Home>Discussions>HEALTH & SAFETY>smoke detector that gets disconnected and reconnected every day
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lipwak
smoke detector that gets disconnected and reconnected every day

Hi,

My modus operandi is to pull the battery away from the contacts once I get up in the morning so the smoke detector doesn't go off when I cook breakfast. I slide it back at night. Ever since the smoke detector was new, a few years ago, it will beep as it makes contact, a good long beep.

Lately, it is not making good long beeps. They are weak and sometimes it takes a few attempts to get it to beep at all. I have checked the battery. It is fine.

Are the contacts getting oxidized maybe?

Does anyone know of a smoke detector that I can buy that has an on-off switch (like a pull chain)? All of us small apartment dwellers would like a smoke detector that wouldn't get set off when we cook, or a way to deal with one.

I always make sure it beeps when I go to bed at night. I am getting worried that it may not be working now that it doesn't beep as strongly when I reconnect the battery.

Thanks for any help.

Cheers.

John L

dj1
Re: smoke detector that gets disconnected and reconnected every day

By removing and installing the battery so frequently the contacts are not as tight as they used to be.

Test the alarm and if it's no good, replace it.

Instead of removing the battery, you can just cover the alarm with a plastic bag and it won't beep.

Timothy Miller
Re: smoke detector that gets disconnected and reconnected every day

Holy cow. Where is the smoke alarm located? If in the kitchen you need to remove it. Is it in your bedroom? That's where you need one to wake you up in case of God forbid a FIRE.

Fencepost
Re: smoke detector that gets disconnected and reconnected every day

Replace it with a smoke detector that has a "hush" button. It will silence the detector for around 10 minutes. This will help prevent the situation of forgetting to put the battery back in.

Now, I don't know if it only hushes it when it first sounds, or if you can "pre-emptively" hush it.

lipwak
Re: smoke detector that gets disconnected and reconnected every day

Thanks, all.

dj1, That's good info, thanks. It does work when I test it, at least so far.

Tim, it's in the main room which is where my bed is. The kitchen is adjacent to that. There is a wall with a passthrough and a space I can walk through. I admit I am at risk during the day but I am awake then so more likely to notice something. At least that's my rationale for not bothering to reconnect it after cooking.

Fencepost, I love that idea. I will look for one that does that. Thanks! That's a much better solution than what I'm doing. Hope it doesn't decide to go off after that 10 min. period... If I could preemptively hush it or take it "offline" for say 10 minutes by hitting a button or pulling a chain, that would be the best solution.

Cheers,

John L

dj1
Re: smoke detector that gets disconnected and reconnected every day

Let me just add this to my previous suggestion:

If this smoke alarm is located in a bedroom or the hallway, make sure it works well and don't cover it, or it will defeat the purpose of having it.

Re: smoke detector that gets disconnected and reconnected every day

Try this alarm: http://www.homedepot.com/Kidde/h_d1/N-25ecodZ5yc1vZua/R-100004653/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=smoke%20alarm&storeId=10051

It has both CO and smoke. It supposedly uses both sensors to help reduce false alarms. So even though it detects particles form your cooking, it doesn't see an increase in CO and doesn't alarm. I just bought one. Can't say I have tested this feature. I may have the hush feature as well, but I cannot recall at the moment.

lipwak
Re: smoke detector that gets disconnected and reconnected every day

Thanks. I'd be curious what you find out.

lipwak
Re: smoke detector that gets disconnected and reconnected every day

I've done some research. FirstAlert makes one (more than that?) that has a "hush" button that will prevent the alarm from going off for, get this, 10 minutes! That's perfect. I can make breakfast, burn my muffins and the smoke detector won't go off. It then turns itself on again. Sounds like the perfect solution for me. Other versions only silence the alarm for a few seconds. The model in particular that I am going to be looking for is SA303CN4 which Target sells for $9.19. (It is a battery-powered unit. I don't have a wired-in setup.)

There are probably other models out there.

HoustonRemodeler
Re: smoke detector that gets disconnected and reconnected every day

When we work in a condo that has smoke detectors tied into the rest of the building, we use a plastic cover with a light weight stick attached. The cover snaps / fits snugly over the detector while we work. The light weight stick is there to remind us to take it down when we are done for the day, without needing a ladder.

Mastercarpentry
Re: smoke detector that gets disconnected and reconnected every day

I see someone else cooks like I do :D

Smoke detectors are good, but when I was doing rental homes invariably all of them had the batteries out when I did a service call or a move-out inspection. Houston Remodeler, I'm going to borrow your cover/stick idea- you're into something about not needing the ladder!

It's high time someone is working on the 'false-alarm' issue and once they perfect this, all the older ones should be outlawed since an un-powered smoke detector is as dead as the victim it was supposed to protect.

With the layout of my place I have the same kitchen problem. My solution was to put the detector in a bookshelf so there will be some smoke on the ceiling when it goes off but I can still crawl out under that if the worst happens. I refuse to leave it 'dead' so I hopefully won't be ;)

If anyone tries one of these newer ones please post and let us know the details.

Phil

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