Can’t blame it on the smoke detectors

I should have known better. It wasn’t 3 a.m. It wasn’t a mind numbing shrill sound but it was loud and annoying.

It was 2 p.m. I was at my computer upstairs in my temporary (or maybe permanent) office wasting time going down rabbit holes. Useless rabbit holes that won’t even help me at Jeopardy! Gracie, my sweet kitty was sleeping on my computer desk. A loud annoying noise went off. Gracie jumped several feet in the air. I ran for the beloved husband.

“It’s the damn smoke detectors!” We disconnected the detector and took out the battery. It tested better than good. The screech was still going. Gracie decided that downstairs was a better place to be. I would have been with her but we had to stop it. We did all sorts of things like testing it, changing the battery, reconnecting, disconnecting but nothing was working.

We are in this house less than a year. The people before us didn’t leave us with any information on the smoke detectors (or anything else for that matter). We googled and tried all those things. Nothing worked. It was a long time later (at least an hour but felt like a month) and it was still screaming.

The beloved husband was looking at the detector in his hands and said, “I don’t understand it. The sound should be coming out of this fixture but it’s not. There is nothing else in the room but your computer.”

Wop to the side of the head! I raced back to the room (which was still wailing). There were only two electric wires hanging down where the detector used to be. They can’t make a sound. I listened next to the computer. Nope, not the computer but I noticed my power backup was wildly flashing red lights. I turned it off and the wailing stopped. I turned it back on and all was good. Green lights and no noise. It will beep when the power goes off to signal me to shut down but I have no idea why it was wailing.

We killed a lot of time, raised blood pressure and agitation level (which isn’t low to start with) because we jumped to a conclusion. I need to be more like Gracie. Remove yourself from the noise in order to think. In her case it was in order to snooze but that’s good too.

Alarm, what alarm?

59 thoughts on “Can’t blame it on the smoke detectors

  1. I’ve had the carbon monoxide detector go off in the middle of the night due to it’s end-of-life issues as it is a plug-in, with battery back-up. When I was still working on site, I went in one Monday morning and the server backup device was wailing, all buttons flashing. I didn’t know if it would damage anything pulling the plug and no way to silence it and couldn’t reach the computer guy as he was on a job … I thought I would lose my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes! And I wrote a post a couple of years ago about the carbon monoxide detector that went off due to end of life for the 10-year battery. It was shortly after I smashed my finger in the garage door, so I didn’t have much strength in it when I tried to pry the battery door off the back to take out the battery and couldn’t open it. It drove me up the wall, so I put it outside, but it was a Summer night and I thought my neighbor would wonder what it was so I had to contact him to tell him it wasn’t a bomb under his bedroom window. He got it and plunged it into a bucket of water and it still kept peeping. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. We had a similar incident at work several years ago. Owner spent hours trying to sort out the beeping fire alarm that was wired into the building. Called the alarm company. Called in an electrician on a sunday. Nothing stopped the beeping. Finally called his son in law, the fireman. SIL walks in, looks behind a desk and pulls out a plug in carbon monoxide detector. Owner pitched it into the dumpster.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The sound wasn’t quite as loud and this is the first time at this house. We should have realized when we had the detector on the first floor and it was still wailing on the 2nd floor that something was up. It also didn’t activate the other detectors which they usually do when they are wired together. No matter how old you get you learn another lesson.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can sympathize with you. I thought my mothers smoke detector was going off one day and went and got her (tall) neighbour to silence it and he got a ladder and pulled it out of the ceiling, but the sound continued, and then we realized it was the alarm clock in the bedroom going off! Which she didn’t remember setting or if she did set it wrong. I had new smoke detectors installed in her house and mine free as part of the local fire department program and they never go off, so I wonder why so many people have a problem with them? Is it certain brands or types? The one they installed in my house is supposed to have a ten year battery which never needs replacing and it talks to you along with the alarm, as it’s carbon monoxide as well as fire. My mothers is wired in and the battery is only for backup?

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  4. Your cartoon spoke to me! When my husband was out of town one year, my smoke alarms kept going off in the middle of the night. Even with a stepladder, I’m too short to reach it. The dogs were barking and howling and one parrot was screaming while the other was imitating the alarm. I was overwhelmed with noise. I fetched my oldest son, who is much taller than me, and he finally pulled it down and removed the battery. My husband asked me what I would have done if he wasn’t home. I told him my plan to beat it into submission with a broom handle. He thought it was funny, but then, he wasn’t here to get the full affect.

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  5. We never did discover what the beeping was in the middle of the night which disturbed Maggie so much when we were on the boat. We asked around, but no-one else was aware of it. I only heard it one night, but couldn’t locate it and Hubby was none too pleased that I’d woken him up and he couldn’t find it either. MSM helped us out by having Maggie at night after that and when we sold the boat, we thought no more of it. However, when we visited the marina, we were approached by some boating friends and asked if we ever found out what it was. Apparently, they had been hearing it too and couldn’t locate it either.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When my power backup died (NO, I did NOT kill it), I didn’t replace it because of the screeching, screaming, and fuss it would make at the oddest times.

    I’ll probably be sorry one day when lightning fries all the components in our house, but for the time being PEACE reigns.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh gosh……the sound of a smoke alarm sends us all into a tizzy but not being able to figure out WHY it was “doing its’ thing” had to be even worse! Well, now you know a little more about your alarm – even if you had to learn it the hard (and noisy/mind numbing) way!! Glad all is well.

    Hugs, Pam

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yikes! I don’t trust my step stool to climb up and reach a smoke alarm if it goes off. And I have one in the hallway near my kitchen and bathroom which goes off if I’m cooking something or there is too much steam from the shower. If I could safely reach it, the battery would get removed and stay removed! Glad at least nothing major was wrong and there was no fire!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Since we are in a new house, it was more scary. We had replaced all our detectors in our old home so we knew what we had and what worked. Here we are flying blind. We even found that not all the detectors, which are wired together are the same brand.


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