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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Quick Tip: Change Your Smoke Detector Batteries

It was the middle of the night.  Everyone was soundly sleeping in their beds, and BEEP!  BEEP!  In a sleepy fog, Jesse and I got up and tried to figure out which smoke detector had a dying battery.
Even better, it was one that couldn't decide if it was dying or not, so it didn't beep consistently. 
1:09AM: 2 beeps, about a minute apart.  Maybe it's the one in the hallway?
2:47AM: 5 beeps.  It's not the boys' room, or they would have woken up.
3:07AM: 3 beeps.  I don't think it's one upstairs.  I'm not going downstairs right now.
4:44AM: 2 beeps. Definitely downstairs.  Must be the dining room, since that's the only one with a battery right now! (Also, don't do this.)

Once we woke up for the day, it stopped beeping.  Lovely.  I was amused by the fact that though my children will wake up instantly from the creaking of the floor when we walk on it, they all slept through the beeping.
These are not the type of batteries that our smoke detectors take.  But I had already changed them, and I wasn't going to get them back out for a picture...

According to the National Fire Protection Association, you're supposed to check your smoke detectors at least monthly, if not weekly, and change the battery every six months to a year.  You're also supposed to replace smoke detectors about every 10 years or so, as they may not function as well with age.

When I went around checking all of ours, I discovered one from 2001, and two that were so old they didn't have dates.  Replaced!  I also changed all of the batteries so that we won't be woken up in the middle of the night any more.  Except by kids who wet the bed, crying babies, and a toddler who needs a hug.

Daylight Savings Time starts this weekend, and it might be a good time to check all of your smoke detectors and change the batteries.  That way you get on a schedule of doing it, and you don't have to worry about nighttime beeps.

Once you do, come back and tell me if you had any smoke detectors older than ours!


  1. I once watched something (I think it was a 20/20 episode) and they tested out smoke alarms on sleeping kids or "What Would You Do" Episode. Surprisingly smoke alarms don't normally wake children, even in a fire when they consistently go off. Then they tested an alarm where instead of a beep it was an alarm saying, ", WAKE UP!" And it repeats it over and over. All the children woke up when the detector talked to them and said their name. So now they are creating detectors that speak instead of beep.

    1. That didn't work. Whoops. It's supposed to say the child's name and then the wake up part. For some reason blogger omitted the name. :-) So, for example it would say, "Christian, Wake up! Fire!"

  2. Interesting! I'm not sure how they can sleep through the beeping, but maybe it has something to do with hearing their name? I wonder how that would work if you moved though. If it ever went off, you'd hear a voice yelling for some random person who used to live there...