Hi all! You might have wondered why checking smoke alarms wasn’t on my autumn task list. Well, that’s because we have an electric smoke alarm system. It came with the house when we bought it. We thought it was a great feature. It houses a 9 volt battery as a backup in case of electric outages. When the battery is low, the alarm that houses it, will chirp every so many minutes to let you know to replace it. You couldn’t ask for more protection.
But this particular system has issues. First problem is that there is no alarm in the kitchen area. It’s a large room including the eating area. And the most likely place that I’d start a fire. Hubby added a battery operated one between the 2 sections of the room.
The second problem is the placement of a couple of the alarms. I’m no fire marshal, and I assume that the company that installed this system knew the best places to put the alarms. But seriously? 16 feet high? Do I really have to wait for the smoke to rise that high before I’m notified? Well, maybe that is the best place. But there’s a problem with this particular alarm. Every few months it chirps at us for a battery replacement. We put good new batteries in it, so there must be an issue with either the alarm unit itself or the wiring. That doesn’t make me feel very safe. And the worst part is that hubby or my son have to get out the 2 ton ladder and climb way high in the air to change it.
The final straw occurred one night about a month ago. At 2:30 am our bedroom alarm started chirping due to low battery. This alarm is placed on the 12 foot high portion of the ceiling. Our dog freaked out. She started crying and shaking all over. So hubby dragged out the ladder and replaced the battery. Puppy calmed down, and we went back to sleep. The next morning, after hubby left for work, the 16 foot high alarm in the living area started chirping. I can’t carry that ladder, but it doesn’t matter. I’m not climbing that high. If I go up 4 rungs, I’ll start crying myself. I had to let it chirp. Our poor dog started crying and wanted out. She never came in the whole day. I put her food and water out on the deck, but she wouldn’t eat.
On the way home from work, hubby bought several battery operated alarms. When he got home he disconnected the alarm system, and started hanging the battery operated ones. He hung more than we probably need, because they might not be placed based on fire marshal standards, but rather on ‘Debbie-can-reach’ standards.
All has been quiet in our home now. I don’t have to worry about an electrical alarm system short circuiting and starting a fire itself. And my little doggy lives inside again.