The October conspiracy

It’s October, and you know what that means. Or you do if you’ve hung around here for a few years.

‘Tis the chirping season, the month when the smoke detectors in my house apparently are required to croak. Said croaking to be preceded by chirps. And said chirps required to begin in the middle of the night. Always.

It happened last night. A bit behind schedule. Previously the agreed upon date was October 19. But still, per the agreement, it was the middle of the night when the chirps began. I crawled out of a sound sleep and a warm bed and grabbed a small stepladder from the next room (had I subconsciously anticipated this?). I yanked the offending device off the bedroom ceiling and removed the battery.

By now you know that, of course, it wasn’t that smoke detector. Two more chirps and I’d ripped down the one in the study. The chirping continued, naturally, so finally I got to the detector in the hall and dismantled it. With all three detectors, sans batteries, lying on the kitchen counter, I went back to bed.

An hour later I was awakened by another chirp and an anxious dog nuzzling my hand. WTF? …

Sure enough, the carbon monoxide detector had decided to join the fun. I pulled it off the wall, wondering if I was being poisoned even as I returned to the bedroom to turn on the light. Something was blinking in the little window on the front. How high was the reading? Would I have to corral the pets, evacuate the house, and call 9-1-1?

Finally pried my eyes open enough to read the message: LoBat

Of course.


Hey, I’m not paranoid:

6 comments

  1. I think your experience is not unusual, having had the same myself, and I also discovered something interesting. When simply replacing my batteries didn’t solve the problem I called a local company that sells and services protection systems. Their man told me that because my detectors were over 10 years old (12, as it happens), I needed to replace them all because dust gets in and fouls up the mechanism. Also, the reason low batteries usually alarm at night is because the circuits become more sensitive to low battery voltage when the temperature falls, like, at night. Who knew?

    Also, there’s a good web site by FEMA on the subject confirming stuff like this and explaining the differences between the two main types of detectors. But it’s only for Democrats, you know, people who trust the government. 😆

    1. I noticed this morning that the fine print on the back of the detectors specifies they be replaced in 10 years, and they were dated 2001, the year this house was built. Got online right away, found replacements that will fit the same mounting and electrical connection/plug thingy (from the same company), and ordered three new ones, along with 3 lithium batteries. These are simple ionization detectors, but I wanted the plug-in and go installation; I don’t do wiring (like gas, electricity is something I can’t see and I’m afraid to mess with it).

      Great information on that website, by the way, even if it is a government operation. 😉

  2. My smoke detector is AC powered so all the batteries do is keep things detecting during a power outage – I have always thought that the Spring Forward change batteries – Fall Back change batteries were part of a conspiracy by the battery manufactures – I do put a small piece of blue masking tape on the detector when I change the battery and write the date on the tape so I can tell when the battery was changed – – yes the first time I had the chirping in the middle of the night it woke me up and I was a bit confused for a moment until I started shivering in the cold –

    1. My detectors are wired in as well; the batteries are just back-up. Still, when they go bad, the chirping starts. That much of it does seem like a conspiracy on the part of battery makers, since a dead battery doesn’t mean the detector won’t work. Good idea with the tape and date. I need to do that when I put up the new detectors.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s