Conversation

Being the responsible parents we are, we have Carbon Monoxide alarms in the house, because hey, it’s what you do. Right?

Of course, they have never gone off (knock wood), so you do tend to forget that they exist at all.

Well, yesterday one of those alarms decided that it needed to really remind us that it exists, and that it’s been ten years since we activated it. Because it’s now time to replace it.

Of course, nobody was home - except for the dog. Who is now traumatized by that beeping hell-box that suddenly decided that it was a good idea to tell everybody out of the blue that it needs replacing - at 95dB, just to make sure.

Kidde - I’m sure you could at least start out with just a mild chirp, instead of going full “the bark collar from hell” crazy. No?

23
90
410

Luna Macrosystems✡️🤖🏳️‍⚧️

@torvalds I’m quite convinced smoke/CO alarms have some of the worst human factors considerations, often enshrined into regulations.

The fact smoke detectors default to full high volume immediately and are hard to mute when you know there’s no real problem? No wonder people risk it and just disable them.

3
0
1

@torvalds
if all these alarms are connected and your neighbours have the same brand and accidentally they connect as well that's when the fun part starts :)

0
0
0
@torvalds It sounds like a mechanism designed by the same people who ensured that the "I want a battery" scream happens at 3:00AM...
2
1
9

@LunaRogue @torvalds

“Too much smoke! Alarm cannot be hushed!” —a malfunctioning piece of junk that was not, in fact, in the presence of smoke

1
0
0

@torvalds Wow. My dad once swore that he had a cricket in the hall but couldn't chase it down. It took him a week to realize that it was the CO alarm box. At 95 dB, he had known sooner :)

1
0
0
@torvalds Notwithstanding your canine situation, I must say that I am kind of in awe of any device where you can set an alarm to go off in 10 years and actually have it work.
2
12
33

@LunaRogue @torvalds

I would also like to add that I'm pretty sure I lose a little more of my hearing every time one of those damn things goes off.

Which they have done on many occasions, zero of which were justified by the presence of an actual fire.

How come there's no product liability for hearing damage? Because it's not measurable?

1
0
0

@torvalds whole house interconnected smoke alarms all installed at the same time - it's really fun when they *all* start reminding you at once

0
0
0
@corbet @torvalds my favourite are our smoke alarms which are connected to the mains power as well as a battery, and so the 95dB 'chirping' is very hard to stop, I nearly smashed the damn thing off the ceiling...
2
0
1

@torvalds Last, and only, time an alarm triggered in my home by mistake the official reset procedure turned out to be not working on the particular model I had. So I used a hammer instead of the device's own reset button. I recommend a similar backup scenario, just in case...

0
0
0

@torvalds Linus, I get the desire to add flavour to the post, but I'd rather you just not add an image than use the plagiarism machine to generate one

0
0
0

@torvalds and they say about fireworks... /s
btw - i have similar reason why i don't listen to music - my wireless headphones have that loud system notifications (low battery, mic mode, deaf mode, normal mode...) regardless of setted volume so for me it's better to life in deaf rather than with louder-than-school-bell notifications...

0
0
0

@ljs @corbet @torvalds
We used to have those as well, and they had a tendency to go off without a reason (the fire brigade was at our our apartment complex several times when they went off in some apartment while the residents weren't home - there never was a fire). They were hard to get off the ceiling, and while they seemed to have some kind of button, it didn't do anything.
I *did* smash one of them when it went off.
Eventually they were replaced with less shitty ones

2
0
1
@Doomed_Daniel @corbet @torvalds christ yeah they're a bloody nightmare.

The makers also try to make the means of opening them as weird and unintuitive as possible so when you're trying to do it at 3am having just woken from a dream about a flying macaroni monster you are as confused and annoyed as possible.

Surely the same evil people who make car alarms?
2
1
3

@argv_minus_one @LunaRogue @torvalds

I think the idea is "even you damage your hearing, you are still alive", and this is considered as a net positive.

On the other hand Mercedes makes your ears wince before a crash to keep your ears in good shape as much as possible.

1
0
0
@torvalds My condolences to your dog
0
0
0

@ljs @corbet @torvalds
also, you don't exactly want to be close to those things when they're beeping, certainly not for a longer time to try to figure out how to switch them off or open them - might even damage your ears, I guess?

0
0
1
@torvalds those are great since they require different batteries than smoke alarms and are positioned close to the floor rather than up high, thus they're particularly difficult to track down despite making the exact same sound
0
0
0

@ljs @Doomed_Daniel @corbet @torvalds 3 am?
thought smoke alarms should go off at 4:20

0
0
3

@bayindirh

That would kinda-sorta make sense if there was a fire, but burning some food on the stove does not qualify as a fire, and whoever built this building was too cheap to install proper stove exhaust.

@LunaRogue @torvalds

1
0
0

@LunaRogue @torvalds The first time I inserted batteries in my first CO alarm, it did a full blast about 5 seconds after the last battery was inserted. Almost threw it on the ground.

0
0
0

@torvalds : Funny part being that we are being so used to battery being low and having to replace them that when the alarm goes off in a room, nobody ever think it could carbon monoxyde or fire. Everybody just "oh now, let’s change the alarm".

Which may defeat the whole purpose of the thing…

1
0
0

@corbet In case it's not obvious to anybody, there's a reason the battery low alarm is most likely to go off in the early hours: it's when the device is coolest and therefore the battery voltage is lowest.

Many modern alarms have temperature compensation in their voltage-sensing circuit to try to counter this effect.

@torvalds

0
0
0

@torvalds Yeah that happened to us at like 3 in the morning. we thought it was the smoke alarm, so took it down. My partner was so tired, he was staring at the hole and saying, "It's still beeping."

0
0
0

@ljs @corbet @torvalds Speaking of mains power smoke alarms, they were replacing them at my previous workplace about 3 years ago. These were the old ones:

1
0
1
@jernej__s @corbet @torvalds literally looks like something from a post-apocalypic landscape
1
0
2
@jernej__s @corbet @torvalds but also, kind of impressive they lasted that long!!
0
0
1

@charlykuehnast @torvalds My wife and I had the same. We wondered for weeks where the beep every once in a while comes from. Until we realized it was the smoke detector in the hallway which wanted a new battery. 😂

1
0
0

@torvalds Isn't that the sound of "Congratulation, you're a home owner for ten years now"? awesome

0
0
0

@torvalds
Maybe Kernel panic should have similiar options? 😅

0
0
0

@LunaRogue @torvalds aww yes, our cats would go crazy from that as well…

0
0
0

@torvalds A friend of mine once made a mistake with the open fire in his log cabin. Two of his cats died due to a smoldering fire while he was out.

0
0
0

@torvalds Not to even mention the environmental disaster issue that is the 10 year hard coded lifespan of the device. Legally mandated planned obsolescence. I get that the sensor module has a limited lifespan, but there has to be a better solution than trashing the perfectly good plastic housing, electronics, power supply, battery, speaker, and smoke sensor just because the CO2 sensor is expired. Make these things modular and just let us replace the sensor element.

0
0
0

@torvalds That's why I am happy that my smoke detectors have radio and are managed by techem. That way they can replace them before this happens.

0
0
0

@Marco @charlykuehnast @torvalds I couldn't sleep from that beep. So it didn't take more than 10 minutes to remove it from the ceiling, and remove the battery. Of course I had no spare battery lying around.

0
0
0

@Doomed_Daniel @ljs @corbet @torvalds Use a magnetic assembly, and removing and reattaching becomes easy.

2
0
1

@geert @ljs @corbet @torvalds
they were installed by the landlord - and due to being connected to mains power, it had a weird connection to its base.
the replacements have a longlasting battery (no mains) and a button on the top (bottom? pointing towards me..) that's supposed to silent it - but so far they never went off

1
0
1
@geert @Doomed_Daniel @corbet @torvalds that is a great idea!

We inherited this system when we bought the house but could replace
0
0
1
@Doomed_Daniel @geert @corbet @torvalds yeah I found those buttons didn't do anything on mine, ffs
1
0
0

@torvalds last time ours did that, I made a point of putting a reminder on my calendar for a couple years before I expected the next round to happen.

0
0
0

@torvalds yes, we had that before. Now we have a model which has as a low battery sign a red blinking led before any acoustic signal.

0
0
0

@torvalds I had this problem and thought "oh I'll just get an Internet connected carbon monoxide alarm which sends me a push notification when it needs replacement." Now I have two problems.

0
0
0

@monsieuricon @torvalds I bet it only worked as designed because the thing wasn't connected to Internet and didn't receive any "updates".

0
0
0

@ljs @Doomed_Daniel @corbet @torvalds @geert button is usually for testing (which you are supposed to do regularly), not disabling…

0
0
0

@ploum @torvalds mine have short bips at an interval for the battery & contineous sound for the alarm, so that's no problem…

0
0
0

@monsieuricon @torvalds those little reminders seem to go off at the worst time possible: had mine ring me out of sleep at around 4am once.
Seems like it works somehow when a threshold on the battery is getting too low

0
0
0

@torvalds Poor doggie. I hope it's all right. 🐶

0
0
0

@argv_minus_one

You're completely right, but smoke is smoke, and these devices err on the safe side.

On the other hand, not having a proper exhaust is inexcusable on so many levels.

@LunaRogue @torvalds

0
0
0

@torvalds as a tinnitus patient myself, I can't deal with those devices. Because of the exact reason you mentioned. If they create a false alarm it's like 90dB. Which is insanely loud for pets and humans alike!

0
0
0