Thread Tools
Old 04-03-2012, 10:20 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Twirling towards freedom
Posts: 1,976
Why did ALL our smoke alarms go off?

At about 4:30 this morning, I was awakened by the dulcet tones of our smoke alarm. It beeped just a couple of times. A moment later, as we were trying to figure out what was happening, it did it again. The second time, I could distinctly hear that all the alarms (or at least several of them) were going off at the same time. I heard a fainter beep, probably from upstairs, then almost immediately, a louder one, probably in the hall, overlapping the first, and then right after that, the one above us. It was almost simultaneous, all in the space of a second or two, and then stopped.

We checked the whole house just to be sure, but there was no actual smoke or anything we could find that would have triggered the alarms. It was a normal night; no storms, not especially hot or cold or humid or dry. When I was a kid, our smoke alarm got set off occasionally by a bug crawling in, but since it was several alarms at once, a synchronized insect attack seems unlikely - and if that is what it was, we've got bigger problems.

Any ideas?
Old 04-03-2012, 10:45 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: San Francisco area
Posts: 16,113
Are your alarms interconnected line-powered, or individual battery-powered?

If they're line-powered, setting off all of them at once is normal. My best guess is a speck of dust wandered into one of them just long enough to trigger it.
Old 04-03-2012, 10:47 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Scenic Akron, Ohio
Posts: 426
Someone bought a "smart" system and didn't tell you? My fancy-nancy system does this (one goes off, they all go off.) It's a feature, not a bug :P It helps make sure the alarm is heard by everyone in a multi-level home. FTR, mine is battery-powered. This is true of many line-wired systems but you can get them in battery-powered systems as well.

Last edited by Snowcarpet; 04-03-2012 at 10:49 AM. Reason: added last sentence
Old 04-03-2012, 10:52 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 12,056
if the alarms are networked they will all sound together when an alarm triggered, that is a good feature. if the alarms are powered by AC (hard wired) then a power glitch might cause them to trigger.

an alarm might do a low volume beep if the battery (AC powered ones will have a backup battery).

alarms have a lifetime (maybe around 7 years) and need to be replaced.

consult your manual or company website for actual details on your system.
Old 04-03-2012, 10:54 AM
Guest
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,181
Mine are all hard-wired, battery back-up and linked. When we have power surges they will sometimes do the beeping thing that you described.
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:54 PM.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: [email protected]

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: [email protected].

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: dr drew narcissism police origin mad max supercharger 11ga steel long pinky nail masonic penny 70s computer font oldtv game chevron standard secret roads v versus vs tiny toads lolly pop guild hornby usa ayds ad big penis jokes alum douche do hitmen exist spider solitaire strategy centimeters pronunciation obscure actors magazine fed reply all bcc valet keyfob smelly slipper bamboo reproduction ace keys codex alera game tighter than jokes army batman dominate my wife baitbus girl font that looks like old typewriter got your ass handed to you remove old carpet padding when you donate blood do they test for hiv what pocket should i put my wallet in what is the difference between unlawful and illegal math worksheet why am i not thirsty how long can a house last edward james olmos scars how long to wait to blow nose after flonase life in charleston sc who said all things in moderation do sociopaths feel anxiety the luscher color test, a popular projective test, is university of michigan class rings how to cut rocks in half may we contact this employer fired greatest swordsman in history sex toy party ideas dream about getting a tattoo and regretting it fedex package in transit for a week what can replace nutmeg how to not be uptight hula hana of kamana whala hula bay half price books dvd can't get hose off spigot smoke detectors randomly going off jasmine tea with milk chicago to washington dc driving what liquor goes with dr pepper animals with green blood the night has opened my eyes lyrics buying a floor model tv how long does it take to get a letter