Saturday, July 19, 2008

Stupid Smoke Alarms

I have a complaint.

I just got done replacing all the batteries in all 12 smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in our house. Since we have some 16 foot ceilings upstairs, this becomes quite a project. All because ONE of the 12 old batteries was dead.

You see, all of our alarms are hardwired to the electrical system and linked together. And when any one of them has a dead battery, they ALL go off for about a minute at a time. [Several recent visitors to the Esq. homestead will remember this. For some reason, it almost always happens when people come over.] The owner's manual claims this is a notification so you can replace "the" dead battery. I call bullshit on that. There is absolutely no indication which alarm has the dead battery, and there's no regular pattern to exactly when the alarm goes off. So I guess maybe you could replace one at a time, and hope it works, but you'll never really know, and you might get more of the damned beeping the next day.

No, you're stuck shelling out twenty bucks for 12 new 9V batteries. This is a conspiracy between First Alert, Energizer, and P&G. I am sure of it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of avoiding a fiery death. I don't mind having working smoke alarms in the house. But would it be too much to ask for another little LED on each smoke alarm, which would indicate, "hey, I have a dead battery?"


Rebecca said...

Even more fun is when this occurs when you have two sleeping 6 month old babies at, say 9pm at night...and the battery you need to replace is the one upstairs, in the cathedral ceiling of the master bedroom. Bringing a 16 ft ladder in from the garage and up the stairs while trying to be quiet enough to not wake babies...tricky.

Anonymous said...

Do you remember the episode of "Friends" where Phoebe can't get the smoke alarm to stop beeping? She takes the battery out and it still beeps? The same thing happened to me. While I appreciate the fact that the smoke alarm makes me less likely to go down in flames (or up in smoke? whatever), I do agree that they can be mightily annoying.

SMNYC said...

Maybe you should register for one of these?