What's That Sound?

On more than one occasion, we have been called out to customer's homes to investigate an alarm system keypad that's beeping mysteriously.  First of all, alarm systems are designed to report trouble conditions such as low battery, AC power loss, phone line loss, etcetera.  When a trouble condition occurs, typically, the alarm systems keypad (or keypads if there are more than one) will beep to indicate to the user that there is a problem.  The typical response is to enter the alarm system code to acknowledge the trouble condition.  Sometimes, however, we have been called out only to discover that the alarm system is not the culprit.  There are other devices in a home that can emit beeping tones as well.  Most commonly, smoke detectors that have been installed by the home builder (and are not tied to the security system in any way) can be mistaken for sounds coming from the keypad.  It is a normal function for smoke detectors to emit a periodic short beep tone every 1 to 5 minutes when their on-board battery gets old.  These batteries are required by building code to provide continuous operation if the AC power fails on a home.  Because the beep tone is short, it is difficult to pinpoint where the tone is coming from.  Alternatively, we have discovered that carbon monoxide detectors also emit a periodic beep tone if their on-board batteries get old or when they reach their end of useful life (carbon monoxide detectors use a chemical element which loses effectiveness over time requiring them to be replaced entirely usually about every 5 years).  Security system companies have to charge for a technician when dispatched even when the culprit is not the security system, so, it''s important to be sure of where the beep is coming from before calling for help.  Feel free to call us at 770-998-1713 if you have questions.  We're glad to help.