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Airstud
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Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2000 11:57 am

Death of a smoke detector

Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:54 pm

Apparently, smoke detectors can reach their "end of life" - I didn't know they could do that; thought they only ever needed their batteries changed.

Mine will therefore be chirping 5 times every minute till it's changed. I called First Alert and asked if there was a way to silence the chirping - for, say, a 24-hr span? A few hours? An hour at a time? Until I can have building management install a new one tomorrow. She said no.

Figured I'd nonetheless ask if anyone knows an unofficial hack TO GET THAT CHIRPING TO STOP (TEMPORARILY) !!!!!!
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Death of a smoke detector

Sat Aug 07, 2021 12:00 am

 
Airstud
Topic Author
Posts: 4947
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2000 11:57 am

Re: Death of a smoke detector

Sat Aug 07, 2021 12:09 am

fr8mech wrote:
https://support.firstalert.com/s/article/What-do-the-Chirps-Mean

Try that


Hey wow!! I was all over that website last night and didn't find that!!! Thanks, fr8mech!!

Off to try it now...
 
ltbewr
Posts: 15803
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

Re: Death of a smoke detector

Sat Aug 07, 2021 1:20 am

Some smoke/CO2 detectors have life limits, usually 7-10 years. Some have non-replaceable batteries. And yes, the chirp is annoying and even removing the battery won't stop it. If you own the unit or home, then it is your responsibility to get a new one or replace the batteries. If you rent, then the landlord should replace it or allow you to buy one ASAP and get reimbursed for it. Properly working smoke/CO2 detectors are legally required in all residences, especially multi-family ones and even some businesses by state or local laws. They do save lives so get it replaced ASAP.
 
Airstud
Topic Author
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Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2000 11:57 am

Re: Death of a smoke detector

Sat Aug 07, 2021 1:46 am

ltbewr wrote:
Some smoke/CO2 detectors have life limits, usually 7-10 years. Some have non-replaceable batteries. And yes, the chirp is annoying and even removing the battery won't stop it. If you own the unit or home, then it is your responsibility to get a new one or replace the batteries. If you rent, then the landlord should replace it or allow you to buy one ASAP and get reimbursed for it. Properly working smoke/CO2 detectors are legally required in all residences, especially multi-family ones and even some businesses by state or local laws. They do save lives so get it replaced ASAP.


Yes I am having it replaced in a couple of days; I just wanted the chirping silenced in the meantime. :smile:

fr8mech FTW
 
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1337Delta764
Posts: 6045
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:02 am

Re: Death of a smoke detector

Sat Aug 07, 2021 3:54 am

BTW, I recommend buying one with a photoelectric sensor. They are far superior at detecting slow smoldering fires and are less prone to false alarms.
 
Max Q
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Death of a smoke detector

Sat Aug 07, 2021 4:37 am

Also recommend it’s hard wired into the homes electrical system, no more replacing batteries

And linked to your alarm system if installed, the fire department will respond
 
frmrCapCadet
Posts: 5035
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 8:24 pm

Re: Death of a smoke detector

Sat Aug 07, 2021 12:37 pm

The first fire alarms available (I believe they were made by GE) had a 'physical' red flag that was released when the battery went low. So easy to use, and more importantly no chirping false alarms. I got one as soon as they came out. Years later, after spending more than a few middle of the nights looking for which GD'd chirping low battery had gone off somewhere in the house I removed all of our hard wired alarms and put them where they could easily be reached and monitored (and and the malefactor turned off for the rest of the night). The Rotary club I was in did several community outreaches offering free alarms and explaining how to use them. I always want a couple working monitors anyplace I sleep. But the way they work is for the birds (and dead birds at that).

Hard wired could be good, but loss of power could be caused by the same fault somewhere in the house that also could start a fire. My preference is a mix - some hard wired, some battery, some photoelectric others ion - toss in a couple CO detectors too. And a close to the master bedroom monitoring panel showing which alarm was doing what. This is available by some companies but no easily and affordable system was available last I looked. Maybe something is available now.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Death of a smoke detector

Sat Aug 07, 2021 5:48 pm

Most cities now require smoke detectors with 10 year non-replaceable battery.
 
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1337Delta764
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Re: Death of a smoke detector

Sat Aug 07, 2021 7:31 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
Most cities now require smoke detectors with 10 year non-replaceable battery.


That is if you don't have hardwired alarms. Hardwired interconnected alarms are still required in new construction, but typically most cities 10-year battery laws only apply to battery-only alarms, even though there are hardwired alarms with 10-year backup batteries available.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Death of a smoke detector

Sat Aug 07, 2021 11:00 pm

1337Delta764 wrote:
dtw2hyd wrote:
Most cities now require smoke detectors with 10 year non-replaceable battery.


That is if you don't have hardwired alarms. Hardwired interconnected alarms are still required in new construction, but typically most cities 10-year battery laws only apply to battery-only alarms, even though there are hardwired alarms with 10-year backup batteries available.


I am not aware of that exception. I was looking for replacement hardwired because I couldn't deal with chirping even after changing batteries, Home Depot had only 10 year sealed battery hardwired.

In the past I replaced one with ionization smoke detector near kitchen, nothing but trouble, replaced with photovoltaic.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Death of a smoke detector

Sun Aug 08, 2021 11:23 am

1337Delta764 wrote:

That is if you don't have hardwired alarms. Hardwired interconnected alarms are still required in new construction, but typically most cities 10-year battery laws only apply to battery-only alarms, even though there are hardwired alarms with 10-year backup batteries available.


Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years regardless of power type. Batteries are only one if the things that can fail. Sensors can become fouled or contacts corroded. There is a normal service life for smoke detectors. I seem to recall that after 10 years, the expected failure rate is 30%.
 
CaptHadley
Posts: 168
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:36 pm

Re: Death of a smoke detector

Sun Aug 08, 2021 3:43 pm

[photoid][/photoid]
Max Q wrote:
Also recommend it’s hard wired into the homes electrical system, no more replacing batteries

And linked to your alarm system if installed, the fire department will respond


Careful with that, some municipalities are now charging for false alarm runs, especially police departments.
 
Max Q
Posts: 9065
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Death of a smoke detector

Sun Aug 08, 2021 10:40 pm

CaptHadley wrote:
[photoid][/photoid]
Max Q wrote:
Also recommend it’s hard wired into the homes electrical system, no more replacing batteries

And linked to your alarm system if installed, the fire department will respond


Careful with that, some municipalities are now charging for false alarm runs, especially police departments.



That’s correct


My local police department allows three false alarms a year after which they do charge for responding to one, it’s still well worth having a monitored alarm system against break ins and fire


FYI, if my smoke detector(s) activate, the fire department will respond and even as the homeowner I’m not permitted to cancel the call


There’s been many cases where people think they’ve put the fire out and they really haven’t
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Death of a smoke detector

Sun Aug 08, 2021 11:06 pm

Max Q wrote:


FYI, if my smoke detector(s) activate, the fire department will respond and even as the homeowner I’m not permitted to cancel the call


There’s been many cases where people think they’ve put the fire out and they really haven’t


We would continue a commander and an engine to any fire alarm where there was an attempt to cancel. The commander would continue code 3 and the engine would slow to code 1.
 
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WesternDC6B
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Re: Death of a smoke detector

Sun Aug 08, 2021 11:26 pm

When I had a house in Nevada, I couldn't cook anything without the nearest smoke detector going off. While I am far from a Cordon Bleu chef, I am not that bad a cook. Turns out the detector in this 17 year old house were the originals. I changed them out, and the problem went away.

One thing I have noticed about smoke detectors: regardless the brand, the manufacturer builds clocks into them. These clocks serve an interesting purpose. When the backup battery starts to go bad, the clock kicks in, and determines the time. It then sets things up for the chirp to start at 2 o'clock in the morning.
 
CaptHadley
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Re: Death of a smoke detector

Mon Aug 09, 2021 5:35 am

WesternDC6B wrote:
When I had a house in Nevada, I couldn't cook anything without the nearest smoke detector going off. While I am far from a Cordon Bleu chef, I am not that bad a cook. Turns out the detector in this 17 year old house were the originals. I changed them out, and the problem went away.

One thing I have noticed about smoke detectors: regardless the brand, the manufacturer builds clocks into them. These clocks serve an interesting purpose. When the backup battery starts to go bad, the clock kicks in, and determines the time. It then sets things up for the chirp to start at 2 o'clock in the morning.


Not sure if you have them or not but our dogs lose their collective minds when the smoke detectors start their low battery chirp. They will literally walk around shaking.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Death of a smoke detector

Mon Aug 09, 2021 1:12 pm

Max Q wrote:
CaptHadley wrote:
[photoid][/photoid]
Max Q wrote:
Also recommend it’s hard wired into the homes electrical system, no more replacing batteries

And linked to your alarm system if installed, the fire department will respond


Careful with that, some municipalities are now charging for false alarm runs, especially police departments.



That’s correct


My local police department allows three false alarms a year after which they do charge for responding to one, it’s still well worth having a monitored alarm system against break ins and fire


FYI, if my smoke detector(s) activate, the fire department will respond and even as the homeowner I’m not permitted to cancel the call


There’s been many cases where people think they’ve put the fire out and they really haven’t


One option is to put smoke/fire/CO detectors tied to Home Automation/Security system in self-monitoring mode. You get audible/phone alerts, and fire department is not immediately dispatched without you calling them. Monitoring companies monitor only devices signed up for professional monitoring.
 
LCDFlight
Posts: 1250
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:22 pm

Re: Death of a smoke detector

Mon Aug 09, 2021 2:25 pm

WesternDC6B wrote:
When I had a house in Nevada, I couldn't cook anything without the nearest smoke detector going off. While I am far from a Cordon Bleu chef, I am not that bad a cook. Turns out the detector in this 17 year old house were the originals. I changed them out, and the problem went away.

One thing I have noticed about smoke detectors: regardless the brand, the manufacturer builds clocks into them. These clocks serve an interesting purpose. When the backup battery starts to go bad, the clock kicks in, and determines the time. It then sets things up for the chirp to start at 2 o'clock in the morning.


Lol that’s a very deadpan joke, nice.
 
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WesternDC6B
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Re: Death of a smoke detector

Mon Aug 09, 2021 2:59 pm

LCDFlight wrote:
WesternDC6B wrote:
When I had a house in Nevada, I couldn't cook anything without the nearest smoke detector going off. While I am far from a Cordon Bleu chef, I am not that bad a cook. Turns out the detector in this 17 year old house were the originals. I changed them out, and the problem went away.

One thing I have noticed about smoke detectors: regardless the brand, the manufacturer builds clocks into them. These clocks serve an interesting purpose. When the backup battery starts to go bad, the clock kicks in, and determines the time. It then sets things up for the chirp to start at 2 o'clock in the morning.


Lol that’s a very deadpan joke, nice.


Who is joking?!? I've yet to hear The Dreaded Chirp start at a civilized time of day.

I solved that one years ago. Every year, on a set date , I change the batteries
 
Dieuwer
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Re: Death of a smoke detector

Mon Aug 09, 2021 3:00 pm

Why would a smoke detector beep if there is no battery in it?
 
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fr8mech
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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:00 am

Re: Death of a smoke detector

Mon Aug 09, 2021 3:23 pm

Dieuwer wrote:
Why would a smoke detector beep if there is no battery in it?


End of life.

It is recommended that they are replaced every 10 years due to degradation of the sensing elements.

Plus, First Alert, et al., want to keep selling smoke detectors.
 
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WesternDC6B
Posts: 777
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Re: Death of a smoke detector

Mon Aug 09, 2021 10:47 pm

Dieuwer wrote:
Why would a smoke detector beep if there is no battery in it?


They have a capacitor in them that will run the detector after the battery is removed, for a period of time.

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