15 November 2010
One of these Honeywell Long Range Thermo Personal Weather Stations hangs next to the window over the kitchen sink. This is on the opposite end of the house from the bedroom. Last night, in the middle of the night, I awoke to the staccato sound of beeping. Thinking it was the carbon monoxide detector, I sprang from bed and ran into the hallway. No noises came from either the basement where the CO2 detector resides or either of the smoke detectors. What WAS making that sound? I discovered the source in the kitchen. The batteries in this station were dying and it REALLY wanted to let the household know about it. I flicked on the light and removed the batteries... AH, blessed silence. But now I was awake because it was cold and the light was on. Arggh. And why couldn't the batteries die in the middle of the day?
This reminds me of another time about 30 years ago, right after we built our house. Our contractor installed a wired smoke detector on an interior wall that went up to the attic. One night, we were awakened by the smoke detector going "Diiiiiit dit" pause "dit dit" longer pause "dit dit diiiiiiit". Whaaaaaa? We sprang out of bed and went searching for a fire. No smoke, no fire, not hot spots on walls. Nada. Nothing. Zilch. Needless to say sleep was out of the question for the rest of the night.
The next day on the television news there was a story about smoke and/or burglar alarms going off during the night. The culprit? Cold air. Seems that if the air temp is under zero, the contacts in the alarms contract (cold contracts and heat expands) and the alarms sound in an erratic pattern. Several nights in a row, this happened to us because the cold air from the attic seeped down into that interior wall. We finally disconnected the wired alarm and installed several battery powered ones around the house. It hasn't happened to us again.