Smoke/CO2 alarm going off all of a sudden

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  #1  
Old 06-13-19, 09:41 PM
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Smoke/CO2 alarm going off all of a sudden

Hi
I have 2 alarms - one in the living room and one high up in the ceiling above the stairs that go upstairs. These two beep and also say "fire"

I have 3 additional alarms in the upstairs bedrooms - these seem to be simpler ones with just beep. I believe they are smoke alrams

I also have a camera system and that sense motion and movement. One of the cameras is set up to detect only sounds - so if someone knocks on the door, it will warn me, and I can look at the camera feed.

I was out and about for a couple hours today and I received a warning from the camera that is set to trigger with loud sounds. I replayed the sound on my phone and it had the beep beep fire fire sound coming from one of the alarms that have voice/beep. I received two such warning messages within an hour. I rushed back home and there was no fire or anything.... I have another carbon monoxide detector and it showed level zero

I changed the batteries on all alarms today - but not sure if it was the battery that was doing it. As far as I know, low battery only gives chirping alarms. What would set off the alram like that? I have been lazy about changing batteries - they are wired alarms.

The weather has been extremely hot here the last few days but it cooled down a little. It really should not matter, though, as I have AC running 24/7

Any ideas?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-14-19, 02:20 AM
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How old are these smoke alarms? How recently have they been cleaned. Have there been large swings in temperature and humidity?

Dust, moisture condensation, even things like silverfish or spiders can get into the sensing chamber. Particulate matter of any kind can trigger a false alarm.

If they are 10 years old, the sensing chamber can start to degrade, sometimes earlier.
 
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Old 06-14-19, 04:52 AM
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Anything can fail and smoke detectors are no exception. They are complex electronic devices that can die of old age just like a TV. Luckily they are cheap and easy to replace.
 
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Old 06-14-19, 05:03 AM
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I don't recall it with smoke or fire alarms, and don't know why it says "fire" if this were the case, but at least some CO monitors have a wired in lifetime, 5 years, 10 years, whatever, so unless you can find the manual and verify the code I would replace them.
 
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Old 06-14-19, 07:48 AM
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They do have a set lifetime. I just had to replace mine at 7 years. The new ones interconnect to make sure the whole house wakes up. I had 1 new replacement fail and kidde quickly replaced it.
 
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Old 06-14-19, 01:34 PM
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Hey RonFL

The house is 5 years old and I moved here around a year back. I think the alarms have not been changed. The batteries had a 2018 expiration date and I had not changed the battery on any of them for a year or cleaned them.

I have learned my lesson now and will periodically clean with canned air and change my batteries every 6 months

1 of the alarms uses 2 AA batteries (the ones in it were duracell. I have changed them with the exact same Durcacell Alkaline AA). All the others had 9V Alkaline batteries.

Is there any advantage to using 9V alkaline batteries over the regular 9V ones? I can find the regular 9V ones for $1 for 2 batteries at a dollar store. I would imagine one is better off just getting the regular ones, and remember to change them every 6 months....
 
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Old 06-14-19, 02:46 PM
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Yes, CO detectors do have an age-out. They have a 5-6 year lifespan, and will generate all kinds of odd behavior when they get much past that. That's why I recommend separate smoke and CO devices.

Alkaline batteries have a different discharge curve characteristic than regular carbon batteries, and will produce usable voltage longer into their use curve. That's why they are a better choice for long term standby devices.
 
  #8  
Old 06-16-19, 09:54 PM
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Thanks RonFL. Today I found which one of the smoke/CO combo detectors was the culprit making the noise. I was home and it went off again, even with a new battery. At that point I decided to replace it.

The one I got from Home Depot turned out to be an unwired CO/smoke combo detector. It uses 2 AA batteries (Included) and it is a very well known national brand. I already opened it, and decided to install it. It beeps and shouts out "fire" and "carbon monoxide", but it is jut not hardwired.

I would imagine the unwired ones are designed for older homes? Will it be OK you think? I plan to clean and change batteries every 6 months. The label says it is good for 10 yrs. The hard wired one was not available at the store today and I would have had to order it online...

I am not sure if I am allowed to post a link to the Item. It says Battery Operated Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Combination Detector with Voice Alarm and Intelligent Hazard Sensing
Model # 21027426
Store SKU #622269
Store SO SKU #1000331013
 
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Old 06-17-19, 02:25 AM
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If you are already set up with interconnected hardwired devices, going with the hardwired models is generally the better choice. The battery only model is perfectly serviceable, just realize that it doesn't interconnect with the rest of your detectors.
 
  #10  
Old 06-17-19, 07:27 AM
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Hey RonFL, I will get a hardwired model soon. After I realized that I got the battery one, I was just too lazy and exhausted to return it and order the hard wired one. For now, my setup is: downstairs kitchen and living room - I have the battery only CO/smoke combo detector. For the upstairs hallway into the bedrooms, I got a wired smoke alarm and a separate CO monitor that plugs in. It claims that it will be good for 10 years.
It is a tiny 1300 sqft 2 story townhome so hopefully it will work for now
 
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