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Can anyone tell me

why the batteries on a smoke detector/carbon monoxide detector can ONLY run out in the wee hours of the morning?  I would be willing to bet money that a smoke/CO detector has never started the low battery beep at 3:00 *PM.*  I'm fairly certain they have a photocell and a chip that only allows them to do the low battery chirp after it has been full dark for a minimum of four or five hours.

Yep.  3:38am.

Beep.
Aw, bugger.  Did I really hear that?  Maybe not.  I'll just go back to...
Beep.
God-damned, mother-loving... I'm coming, I'm coming.  Now, which one is it?  Whose brilliant idea was it to have one of each on every floor?  Oh yeah - that was me.
Beep.
AHA!  Gotcha, you bastard.  Now - read the directions... four rapid beeps for a warning, one beep every thirty seconds for low batteries...
Beep.
I know, I KNOW, gimme a sec, it's 3:30 in the goddamned morning... there - batteries are out.  I should go downstairs and put new batteries in.  Damn it, it's going to scream at me when I snap the last one in - I remember that from last time, I almost had a heart attack.  And I'm going to have to turn on a bunch of lights to dig out three AA cells.  And it's 3:30 in the bloody morning.  Honest to God, I've got CO detectors all over this house.  It can wait for tomorrow afternoon.  I'm going back to bed.

Now ask me when I finally got back to sleep.  Go on - ask me.  That's right - 5:30.  Right before Bob's alarm went off.  Because I get a HUGE adreneline dump from that sound.  Which I'll grant you IS the idea.  Mind you - I'm the ONLY one in the family who does.  Tonight I will put fresh batteries in everything, and maybe I'll get some sleep.

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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
golden_meliades
Mar. 5th, 2012 08:01 pm (UTC)
I changed my smoke detector alarm thingie battery two nights ago. Beeped its first warning beep at about 6pm. Guess I've got better alarm luck. Hope next time yours run out at a more reasonable hour. I wonder if they have an exact running time and it's because of when they get stuck in? But that's a somewhat ridiculous theory.
kls_eloise
Mar. 5th, 2012 09:24 pm (UTC)
You've ruined my theory, but I'm beyond delighted to know that it's possible. Of course if I'd change the batteries every six months like I'm supposed to, this wouldn't happen.

The first item on tonight's "to do" list is "change detector batteries.
golden_meliades
Mar. 5th, 2012 10:24 pm (UTC)
I meant *my* theory was ridiculous. (That maybe the batteries run out in relation to what time of day they're put in.) :)

I waited until it beeped to change mine, too...it went in about two years ago, heh. (Runs on a 9V battery.)
kls_eloise
Mar. 6th, 2012 05:27 pm (UTC)
And I meant that my theory that it's not actually *possible* for them to go while people are awake is blown. Which gives me hope for next time.

I changed them ALL last night, so I should be off the hook for a while.
bytchearse
Mar. 5th, 2012 08:48 pm (UTC)
simple answer
They operate under the same laws of physics that shrink your bladder at camping events based on the proximity of the nearest bathroom...
kls_eloise
Mar. 5th, 2012 09:25 pm (UTC)
Re: simple answer
Or the distance between rest areas.
isabeau_lark
Mar. 5th, 2012 08:59 pm (UTC)

That's when/how I found out that I have not one, but two in my basement. Which as you know is not very big. Trying to find the one behind the furnace at that hour sucked. Sorry you had to deal with it too.

kls_eloise
Mar. 5th, 2012 09:26 pm (UTC)
*Behind* the furnace? Oh my. This time I got lucky - of the six I have, it turned out to be one on the same floor I was already on.
galingale
Mar. 7th, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC)
Hey I'm just glad you have them. So many people still don't...
I can gloat about batteries though -- the only thing in OUR house that could generate CO won't work when the power's out, so we have a plug-in CO detector.

But god help me, I have to make like a monkey to get to the smoke detector on the back porch. I won't do it without Rob in the house and a phone in his hand.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )