Tim Walker’s Alarm

Winter is unquestionably the season of my smoke alarm discontent.

Not being terribly fearful by the cold I am not the kind of person who ensures his house maintains a steady 16-18 degrees overnight; oh no, the inside of my lounge has been known to dip as low as 5 on those icy winter mornings…

Which brings us back to smoke alarms; unlike me batteries don’t do so well in the cold. Indeed, batteries are known to become withdrawn and depleted by the cold; therefore it’s generally around 3 a.m. that the infernal mid-winter beeping drags me from my slumber.

There are four smoke alarms in my house all fitted out with 9 Volt ‘Heavy Duty’ Eveready batteries. One of them is beeping, that much I know. Once I’m up, out of spite I usually ignore the beep for the first while. As the morning begins to warm, of course, the battery appears to find some energy and the alarm stops beeping. I go about my day as normal. It’s not until that night that I am reminded of the low battery, smoke alarm issue.

The problem also is that a smoke alarm’s low battery beep is ubiquitous – it can be heard all throughout the house but one never can readily decide from what room it’s originating.

This game of early morning alarms might continue for up to a week before I track down the offending beep and fit a replacement ‘Heavy Duty’ battery.

Yes, ideally I’d replace all four batteries at a given time each year – ideally. I am much too frugal for that; which I guess explains my usage of substandard batteries to begin with.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Eve R Reddy

Photography by Uri B Ping

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