smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

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matty_boston
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smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by matty_boston »

my daughter has an apartment that has her smoke detector going off usually during the night.

I happened again. They have called the landlord and he said he would come out but never did. He is obviously dragging his feet.

Looking for suggestions

1) Do I call him (which I have no problem with). Maybe he would listen to a man
2) call the fire department everytime it happens?
4) can you call one of the city boards to complain?

Other suggestions?

I feel this is totally unacceptable behavior by the landlord.

Thanks!
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by bombcar »

Is there smoke? Is it also a co or co2 detector?

In other words is it actually triggering on something or a phantom alarm?

Calling the fire department non-emergency line can’t hurt.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by bobn60014 »

If not hardwired, is it a low battery alarm?
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matty_boston
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by matty_boston »

its a combo. Way back when they called the fire department (one of the roomates called 911) and the fire department was mad for them calling

I told them the same thing to call the non emergency line when it happens again..
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by matty_boston »

bobn60014 wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 6:57 am If not hardwired, is it a low battery alarm?
it is hardwired

I really think they are cheap detectors and if you see their reviews, they have alot of complaints about these types going off..
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HueyLD
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by HueyLD »

Maybe the battery in the smoke detector needs to be replaced? It is possible that the smoke detector itself is in need of replacement. It is also possible that the smoke detector is covered with dirt and the dirt needs to be blown off.

Send the landlord a written notification with returned receipt requested. Let the landlord know that she will hire someone to fix the smoke detector and deduct the cost from her rental payment.,
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by Sandtrap »

matty_boston wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 6:59 am
bobn60014 wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 6:57 am If not hardwired, is it a low battery alarm?
it is hardwired

I really think they are cheap detectors and if you see their reviews, they have alot of complaints about these types going off..
Many "hardwired" smoke detectors also have batteries that need to be changed. When the battery level is low, it will chirp, then go off. If the apartment ceiling is dusty or the older "popcorn" ceilings, they also have a tendency to go off.

Suggest:

0 You have to "talk" to the landlord by calling him. Can you do that right now?
00 Certainly, the OP: tenant's father, can call the landlord as well.

1 Change the battery to a brand new 9 volt or double AA batteries. Wait and see.
2 Read the lease agreement on who is responsible for the smoke detector. It might not be the landlord. It might be the tenant at tenant's expense.
3 Contact the landlord about having it replaced.

(per huey upthread)
Send the landlord a written notification with returned receipt requested. Let the landlord know that she will hire someone to fix the smoke detector and deduct the cost from her rental payment.,
2 Replace the smoke detector. If she can't do it, call a handyman or electrician.
Sent the bill for reimbursement to the landlord.
Keep all conversation and communication recaps (write it out) with the landlord, and also regarding the smoke detector issue.

j :D
Last edited by Sandtrap on Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:14 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by luminous »

This is a landlord issue for sure. She needs to understand the tenant rights in her city first. Getting more stern with the landlord is a good idea.

I wouldn’t swoop in and run the response. She needs to learn these skills.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by david99 »

She should find out what her rights are as a tenant in her city. Is she allowed to withhold rent until this gets fixed?
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by BrendanP »

The easiest solution is to disconnect the current one and buy a replacement which she tskes with her when she leaves
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by RickBoglehead »

She should call the non-emergency number, explain it's beeping, they have no idea what to do, and landlord is unresponsive.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by EricGold »

1. Turn off main breaker to Apt
2. Swap detector. There are 3 wires, rewire the same way it is found
3. Turn on main breaker

End of melodrama.
City resources not wasted
End of aggravation, wasted time, and arguments
Daughter learns to be ever so slightly self-sufficient, instead of being taught to complain and fight over every nuisance in life
Last edited by EricGold on Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by matty_boston »

BrendanP wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:21 am The easiest solution is to disconnect the current one and buy a replacement which she tskes with her when she leaves
They are hardwired so not sure which one is going off. Maybe a different one each time
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matty_boston
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by matty_boston »

EricGold wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:32 am 1. Turn off main breaker to Apt
2. Swap detector. There are 3 wires, rewire the same way it is found
3. Turn on main breaker

End of melodrama.
City resources not wasted
End of aggravation, wasted time, and arguments
Daughter learns to be ever so slightly self-sufficient, instead of being taught to complain and fight over every nuisance in life
totally disagree with this approach. They are not licensed electricians and shouldn't be doing this to their apartment. They would be responsible if something bad happened...not touching that one
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by EricGold »

matty_boston wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:33 am
BrendanP wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:21 am The easiest solution is to disconnect the current one and buy a replacement which she tskes with her when she leaves
They are hardwired so not sure which one is going off. Maybe a different one each time
Process of elimination
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by livesoft »

I'd tell my daughter to deal with it herself perhaps by getting help from her friends who live in the same location and who are familiar with the local regulations. #adulting
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by nisiprius »

Just by any wild chance is this a Kidde-branded hardwired photoelectric alarm, using 9V backup batteries, with a circular button in the center surrounded by a ring of LED light that e.g. glows red to show it's the unit that reported the fire, that gives both a piercing alarm and a voice warning (FIRE FIRE FIRE)?

Three weeks after moving into the house we bought, we started getting alarms at 3 am in the morning. Several times a week. All initiated by the bedroom unit, which was obviously brand new, and had probably been replaced while preparing the house for sale. The other five were approaching end of life and we just called an electrician and said "replace 'em ALL" and ate the exorbitant cost of having an electrician do it. No problems since.

I am kicking myself for not recording the model number, but it was very startling: Kidde's own site has a place for customer reviews and this particularly unit was an outlier. MOST of the reviews were two or three stars, MOST of them reported false alarms in the middle of the night. And responses, by Kidde or others, were totally useless--standard "clean the vents" stuff when very obviously this one model was a lemon. Yesyesyes any model can have a false alarm but this was obviously something completely different.

Anyway, you should do what it takes to get the exact model number and look it up on the Kidde site and see if there is a stunning number of complaints. (Or Amazon, this same unit had similar reviews). That may not help you deal with the problem financially but at least you'll know.

I don't know if it's true but I've read that electric utilities do maintenance procedures at night so there are often brief interruptions or glitches. Obviously that shouldn't trigger an alarm from a smoke detector with a working backup battery, but if true it would explain why false alarms are apt to occur at night.

It is not the case that false alarms occur with all smoke detectors. In our previous house where we had three battery-powered alarms of one sort or other for at least three years, we never had one. We did have nuisance alarms from the one nearest the kitchen if any food came close to burning, for a while we called one the "bread detector" because for some reason it tended to go off when my wife baked bread. So far we haven't had a single false alarm in our current home since the culprit unit was replaced.

No idea how to deal with the landlord, but obviously the first thing to do is to buy a little calendar or something and record the time and date of every false alarm. I can understand that any landlord is going to push back on minor chores they think tenants ought to do themselves, so it's understandable that they will need some convincing.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by HomeStretch »

My town takes smoke/CO detectors seriously. There is a program where they will check installed detectors for functionality and placement per code for free. Your daughter should consider calling the local fire dept’s non-emergency line to discuss the situation as maybe they will do the same.

Never disregard a beeping detector or assume it’s faulty.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by retiredjg »

matty_boston wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 6:45 am 1) Do I call him (which I have no problem with). Maybe he would listen to a man
Do not do this. If your daughter is old enough to live in an apartment, she must learn to solve her own problems.

It is fine for Dad to give advice or gather information on her behalf. It is not fine for Dad to solve her problems for her.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by Joyful »

“Send the landlord a written notification with returned receipt requested. Let the landlord know that she will hire someone to fix the smoke detector and deduct the cost from her rental payment”


+1

In the written letter let the landlord know that the smoke detector is disturbing her sleep and peaceful enjoyment of her apartment. Let the landlord know the date that she will have the smoke detector repaired/replaced at landlord’s expense.
Last edited by Joyful on Sat Jun 08, 2024 8:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by nisiprius »

matty_boston wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:33 am
BrendanP wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:21 am The easiest solution is to disconnect the current one and buy a replacement which she tskes with her when she leaves
They are hardwired so not sure which one is going off. Maybe a different one each time
Get the exact model number, look up the instruction book online... or call the smoke detector's customer service online. In our case, there was a ring-shaped LED light around a central round button, and the instruction book said that the detector that triggered the alarm would glow red for X minutes following the alarm. We didn't know that when we got the first false alarm. The second time we got the false alarm we saw that the bedroom unit was indeed glowing red.

My personal guess is that one particular unit is the culprit. Obviously it would be very helpful to figure that out as soon as possible.

(You would think that it is so important to identify which unit triggered the alarm that there would be some way to do this with every hardwired alarm, but I don't know if that's true.)
Last edited by nisiprius on Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by funyun »

Your daughter needs to learn to deal with these things herself. We've lived in places before with smoke alarm problems. In one place, it turned out that they had installed one that senses not just smoke, but also heat, and it was so close to the kitchen that it would activate every time we cooked something - they replaced it with a smoke only one and all was fine. Another place, whenever one had a low battery (even though they're hardwired, they still have batteries), it took forever to try to figure out which one had the low battery - we ended up putting all new 9 volts in all of the detectors and that fixed the problem. Lastly, not sure if you daughter might have smart-alarms (like google smoke alarms), but those things are well known for going crazy and activating for no reason whatsoever. Seems like this will be a good project for your kiddo to investigate and figure out. If she has a crap non-responsive landlord, that sucks, but again, another good life experience for her to solve!
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by bombcar »

If you want to dig into it there are various kinds of smoke alarms and they have different quality, too.

You want the type that can detect smoldering fire and you want co detection.

Part of this is something the landlord maybe should fix (it varies by district) but there’s also a safety and a learning to grow up issue.

It is hard but as dad I would NOT call the landlord; because part of growing up is learning to do things for yourself. Advice, sure. A trip over to take a look? Sure. Helping diagnose and fix? Sure. But doing it all? I won’t be around forever.

Also hardwired alarms have batteries, some are ten year non replaceable. Even if it’s the landlord’s responsibility I wouldn’t be too askance with replacing or supplementing the detectors with good ones (the ones that trigger each other are nice). Especially if the apartment layout is such that a fire might be hard to escape.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by HueyLD »

Try to review the lease agreement/contract.

The contract may indicate that the renters are not allowed to be on a ladder because of potential liability to the landlord.

Anyway, the problem needs to be fixed and the landlord is responsible unless the contract specifically says otherwise.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by Kenkat »

We have hardwired smoke detectors. Ours are attached with a wiring plug / harness, so to replace one with the same brand, it’s a simple matter of taking the smoke detector off the ceiling mount with a twist, unplugging the harness, plugging the new one in, and reattaching to the ceiling. I believe ours are First Alert brand. I’ve already replaced all of them once and we will probably need to do it again fairly soon as we’ve been in our house for close to 26 years now.

It might be worth investigating how the existing detectors are attached. When they go off, they will typically have a light to indicate which one(s) detected heat or smoke, so you may be able to replace just that one yourself if they are attached as mine are. While it’s the landlord’s responsibility, it might be worth a little time and the cost of a new detector to get a good night’s sleep.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by ResearchMed »

HomeStretch wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:48 am My town takes smoke/CO detectors seriously. There is a program where they will check installed detectors for functionality and placement per code for free. Your daughter should consider calling the local fire dept’s non-emergency line to discuss the situation as maybe they will do the same.

Never disregard a beeping detector or assume it’s faulty.
[emphasis added]


How does one know with certainty that "this time isn't for real"?

In the town we live in (close in VHCOL suburb, major metro area), the FD and also PD are very explicit: [not verbatim] "We'd rather you call sooner than later." and "We'd rather show up if not needed than......"
I only mentioned the VHCOL aspect, as that may well affect the taxes and thus what the local services are paid (?)... and are those helpful souls happy or under lots of stress all the time (?).

However, what I just wrote does NOT mean that one should keep calling the FD under the above circumstances!

I'd vote for the notice to landlord to "please fix the dratted thing by <reasonable date> or we will, and deduct the costs". But first look at rental agreement to see if there are specifics about how something like this should be addressed.

Or ask the FD (NON-emergency number) "what to do". They are the ones who will have had experiences with other residences with likely faulty alarms.
Or maybe the health department in case they have recommendations (assuming detectors are required for safety in any rented residence).

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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by bombcar »

As a note if you have gas service the utility company will usually roll a truck with a sniffer if you call and say you smell gas or have intermittent smoke alarm warnings.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by Point »

matty_boston wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:33 am
BrendanP wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:21 am The easiest solution is to disconnect the current one and buy a replacement which she tskes with her when she leaves
They are hardwired so not sure which one is going off. Maybe a different one each time
My kids replace the batteries in all their hardwired detectors at the same time annually. The red wire is the common link between detectors and one going off triggers the others. Also, clean them with canned and vacuum.
Dust can be an issueZ
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by Nestegg_User »

Since OP indicated that it happens at night, not intermittantly during the day as well, that suggests that it could be caused by small spiders at the vents as they build their web. Hence, vacuum (not spray) to remove the critter and the web and not have it block the beam.
verify that there are newer batteries in them (I replace all at same time and have the date marked on the battery... yeah, I'm also the one that has their septic pumped regularly BEFORE any problems and also check the health of their car batteries before problems (glad I did on spouse's as it was poor but not yet showing problems)

Age can be an issue, but those would give beeps throughout the day; life is usually ten years but could be shorter on some brands, and should be seen on some manfacturing date on the device.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by WillRetire »

I would be concerned about carbon monoxide (CO). It is odorless and very dangerous. If the alarm is designed to detect smoke and CO, the fact that it is detecting something or malfunctioning (either way) is dangerous.

Advise your daughter & her roommates to buy a plug-in smoke detector & carbon monoxide detector, one per room. Small price to pay for safety. Install them immediately. Remove them when they move out.

Meanwhile, if the ones provided by the landlord are malfunctioning OR detecting something, the landlord needs to respond ASAP.

If the residents can access it and the lease permits it, change the battery.
But also, still report it to the landlord making note of when it occurred & when you reported it.

If no response from the landlord, they should write a letter with all specifics. Then to local authorities if not resolved.

Do not live in an apt without working smoke detectors and (where applicable with gas appliances) CO detectors. Buy some today and install them!
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by sailaway »

Teach them to reach out to the local tenant's association. They are generally the best resource for advice given the local laws. Never suggest withholding rent or sending the landlord a bill in lieu of rent without being aware of the local laws.

Also, they should make sure any repair requests with the landlord are done by written communication, as that is defined by the lease and/or local laws. Sometimes an online request counts, sometimes it doesn't. But the clock for tenants' rights almost always starts with an official notification that a phone call, text or email may not fulfill.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by testing321 »

We have hardwired smoke detectors and about a decade ago they starting going off one night for a minute or two while we were sleeping. I read the manual and it said that the detector that was causing the alarm would have a red blinking led light. Well, lots of running around at 3am one night revealed that detector. The next day I stood on a stepladder, twisted it to release it from the base on the ceiling, pulled off the cover and inside was a silverfish running around.

These were BRK detectors that you could unplug from the wiring. When I replaced them a few years later, I found a First Alert/BRK model that used the same plug so that I did not have to mess with the wiring. First Alert had a chart showing which detectors used which plug.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by 123 »

Knock on the landlord's door and report it when it happens. This applies even if the landlord lives elsewhere.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by clanky »

I'd unhook the thing and put a cheapo battery-powered replacement somewhere near. Hook the faulty unit back up when you move out. Problem solved for $8.00 according to a price I see online to buy a new one. :beer
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by Invest4lt »

clanky wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 12:15 pm I'd unhook the thing and put a cheapo battery-powered replacement somewhere near. Hook the faulty unit back up when you move out. Problem solved for $8.00 according to a price I see online to buy a new one. :beer
I would question this advice. What happens if there is a fire with major damage and the fire marshal or insurance inspector reports that the landlords device was disconnected by the renters?
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by Jeepergeo »

Verify that it is not a legitimate CO or combustion signal. Try blowing out dust/debris with a gentle spray of canned air.

Notify landlord of the safety issue and the need for it to be corrected and that the night alarms are causing distress due to lost sleep. Do this via mail with proof of delivery.

If not fixed in say two weeks, hire an electrician to come and make the repair. Deduct the repair from the rent due
and include a copy of notice, the delivery receipt, and the paid repair invoice.

DO NOT disarm or disconnect the detector.

If your daughter is living on her own, she should be able to take care of this without your assistance.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by Mr. Rumples »

Call the fire dept.'s non emergency number and ask if they have an ordinance requiring that smoke detectors be in working order. If so, advise the landlord. If no response, then take it from there.

https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/tit ... n15.2-922/ (see B).
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by Nate79 »

I would not live there without a working smoke and CO detector no matter what the landlord does. Go buy a battery one TODAY and stick it on the wall until the hardwired one gets fixed. Be responsible for your own safety - don't wait around until someone else fixes the problem.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by PottedPlant »

Buy a replacement. $40 on Amazon. Install the new one and move on with life.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by StevieG72 »

retiredjg wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:51 am
matty_boston wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 6:45 am 1) Do I call him (which I have no problem with). Maybe he would listen to a man
Do not do this. If your daughter is old enough to live in an apartment, she must learn to solve her own problems.

It is fine for Dad to give advice or gather information on her behalf. It is not fine for Dad to solve her problems for her.
I agree, my daughter moved to off campus housing last year and the home had zero smoke detectors. To make matters worse, space heaters are used in many of the 9 separate bedrooms. I explained to her that this was unacceptable and someone needed to follow up with the landlord. Problem was fixed the next time I was in town.
While some are saying fix it yourself, it may be against the terms of the lease. In my daughter’s situation it would have been.
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by JimmyJoeMeeker »

nisiprius wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:45 am Just by any wild chance is this a Kidde-branded hardwired photoelectric alarm, using 9V backup batteries, with a circular button in the center surrounded by a ring of LED light that e.g. glows red to show it's the unit that reported the fire, that gives both a piercing alarm and a voice warning (FIRE FIRE FIRE)?

Three weeks after moving into the house we bought, we started getting alarms at 3 am in the morning. Several times a week. All initiated by the bedroom unit, which was obviously brand new, and had probably been replaced while preparing the house for sale. The other five were approaching end of life and we just called an electrician and said "replace 'em ALL" and ate the exorbitant cost of having an electrician do it. No problems since.

I am kicking myself for not recording the model number, but it was very startling: Kidde's own site has a place for customer reviews and this particularly unit was an outlier. MOST of the reviews were two or three stars, MOST of them reported false alarms in the middle of the night. And responses, by Kidde or others, were totally useless--standard "clean the vents" stuff when very obviously this one model was a lemon. Yesyesyes any model can have a false alarm but this was obviously something completely different.

Anyway, you should do what it takes to get the exact model number and look it up on the Kidde site and see if there is a stunning number of complaints. (Or Amazon, this same unit had similar reviews). That may not help you deal with the problem financially but at least you'll know.


No idea how to deal with the landlord, but obviously the first thing to do is to buy a little calendar or something and record the time and date of every false alarm. I can understand that any landlord is going to push back on minor chores they think tenants ought to do themselves, so it's understandable that they will need some convincing.
I stayed in a sublet apartment and had random issues with new smoke detectors of the type you describe. It seemed like a little excess heat would set them off, like using the clothes dryer. Always poking it with a broomstick to silence the alarm.
FeralCat
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by FeralCat »

The problem with the detector really isn't described well enough to give advice. Is the alarm chirping briefly, or really going off and not stopping like there is a fire? In the latter case, the problem isn't the battery. Does it go off while your daughter is sleeping at night, or while she is cooking dinner at night? A detector close to a kitchen, or even water heater can give false alarms. There should be a visible date on the smoke alarm. If the date is 7 or 10 years ago, then the unit needs to be replaced. My jurisdiction requires detectors with built-in batteries, i.e. there is no need to change out batteries. These are required to be replaced at 10 years. I've disconnected a hard-wired smoke alarm that was chirping in the middle of the night, but I agree that I am not comfortable putting in a new one.
Tuxedo
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by Tuxedo »

How many times has she told the landlord? On what timeline?
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Beensabu
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by Beensabu »

matty_boston wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 6:45 am Other suggestions?
She should find a different place to live. She has a bad landlord.
"The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next." ~Ursula LeGuin
Billionaire
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by Billionaire »

I haven't read all the responses. I'll assume somebody suggested replacing the batteries, if applicable.
Turn off the electricity to the smoke detector and remove it. Are there dead insects in and/or around the device? Insects could be triggering the detector.
Lalamimi
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by Lalamimi »

call the landlord when it goes off...
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CyclingDuo
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by CyclingDuo »

matty_boston wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:36 am
EricGold wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:32 am 1. Turn off main breaker to Apt
2. Swap detector. There are 3 wires, rewire the same way it is found
3. Turn on main breaker

End of melodrama.
City resources not wasted
End of aggravation, wasted time, and arguments
Daughter learns to be ever so slightly self-sufficient, instead of being taught to complain and fight over every nuisance in life
totally disagree with this approach. They are not licensed electricians and shouldn't be doing this to their apartment. They would be responsible if something bad happened...not touching that one
As a homeowner, what EricGold suggested is a very simple procedure to perform (and none of us are licensed electricians).

Your daughter could call the landlord and say she is so tired of the alarm going off at 3 AM, she is about to buy new ones and send the bill to him for the expense of the units plus the installation bill from the electrician. Or at least suggest that option if he is willing to pay, she'll get the ball rolling. That might get him moving into action.

CyclingDuo
"Save like a pessimist, invest like an optimist." - Morgan Housel | "Pick a bushel, save a peck!" - Grandpa
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HueyLD
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by HueyLD »

matty_boston wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 6:45 am my daughter has an apartment that has her smoke detector going off usually during the night.

I happened again. They have called the landlord and he said he would come out but never did. He is obviously dragging his feet.

Looking for suggestions

1) Do I call him (which I have no problem with). Maybe he would listen to a man
2) call the fire department everytime it happens?
4) can you call one of the city boards to complain?

Other suggestions?

I feel this is totally unacceptable behavior by the landlord.
One thought just came into my head.

Is there a shortage of rental units in your daughter’s area?

If so, the landlord may raise the rent when the contract is up for renewal. Your daughter may need to be ready to move then.
FeralCat
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by FeralCat »

CyclingDuo wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 9:20 am
matty_boston wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:36 am
EricGold wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:32 am 1. Turn off main breaker to Apt
2. Swap detector. There are 3 wires, rewire the same way it is found
3. Turn on main breaker

End of melodrama.
City resources not wasted
End of aggravation, wasted time, and arguments
Daughter learns to be ever so slightly self-sufficient, instead of being taught to complain and fight over every nuisance in life
totally disagree with this approach. They are not licensed electricians and shouldn't be doing this to their apartment. They would be responsible if something bad happened...not touching that one
As a homeowner, what EricGold suggested is a very simple procedure to perform (and none of us are licensed electricians).

Your daughter could call the landlord and say she is so tired of the alarm going off at 3 AM, she is about to buy new ones and send the bill to him for the expense of the units plus the installation bill from the electrician. Or at least suggest that option if he is willing to pay, she'll get the ball rolling. That might get him moving into action.

CyclingDuo
Is it simple if the building is 100 years old with original wiring? The wiring in my house is terrifying, and I wouldn't touch it under any circumstances. Any other tenant shouldn't either. Small landlords often charge less rent, and raise rent less often if they get along with their tenants. They often take longer to make repairs because they don't have regular staff on hand, but in my experience, it is worth waiting a bit longer for things to get done.
exodusNH
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Re: smoke detector keeps going off in apartment - landlord igoring - what to do

Post by exodusNH »

matty_boston wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:36 am
EricGold wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:32 am 1. Turn off main breaker to Apt
2. Swap detector. There are 3 wires, rewire the same way it is found
3. Turn on main breaker

End of melodrama.
City resources not wasted
End of aggravation, wasted time, and arguments
Daughter learns to be ever so slightly self-sufficient, instead of being taught to complain and fight over every nuisance in life
totally disagree with this approach. They are not licensed electricians and shouldn't be doing this to their apartment. They would be responsible if something bad happened...not touching that one
If you replace them with the same brand, they likely have a plug that snaps in. You don't need to be an electrician to swap them out.

I just replaced all of the ones in my house on Memorial Day. (They were all 20 years old.) It took me 20 minutes to replace 5 units.
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