I was downstairs, talking with Steffie last night -chirp- when I heard this noise. By the time I noticed it, it was over. It was a -chirp- rhythmic progression, spaced far enough apart to defy anticipation.

Damned smoke detectors.

The problem is, the chirp -chirp- is so short and so unexpected, it can’t be localized. This is especially true if it’s a few rooms away, with multiple paths for the sound to take to you.

This -chirp- morning I climbed on the step ladder and twisted the detector off its base. Ours are powered by he house’s AC current with the battery as a backup. That added 115 volts always makes me a little more careful and reticent.

I unhooked the battery, put it in my pocket and began to bring the new -chrip-… You’re kidding. Wrong detector? Crap.

The correct detector was downstairs, in the hallway between the kitchen and front door. Now that’s got a new battery too!

In this modern era, smoke detectors should use small wet cell batteries (like the kind in your car or those used in alarm systems) which can be trickle charged constantly and which will last nearly forever. That way, they’ll be there when they’re needed and never go -chirp-.

3 thoughts on “-Chirp-”

  1. Why not just replace All of your smoke, CO detectors batteries at one time; ignoring the specific source of the chirp ??

    As people expect to buy these alarms for only a few dollars each (yet expect the device to alert them to potentially life threatening events) – I doubt you will soon see higher priced, wet cell batteries as the standard back-up power supply any time soon.

  2. I find it interesting you have detectors that use both AC and battery…

    Did you know that ionization detectors have a service life of 10 years? I found this out when the six interconnected detectors went off one hot summer afternoon. I couldn’t make them stop, so called the local fire department, and asked if they’d mind coming out to take a look. I warned them there was no urgency, but there they were, five minutes later.

    Anyway, after a half hour of searching, they trained their IR camera on the detector in my sons bedroom, finding it was in the process of self destructing.

    That may be a definition of irony; a smoke detector starting a fire…

    The manufacturer was completely non-plussed when I told them their product had nearly caused a fire. That’s when they told me about the service life, and the disclaimer I failed to read about not caring about ‘old’ detectors…

  3. As a volunteer firefighter in CT, it’s great that batteries need to be changed. They should be changed once or year or whenever the alarm indicates the need. Smoke detectors should also be cleaned and tested once a month. You can visit http://www.nfpa.org for all the info and statistics you’d ever need regarding home fire safety.

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