Smoke Detectors – Nuisance Tripping or Silent Intruder?
“The darn smoke detectors are going off again! Why do I even bother having them in my house? They’re more of a nuisance than anything.”
Does this sound familiar?
It happens to most of us and usually at the worst time like in the middle of the night or when the kids finally start settling down. Most of us have a clear mental dream of smashing the smoke detector with a hammer! Let’s not lie to ourselves, they drive us absolutely crazy!!!
Commonly we see home owners or rental property tenants take the battery out to eliminate the alarm from going off when cooking or to stop the unnecessary chirping sound. Before you do that (if you’re not already guilty), we advise you to read a sad but common and true story.
The reason for this message is to enlighten you.
A home owner called us because their smoke detector was going off all night. Initially, they walked around to see if there was smoke, and no fire nor smoke was found. We did our due diligence and asked all the questions to eliminate the possible problem–are you cooking, did something catch on fire, or perhaps something like a curling iron was causing smoke? All to which they answered no to.
Since nothing was wrong the customer requested that we provide them a quote to replace their smoke detectors over the phone. We decided to first come out and do an inspection that next morning.
To our surprise (and a shock to the customer) we found a more serious problem than a faulty smoke detector. The hot water tank exhaust vent had severe cracks in it and was actually leaking carbon monoxide in the air!
We are glad to say that the customer was not able to sleep all night because of the nuisance tripping. If the carbon monoxide would’ve been higher, the outcome would’ve been tragic.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas formed by the incomplete combustion of fuels. When people are exposed to CO gas, the CO molecules will displace the oxygen in their bodies and lead to poisoning.
If chirping is the nuisance, then more than likely all you need to replace is one of the batteries on one of the detectors, if not all of them throughout your home if they are interconnected. Take note that more than likely if they are interconnected all Detectors will chirp. Don’t assume that the smoke detector and/or carbon monoxide with smoke detector has gone bad and needs replaced. Treat all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors seriously and if in doubt give us a call and we’ll have one of our qualified technicians come out and analyze the situation for you.
We’ve attached a PDF that has all the information you need to know about how to properly maintain and operate your smoke detector. First Alert Smoke Alarm Manual
Bullet Points from PDF that you should memorize:
- If Battery Becomes Low or is Missing – horn will chirp once per minute
- Alarm Levels of CO are Detected – 4 fast beeps, pause, 4 fast beeps, pause. If unit goes into CO alarm, the regular 4 beeps-brief pause cycle will repeat for fifteen minutes. After fifteen minutes, the pause will increase to one minute.
- Smoke is Detected – 3 beeps, pause, repeating 8 times.
- If Alarm is Not Operating Properly (MALFUNCTION SIGNAL) – Three rapid chirps every minute.
Are you interested in having AC Electric do an inspection on your smoke detector system? Give us a call today to schedule your smoke detector appointment!