Happy New Year: Smoke Alarms again!

So after forgetting to buy them for the new year, this weekend we managed to remember the 9V batteries for the smoke alarms… three of them. Unfortunately I just noticed that we don’t have a CO2 alarm in this house, so we’ll have to get on that too (the other house had one, this house has gas heating as well, and while it’s unlikely it malfunctions and leaks CO2, I’d rather not take the risk as I’ve experienced elevated CO2 levels and it’s not great).

So I drop them down, and it’s dead easy… they’re all the same, there’s a great big button on the side that you push and they fold down, replace the battery, all done. Then about an hour later…


What the hell is that? Look things up, and it seems like it’s complaining about low battery. I mean yeah, we only bought cheap alkalines, but still they should be fine. So I check the voltage on the old ones, ~9.45 on them, new ones are 9.65, so maybe it doesn’t like them. I put them back in and they’re still chirping. Argh!

Sabriena looked up and found, of all places on the Sacramento Fire Dept website, instructions about resetting them, and it actually worked:

  • Remove all of the batteries, and remove the AC supply (the second part is accomplished by simply swinging it down off the ceiling, as they have pogo pins for the AC supply).
  • Hold the test button until it stops making noise. It started with a beep but very quickly the frequency curved downwards to a ticking.
  • Rinse and repeat for all the others in the network.
  • Put the battery back in each unit, put it back on the ceiling (thus connecting the AC supply) and press the test button for the beep.

After that, with the new batteries, the thing is fine - no chirps. I thought it was gonna be easier than the other house, but it seems like there’s still something to remember every goddamn year. Hopefully this note helps me do so.

Horsham, VIC, Australia fwaggle



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Horsham, VIC, Australia

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