fire detectors and the cold

  sunnystaines 14:46 30 Nov 2008

a year ago we had fire/smoke detectors fitted by the surrey fire brigade as part of a project they run.

But have noticed in cold spells they "cheep" has any one else had this odd behavior, unable to phone for advice as they only use 999 and it will be few days before I get a chance to visit a fire stn as they operate from surrounding towns.

  skeletal 14:51 30 Nov 2008

If you mean that every few seconds they emit a “cheep”, rather than the awful racket that suggests your house is on fire (I guess you would have noticed that by now!!), it means the battery is low.

Batteries tend to drop their voltage slightly in the cold, and rise when they get hotter. I would thus expect a battery close to the end of its life to cause the smoke alarm’s warning in colder weather.

I suggest you replace the battery.


  wiz-king 15:09 30 Nov 2008

Agree with Skeletals comment. You should replace the batteries every year unless it has the type of battery that is meant to last 5 years. I find that mine will 'cheep' on the coldest night at about 4 o'clock in the morning! It usually takes a while to realise what woke me up - cant hear anything, go back to sleep, 'cheep', wake up and listen again - all I can hear is the dogs snoring, go to sleep again and then the 'cheep'!

  spuds 15:13 30 Nov 2008

We also have the free provision of Fire Brigade supply and fit smoke alarms. On the ones we have, the batteries are suppose to be 10 year guaranteed and are sealed into the unit, so perhaps non-replaceable and not like our other 'Black and Decker' DIY type with the standard 'energiser' battery.

The new ones tend to chirp or cheep now and again, which might be due to climatic change and sensitivity. They were supplied in plain boxes with a simple instruction leaflet, no manufacturers details for direct advice, possibly due to sponsorship arrangements (ie particular Fire Brigade mentioned and approved!).

Looks like a visit to the nearest fire station with public access for further advice.

Remember though, that if you fit a new replacement, you will need at least two people to comply with health and safety regulations ;o)

  €dstowe 15:40 30 Nov 2008

They can be sensitive to steam as well - more common in the winter in not-so-well ventilated houses.

I had a mains operated one outside my bathroom which warbled every time anyone had a shower. Had to move it.

  sunnystaines 16:55 30 Nov 2008

Thanks for all the replies they were supposed to be long term batteries they only cheep on the cold nights might be two three times a night or several, other nights nothing,the push button tests work ok. if it was a steady regular cheep then its the battery its just the cold nights make it seem odd.

have 2 alarms they both started doing it.

  Forum Editor 17:31 30 Nov 2008

prohibit the use of battery alarms where there's a domestic property loft conversion being constructed. They must now be of the hard-wired mains operated type - the change in rules being brought about by this battery problem. People tend to remove the batteries to stop the bleeping noise, and forget to buy new batteries - and then there's no alarm at all.

  Switcher 21:28 30 Nov 2008

A few years ago I attended a Fire safety training course run by Strathclyde Fire Service. At the start of the course we were asked how many had detectors fitted at home, about six of 30 raised their hand. How many have more than two? only my hand was still up. When I said that I had six all connected in parallel so that if one sounded they all sounded I was looked, by some of the trainees, at as if I was a nutter.
After the course was finished which imcluded being
put into the firemen's training complex of rooms in pitch dark with the heating turned up and told to find our way out, most of the trainees were heading off to buy some detectors for home use.

  laurie53 11:25 01 Dec 2008

I did one of those once, but as it was for real firefighting we did it in BA and with smoke.

Even though we were being monitored I still remember the rising feeling of panic.

I also remember the real firefighters exercising us were furious.

Because we were training for Class A fires (human life not a consideration, fight at all costs) we trampled all over the realistic weighted dummies they had left in various parts of the complex!

Happy days.

  oresome 18:42 01 Dec 2008

Connecting all the alarms in parallel, so that they all sound in the event of a fire, provides no indication of where the fire is.

I'd like to think I was moving away from the source!

  VCR97 19:40 01 Dec 2008

If all the alarms sound then you know that there is a fire, regardless of where you happen to be in relation to the seat of the fire.

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