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Tuesday, April 13, 2021




 I hate smoke detectors!  I know, they save lives, so yes I have smoke detectors and CO2 detectors in my home.  Does that mean I have to like them? No, it does not.

All our devices are hard wired, so once installed we are good to go…right?  Wrong!  Because a fire might actually kill the hard wired connection, all detectors also need a back-up battery.

Because the back-up battery will go bad, the detector warns you when it needs to be changed.  It warns you with a short, loud chirp.  Apparently it has been designed to emit that short loud chirp at 2:17 AM.

So every once and a while I get an elbow to my sound asleep ribs at 2:17 AM.

“I’ll get it in the morning!”

“Fix it now, I need to sleep!”

Before I go any further, I know there those that say just remember to change the batteries every time you change the clocks for Daylight Savings Time (possibly the only reason to even have a Daylight Savings Time).  These are people who don’t mind paying $20 twice a year while the batteries actually last much longer than that.  They are also people who get up early, go to bed early, have organized desks and get their teeth cleaned twice a year. 

I will not change the batteries until they chirp.  Above mentioned people will not understand that…just accept it.

Anyway, back to the chirp.

The 2:17AM chirp is always so loud and so short that it is  impossible to tell which battery needs changing.  You have to change them one at a time and wait for the chirp to stop.

Unfortunately, believe it or not, even when unplugged, and with the battery removed, the damn thing will keep chirping at several minute intervals for about ten minutes. 

I went through this exercise just last week.  The chirp did not stop and it was still impossible to tell if I got the correct detector.   I put a pillow over the device and when the nextchirp did not emit from the muffled device I decided “F*ck” it I would just change all the devices.

Changing the devices is no easy chore.  If you did it all the time it might be, but when done infrequently…let’s just say it is a pain in the backside.  While ripping down one device (we have an overkill of 6, 2 per floor) I broke a plastic attachment thing and now had to either replace it or hold it up with duct tape.  Mrs. C did not think the duct tape would be a good look.

So now at about 3:27 AM I had replaced the batteries in all the devices and the chirping stopped.  I still had to replace the hanging from the ceiling detector the next day (technically the same day).

The new detector came with a battery, but it needed to be taken out and a piece of plastic removed to activate it.  Easy-peasy…at least easy in all the other detectors. 

This one required a tiny pin to be removed from the back to allow the battery to come out.  The pin was covered in paper that matched the back of the device.  It was not easy to find and remove the paper to get to the pin which made activating the battery possible.  Once found and removed the pin was still hard to spot and once spotted difficult to grab and pull out.

After at least 25 minutes I (actually we ) finally removed the pin.  Five minutes later, the smoke detector was rewired and installed.  Mrs. C asked,

“Should we put the pin back in.”

“Sure, so then the next time at 2:17 AM the battery needs to be changed I can really lose my mind.”

“Yeah, I guess you are right, though if someone breaks in he could steal the battery because it is not protected by the useless pin.”

“That is just a risk we will have to take.”

Did I mention I hate smoke detectors?




  1. I hate the chirp! I'm not climbing on anything to open a little battery trapdoor, or screw that detector off the ceiling mount. If I didn't have Hick or The Pony to do it for me, I'd go outside and get a big stick and whack it until I knocked it off the ceiling. Then I'd change the batteries, and rig up something to suspend it near the ceiling for smoke detecting. Like maybe a shepherd's crook. I've thought this through entirely too well...

  2. Chirp ... ... ... chirp ... ... ... chirp ... ... ...

    God bless.

  3. I feel your pain! This house has a ridiculous number of smoke alarms, too. Like you, I think it’s a waste of money to replace batteries that still have life, but the 2 am thing became too much. Don’t hate me, but I now have a list of my smoke detectors with dates of last battery change. I now replace them at the 18 month mark, which seems to be the general life of the battery.

  4. Our alarm company takes care of this for us. We are no longer awakened in the middle of the night with the chirping. They know when the battery needs changing out and show up and do just that. Best thing we ever did. I know how aggravating this is.

    Have a fabulous day, Joe. ☺

  5. Shush. I don't want my smoke detectors to know they have that power to annoy. So far I have been spared the night time chirp with preemptive battery changes once a year on Jan 10th. Have no idea why that date, it just works for me.

  6. We only have one smoke detector (that's enuf for our 400 square feet) but it goes off every time we make toast. No matter where we sit the toaster. Stupid thing.

  7. You think a chirp is annoying? We had smoke/CO2 detectors that talked - so instead of chirps or beeps you got a female voice saying "replace battery' or 'warning smoke detected' - we didn't know that until after they were installed. Our electrician thought they were fun, I wonder if he had them in his house?

  8. Thank you for expressing, almost exactly, how I feel about smoke detectors.

  9. Useful but annoying. The one in the kitchen at Grandma and Grandpa's house, when someone burns something and makes it go off, it in turn makes the second doorbell chime. They are both hard of hearing and have a device that when your regular doorbell rings, this thing goes off extra loud so they can both hear it. It reacts to the doorbell and the smoke alarm, so when the bell rings after the smoke alarm goes off, the dog, Lulu, starts barking.

    As i said, useful but annoying.

  10. I know what you mean about when those darn things decide to chirp cause I don’t replace my batteries ‘til then either.

  11. I only have one smoke detector, also only have 400 square feet, like Jim, and I don't remember the last time the battery got changed. Batteries out here seem to last an awful long time. I hope mine doesn't decide to start chirping soon, because I don't have a spare battery on hand and my ladder is down in the garage, past several other blocks of flats and back in a corner of the end of the driveway. I won't be getting the ladder in the middle of the night that's for sure. There's no lighting down in those garages.

  12. oh that sounds terrible indeed
    a thing that meant to be helpful must not be annoying as much i would say
    reminded me when once i turned off the phone so alarm can be turn off ,it kept beeping oh dear that sounds unfair