Single Woman’s Maintenance Tip #19 – Alarms That Don’t Turn Off
That burglar alarm system going off could be an intruder . . . or not! There are only a few maintenance issues that come with having a home alarm system. Having the alarm system go off for what will turn out to be nothing, and then not being able to TURN IT OFF is quite stressful. Learn how this simple 5 minute tip gives you peace of mind without a false alarm.
I came home one night after dark, and about five minutes after turning off the burglar alarm, a screaming alarm began . . . that I couldn’t turn off. It’s a bit nerve wrecking to have an alarm going full blast and try to think clearly. Of course, it’s 10:30 at night as well; I’m sure my neighbors appreciated this.
First of all, I turned off the alarm when I came in and I had plenty of time to check out the house and know it was clear. It took me a moment to realize I hadn’t turned ON the alarm, so it couldn’t be an intruder.
Secondly, the security system people did not call me. I called them and they indicated that there wasn’t an alarm going off (as the alarm distinctly blared as I screamed into the phone.)
“It’s the fire alarm,” they explained after doing a couple of system checks on their end as well as with me. They continued to offer support on how to get the alarm to stop, although that wasn’t in the contract. Funny, though, because I thought fire alarms WERE in the contract. One of those things for which you THINK you are covered, and you are NOT. They explained something to try and fix the problem and I followed up with some web research. So . . .
If you have smoke detector alarms hard wired for you house, you need to clean them periodically simply by taking a compressed air can and blowing around the perimeter of the exposed opening (as it is hanging in place.) Note: You will know this is a problem if your fire alarm goes off AND YOU CANNOT SHUT IT OFF!
Hard wired means there is wire, like your electrical outlets, that connects to the house wiring, in addition to a battery backup. ALL smoke detectors have batteries; not all smoke detectors are hard wired!
These smoke detectors may or may not be marked as one of the circuit breakers. You have to keep flipping circuit breakers until the gosh awful wailing of the alarms stops. Mark that circuit breaker for future notice if it is not already!