Friday, July 25, 2008

Four Ways to Repair a Beeping Smoke Detector

It is night. All of The Condo residents are nestled all snug in their beds, except for Blitzkrieg, the one-eyed wonder dog who is snoring like a buzz saw in my ear because he is sleepign under my side of the bed. Out of the darkness it comes.
“Eeeep!”
“Eeeep!”
"Bow-rowr- -rowr- -rowr- -rowr- -rowr- -rowr!
Eeeep!

Groggily Husband and I investigate the noise. There is no smoke. There is no fire. However, one of the hardwired smoke detectors is beeping and it will.not. stop.





The first time this happened, I called 911 just as I learned to do in case of an emergency in Safety Town. The firefighters came. Fortunately, they confirmed that The Condo was not on fire. Nor did we have an electrical fire in the walls. The firefighters said that I’d know if an internal electrical fire was the culprit in the The Case of the Beeping Smoke Detector because the walls of The Condo would be hot to the touch (good to know.) That was a relief! They said that my smoke detector is chirping intermittently because either it needs a new battery or it needs repair.

Four Ways to Fix a Falsely Beeping Hard Wired Smoke Detector or Fire Alarm




Four Ways to Repair a Beeping Smoke Detector1.Replace the old battery with a fresh new battery.Do not just remove the battery and think the smoke detector will stop the beeping as a quick fix. For most hardwired smoke detectors, completely removing the battery makes the false chirping situation worse. With my fire alarms, removing and not replacing the battery makes all of the detectors in The Condo chirp louder and more frequently (and sends the dog into longer and louder barking fits) as a reminder that you need to reinstall the backup battery. Rechargeable batteries do not work well in smoke detectors. Use a traditional battery. It is a good habit to change the backup batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year at each time change. That way you ensure that, you will always have a fresh battery in your smoke detector in case of emergency.

2. Clean it. Even in the cleanest of homes (or Condos) dust or little indoor pests such as spiders may gather in the housing of the smoke detector and make it falsely beep. You can easily clean a smoke detector by either blowing the dust out of the detector using a can of compressed air (typically used to clean computer keyboards) or by sucking the dust out of the detector using a vacuum cleaner hose attachment. Don’t’ even think about using a Roomba to clean a ceiling mounted smoke detector. Trust me, it won’t work.

3.Check its temperature. If the smoke detector decides that the interior of the house is too hot or too cold, the temperature may make your fire alarm beep, especially if you use a programmable thermostat. If that’s the case, try raising or lowering the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees to stop the fire alarm from intermittently chirping.

4. Replace it. If you have tried the above solutions and your smoke alarm still gives you beeping fits every month or so then the best solution is to replace the smoke detector with a new unit.
I’ve used all of the above solutions to stop my fire alarm from falsely beeping with success. Unfortunately, an intermittent beeping fire alarm has become an almost monthly occurrence here at The Condo. Last night was the final straw. I will be replacing the faulty smoke detector in my bedroom with a new unit to insure a full night sleep for all. And to put a stop to the cause of the dog’s late night barking fits.

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