Judith Comoletti

The smoke alarm saga continues

Blog Post created by Judith Comoletti Employee on Aug 28, 2012

Smoke Alarm MSThe chirping smoke alarm saga in the Comoletti home continues to happen each night between 12:30 AM and 1:30 AM. I think I have figured out the problem. The alarm chirps around the same time each  night. My house has central air conditioning set at 73° for the night. When my son goes to bed each night he overrides the thermostat to bring the temperature down to 70°. The temperature will stay at 70° for two hours. My interesting discovery is that the smoke alarm in his bedroom begins chirping when there is 40 minutes left to the override. I think it might be the air conditioning. Last night when I woke to the chirping at 12:40 AM, I immediately put the thermostat up to 73°and the air conditioning shut off. Within two minutes the chirping stopped. I went back to bed, with no chirping the rest of the night.

I think the air conditioning vent in my son’s bedroom is causing the alarm to chirp. He puts the temperature down when he goes to bed and sleeps with his door closed. I imagine it must be like a meat locker inside his room during the override. I arrived at work this morning and went to visit Lee
Richardson, the smoke alarm expert at NFPA. We discussed the issue and he agrees with my hypothesis. He further told me that when the smoke alarm battery is getting near the end of its charge, it will be more sensitive to the cold air from the air conditioning. Lee’s suggestion is to replace the battery and my problem should be solved. I will replace the battery tonight and hope the
issue is solved.

Of course I know that a chirping smoke alarm means change the battery. My smoke alarm only chirps in the early morning hour, stops chirping when the air conditioning shuts off and only does it when my son is home. I am determined to find the cause and hope Lee is correct.

This is just another lesson learned that we can all incorporate in our Fire Prevention Week activities.