times)

NextTime

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Smoke Alarms Chirping
« on: September 13, 2021, 01:18:01 PM »
So one of my smoke alarms is chirping about every 30 seconds.  Funny thing is that it seems to be a different alarm each time. 

I have 5 smoke alarms on the main floor, all of them hardwired with a back up 9 volt battery. After trying to work through it this morning, I was annoyed enough to run to the store and buy a package of 9V batteries. I replaced the battery in all five of them, but it is still freaking happening. I've googled around a bit and haven't figured it out.

Any idears besides just disconnecting them all to get a little peace?

TrMama

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2021, 01:33:19 PM »
The alarms themselves have expiry dates. You may need to replace one, or more, of them.

Learned this when ours started chirping one Sunday evening just after the hardware store had closed for the night . . .

Sibley

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2021, 01:50:01 PM »
First, replace the battery. If that doesn't work, replace the smoke alarm. Don't just disconnect them, because you'll forget and not do it.

uniwelder

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2021, 01:54:40 PM »
you might need to hold the reset button on the alarm (besides replacing the batteries that you've already done), or some other combination of actions.  Here's an article from Kidde----https://www.kidde.com/home-safety/en/us/support/help-center/browse-articles/articles/what_causes_intermittent_beeping_or_chirping_.html

I think each manufacturer has their own order of operations to get the chirping to stop.  I remember getting really frustrated last time this happened to ours.

mntnmn117

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2021, 02:12:44 PM »
I've definitely pulled a chirper down and smashed it with a hammer one time. You'd think a rapidly flashing light or something else silent would be better. A low battery is not imminent danger.

NextTime

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2021, 02:23:07 PM »
Well looks like I'll be heading to Menard's after work.

Found the date on them and 4 of the 5 are 21 years old.  That means they are original to when the house was built.  I've only been here 4 years.

Thanks everyone.

jfer_rose

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2021, 03:03:52 PM »
In case this helps other people, my landlord told me that in the event your smoke detector keeps chirping after changing the batteries, you can stick the entire detector in the freezer to quiet the chirping. I haven't tested this.

NextTime

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2021, 03:59:44 PM »
New detectors installed. That was simple.

Where do I smash the old ones so they shut up? I could just throw them outside in the garbage, but I'd rather get them to shut up first.

thedigitalone

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2021, 04:45:52 PM »
New detectors installed. That was simple.

Where do I smash the old ones so they shut up? I could just throw them outside in the garbage, but I'd rather get them to shut up first.

Don't smash them, find and disconnect the battery.  There is a tiny amount of radioactive americium inside that you really don't want aerosolized and inhaled by accident.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2021, 05:05:44 PM by thedigitalone »

TrMama

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2021, 05:38:57 PM »
In case this helps other people, my landlord told me that in the event your smoke detector keeps chirping after changing the batteries, you can stick the entire detector in the freezer to quiet the chirping. I haven't tested this.

Doesn't the landlord worry about his property burning? How is the detector supposed to notify the occupants if there's a fire and it's in the freezer? I can't imagine his property insurance company would endorse this fix.

bacchi

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2021, 05:49:35 PM »
New detectors installed. That was simple.

Where do I smash the old ones so they shut up? I could just throw them outside in the garbage, but I'd rather get them to shut up first.

Don't smash them, find and disconnect the battery.  There is a tiny amount of radioactive americium inside that you really don't want aerosolized and inhaled by accident.

Only in the ionization detectors.

My landfill didn't take them so I sent them back to the manufacturer.

jfer_rose

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2021, 06:24:40 PM »
In case this helps other people, my landlord told me that in the event your smoke detector keeps chirping after changing the batteries, you can stick the entire detector in the freezer to quiet the chirping. I haven't tested this.

Doesn't the landlord worry about his property burning? How is the detector supposed to notify the occupants if there's a fire and it's in the freezer? I can't imagine his property insurance company would endorse this fix.

He mentioned it in a very specific context. The chirping started late on a Friday afternoon and a new battery didn't fix it. I happened to see him outside the building (which was a rare occurrence) and ran to him in a panic because I could not fathom having to live with the chirping for an entire weekend (as maintenance tended to only happen M-F during business hours). He was reassuring me that if it ever happened again, I could submit a service request and put it in the freezer until they were able to fix the issue. The small apartment had one fire detector per room, so a single one being out of service for a weekend posed no substantial danger.

DoingMe

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2021, 08:49:21 AM »
Humorous anecdote ...

A number of years ago, we had a client who complained of a chirping smoke detector.  We replaced all the batteries in all the (known) smoke detectors.  The chirping didn't stop.

The solution:  Eventually, she found an old smoke detector that someone had temporarily set down on the top shelf of a closet (she had taken the doors off) and forgot about when they replaced them.

GuitarStv

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2021, 08:55:58 AM »
Humorous anecdote ...

A number of years ago, we had a client who complained of a chirping smoke detector.  We replaced all the batteries in all the (known) smoke detectors.  The chirping didn't stop.

The solution:  Eventually, she found an old smoke detector that someone had temporarily set down on the top shelf of a closet (she had taken the doors off) and forgot about when they replaced them.

In the middle of the summer, the day after we moved into our house one of the fire alarms started intermittently chirping at about 3 in the morning.  I tried to ignore it, but by about 5:00 eventually disconnected all of them and threw them under a pile of clothing so I could get back to sleep.  It was sweltering hot so we had all the windows open . . . and then I noticed that a bird had decided to start chirping in exactly the same way as the fire alarm.

:S

yachi

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2021, 09:09:50 AM »
I've definitely pulled a chirper down and smashed it with a hammer one time. You'd think a rapidly flashing light or something else silent would be better. A low battery is not imminent danger.

My detectors flash green, but I only notice when I'm sleeping, so I only notice in my own room.  Are the other ones flashing green? I don't know.  But when I hear the chirp I'm like a madman looking for it in all the rooms.  Imagine the liability a company would face if they sold a smoke alarm to a seeing impaired individual, that only let them know it was time to change batteries with a flashing light (which they could not see).

SquashingDebt

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2021, 12:54:17 PM »
This winter I spent half an hour going from smoke detector to smoke detector, trying to figure out which one was chirping.  Then I realized it was coming from the presenter's house Zoom webinar I was watching.

BDWW

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2021, 01:03:19 PM »
Chirping is stupid.  Just chirp continuously when the battery is low.   The stupid detectors I have chirp on something like a 10 minute intervals. Invariably it happens when I'm on the other side of the house.  So I have to stand in a hallway for ten minutes twiddling my thumbs playing the most horrible game of marco polo ever.

If the battery is low just f-ing let me know so I can fix it, don't design the most aggravating and time consuming annoyance possible.

/firstworldproblems.

GuitarStv

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2021, 01:06:13 PM »
Chirping is stupid.  Just chirp continuously when the battery is low.   The stupid detectors I have chirp on something like a 10 minute intervals. Invariably it happens when I'm on the other side of the house.  So I have to stand in a hallway for ten minutes twiddling my thumbs playing the most horrible game of marco polo ever.

If the battery is low just f-ing let me know so I can fix it, don't design the most aggravating and time consuming annoyance possible.

/firstworldproblems.

I am 100% in agreement with this.  The chirp every 5-10 minutes is some sort of torture device, not a valid warning.

shuffler

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2021, 02:01:16 PM »
The chirp every 5-10 minutes is some sort of torture device, not a valid warning.
Alternatively, in a low-battery environment, it may be better to "chirp" at a long interval for several days while consuming relatively little power, than to make a continuous sound for a shorter time (several hours?) while consuming greater power to do so and ultimately exhausting the battery.

After all, the real intent of the alert isn't to help you locate/distinguish the smoke-detector.  You can do that on your own.
The real intent is to alert you that you're about to lose smoke-detection ability, even if you happen to be away from the house for several hours, or a long weekend, when the alert starts.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 02:03:50 PM by shuffler »

GuitarStv

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2021, 02:21:22 PM »
The chirp every 5-10 minutes is some sort of torture device, not a valid warning.
Alternatively, in a low-battery environment, it may be better to "chirp" at a long interval for several days while consuming relatively little power, than to make a continuous sound for a shorter time (several hours?) while consuming greater power to do so and ultimately exhausting the battery.

After all, the real intent of the alert isn't to help you locate/distinguish the smoke-detector.  You can do that on your own.
The real intent is to alert you that you're about to lose smoke-detection ability, even if you happen to be away from the house for several hours, or a long weekend, when the alert starts.

Sounds like big smoke got to you first.

BDWW

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2021, 02:26:06 PM »
The chirp every 5-10 minutes is some sort of torture device, not a valid warning.
Alternatively, in a low-battery environment, it may be better to "chirp" at a long interval for several days while consuming relatively little power, than to make a continuous sound for a shorter time (several hours?) while consuming greater power to do so and ultimately exhausting the battery.

After all, the real intent of the alert isn't to help you locate/distinguish the smoke-detector.  You can do that on your own.
The real intent is to alert you that you're about to lose smoke-detection ability, even if you happen to be away from the house for several hours, or a long weekend, when the alert starts.

Poor excuse.  Make it chirp ever 5 seconds for a minute once an hour. (5/60) That's 12 chirps, the same expenditure as 1 chirp every 5 minutes in an hour (5/60).

RWD

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2021, 02:26:32 PM »
The chirp every 5-10 minutes is some sort of torture device, not a valid warning.
Alternatively, in a low-battery environment, it may be better to "chirp" at a long interval for several days while consuming relatively little power, than to make a continuous sound for a shorter time (several hours?) while consuming greater power to do so and ultimately exhausting the battery.

After all, the real intent of the alert isn't to help you locate/distinguish the smoke-detector.  You can do that on your own.
The real intent is to alert you that you're about to lose smoke-detection ability, even if you happen to be away from the house for several hours, or a long weekend, when the alert starts.

The battery is just for backup power. It could chirp just fine continuously on the connected house power indefinitely.

simonsez

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2021, 02:39:11 PM »
This winter I spent half an hour going from smoke detector to smoke detector, trying to figure out which one was chirping.  Then I realized it was coming from the presenter's house Zoom webinar I was watching.
Similarly, when my wife taught virtually from home last year, there was a student who had constant smoke alarm beeps every 30 seconds ALL DAY LONG when they weren't muted.  Even though my office is upstairs and she was downstairs at the dining room table through 2 closed doors, it was just piercing and shrill enough to still be very obnoxious.  I listened to a lot more music than normal last year! I started to dread going downstairs to top off my water or go pee just because of that chance of encountering a full blast of that chirp on my wife's computer.  It's amazing what some people are able to tune out.

yachi

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2021, 02:42:59 PM »
This winter I spent half an hour going from smoke detector to smoke detector, trying to figure out which one was chirping.  Then I realized it was coming from the presenter's house Zoom webinar I was watching.
Similarly, when my wife taught virtually from home last year, there was a student who had constant smoke alarm beeps every 30 seconds ALL DAY LONG when they weren't muted.  Even though my office is upstairs and she was downstairs at the dining room table through 2 closed doors, it was just piercing and shrill enough to still be very obnoxious.  I listened to a lot more music than normal last year! I started to dread going downstairs to top off my water or go pee just because of that chance of encountering a full blast of that chirp on my wife's computer.  It's amazing what some people are able to tune out.

You're not the only one to notice: Teacher hears smoke alarms chirping over Zoom, distributes working alarms to families

NextTime

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2021, 02:47:34 PM »
This winter I spent half an hour going from smoke detector to smoke detector, trying to figure out which one was chirping.  Then I realized it was coming from the presenter's house Zoom webinar I was watching.



Okay. I meant to get back on and tell you this but was too ashamed. Yesterday I couldn't figure out which one was beeping either. I would stand under one and hear the chirp behind me. Then I would stand under another and would again hear it behind me. That's why I changed the batteries for all of them.  When that didn't stop it, I went and bought replacements.  Once those were in, I still heard the chirp (Arrghh). I was finally able to track it down in the basement near the sump pump. It was a honeywell water sensor I've had there for several years.  So I popped out that battery, popped in a new 9V, and voila, no more chirping.

So I bought a 4 pack of 9V batteries and 5 smoke detectors for approximately $80 for an issue that would have cost me $0, since I had one spare 9V in the closet.
While I feel foolish, I am still glad that I replaced all of the smoke detectors, since they were all over 20 years old.


simonsez

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Re: Smoke Alarms Chirping
« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2021, 03:36:00 PM »
This winter I spent half an hour going from smoke detector to smoke detector, trying to figure out which one was chirping.  Then I realized it was coming from the presenter's house Zoom webinar I was watching.
Similarly, when my wife taught virtually from home last year, there was a student who had constant smoke alarm beeps every 30 seconds ALL DAY LONG when they weren't muted.  Even though my office is upstairs and she was downstairs at the dining room table through 2 closed doors, it was just piercing and shrill enough to still be very obnoxious.  I listened to a lot more music than normal last year! I started to dread going downstairs to top off my water or go pee just because of that chance of encountering a full blast of that chirp on my wife's computer.  It's amazing what some people are able to tune out.

You're not the only one to notice: Teacher hears smoke alarms chirping over Zoom, distributes working alarms to families
Good, glad they were allowed to do that!  Problem, solution, done!  What a concept!  School and district told my wife there wasn't anything they could do and we even offered to pay - something about no home visits with the pandemic and that a parent *might* view this as embarrassing.  Sigh.  The student in particular was bussed in from the poorer part of the metropolitan area so the district where my wife works can signal their virtue but I digress.  Grr, whatever, glad they're back in the classroom!

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!