Your smoke alarm may sound when its very cold outside, or if a door adjacent to a heated area is opened, like in an entryway. This is due to condensation (water vapor) in the detection chamber. The sensor is a particle sensing device, so when water condenses in the sensor, the unit will go into alarm.
This battery characteristic can cause a smoke alarm to enter the low battery chirp mode when air temperatures drop. Most homes are the coolest between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. That's why the alarm may sound a low-battery chirp in the middle of the night, and then stop when the home warms up a few degrees.
The most likely reason smoke detectors go off unexpectedly is that people aren't changing the batteries in them often enough. In most sensors you might think of, the strength of the signal goes up when they detect what they're supposed to. Common causes of smoke detector false positives around the house.
Heat Detectors react to the change in temperature caused by fire. Once the temperature rises above 135 degrees F (57 C) or 194 degrees F (90 C), the heat detector will send a signal to an alarm panel and trigger an alarm.
Cold weather can cause smoke alarms to go off for no reason, the CSIRO says. Authorities say the best way to prevent this is to change the batteries every 12 months.
Temperature. Certain fire alarms are sensitive to heat and will go off if they sense a change in temperature (in fact, most fire alarms are a combination of heat- and smoke-activated).
Some smoke alarms also double as carbon monoxide detectors. When it gets cold outside, it's normal for people to crank up the heat. Furnaces, space heaters, fireplaces — these are some solutions to warming up a home.
However, when the evening temperatures drop enough to slow the chemical reaction of the battery, and thus the electrical output, the detector warns that the battery is too weak to function. And that is why they almost always wake us up in the middle of the night. Chirp.
Here's a simple guide: Smoke alarms alert you with three beeps in a row. Carbon monoxide alarms alert you with four beeps. A single chirp means the battery is low or the detector should be replaced.
A carbon monoxide detector is a must for any home and just as important as a smoke detector. CO detectors should be placed near all bedrooms; they're the only way you will know if carbon monoxide is affecting the air quality in your home, and can help prevent serious illness and even death.
If your hardwired machines continue to beep in the absence of a battery, it's most likely because the backup battery has become active. Keep in mind that a backup battery unit is only available with a hardwired device, so if your smoke alarm is battery-only, the chirping is coming from somewhere else.
Your Smoke Alarm Problems Are Toast
It's pretty common for a toaster to set off a smoke alarm. It's called “toast” after all. Cleaning your toaster and creating better ventilation in your kitchen are the two fastest ways to stop your toaster from shutting off your smoke alarm.
Yes, house alarm systems work when there is no electricity as long as there is a backup power source. But you should keep in mind that even with a backup, there is still the potential for the power source to go out, and the house alarm will go off if the battery dies.
Your alarm manufacturer may have included a blinking red light to let you know it's time to test the alarm again. The Batteries are Low: Usually accompanied by a loud beep, a blinking red light could mean the batteries in the unit are low. Consider adding fresh batteries and running a test to make sure it's working.
Power interruptions are common in areas where utility companies switch grids in the early hours of the morning. In AC or AC/DC smoke alarms, a loose hot wire connection can intermittently disconnect power to the smoke alarm. The effect is the same as a power failure. When power is restored, the units may alarm briefly.
Phantom fire alarms? You might have a spider problem. Is your smoke alarm going off even though there's no smoke or fire to trigger it? If you open the smoke detector (or have someone else do it), you might find the culprit: spiders!
Opening a window will slow carbon monoxide poisoning, but it likely won't stop it. There simply isn't enough airflow through most windows to get rid of the poisonous gas, and it could take between four and eight hours for the CO to dissipate entirely.
The most common source of CO poisoning is unvented space heaters in the home. An unvented space heater uses combustible fuel and indoor air for the heating process. It vents the gases it makes into the room, instead of outdoors.
Self Checks/At-Home Testing
There isn't a self-diagnosis option for carbon monoxide poisoning, but anyone with confusion or a loss of consciousness should have 911 called for them.
If the carbon monoxide concentration in the air is much higher, signs of poisoning may occur within 1-2 hours. A very high carbon monoxide concentration can even kill an exposed individual within 5 minutes.
Signs of a carbon monoxide leak in your house or home
Sooty or brownish-yellow stains around the leaking appliance. Stale, stuffy, or smelly air, like the smell of something burning or overheating. Soot, smoke, fumes, or back-draft in the house from a chimney, fireplace, or other fuel burning equipment.