General Question

Aethelflaed's avatar

Can wildfires in my state cause my carbon monoxide alarm to go off?

Asked by Aethelflaed (13702 points ) June 28th, 2012

I have some kind of beeping thing going off in my house at uneven intervals. I think?? it might be a carbon monoxide alarm my landlord has hidden from me. (But where!?!!?)

In other news, my state has several wildfires raging at the moment, including a little less than an hour from my home. The beeping seemed to get worse last night when I had the window open, though I can’t be sure. Is there any chance this is a carbon monoxide alarm that is going off because of the wildfires?

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13 Answers

ETpro's avatar

I am sure they could depending on how close they are, the prevailing winds, and atmospheric conditions. Track down the source of the beeping, though. More likely, if it’s intermittent, it is a smoke or CO detector warning you the battery is low.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Most CO alarms don’t just beep. The have an audio alarm that tells you to “get out of the building” and into fresh air. Beeping only may mean you need a battery——Call the landlord and tell him/her to come over and replace the battery.
Then tell him/her you need to call the fire department if they don’t come over immediately. For real!

lynzeut's avatar

Just from personal experience, I would say no. I would have to agree with ETpro. You most likely have a low battery in a smoke detector or a carbon monoxide detector. Most fire alarms and Carbon Monoxide detector have a continuous beep rather than an intermittent one if they are going off. Also I had a wild fire burning on the hill behind my house, and had no problem with the Carbon Monoxide detector. Defiantly contact your landlord though!

P.S. Are you in Colorado or Utah? Those poor states are being burned up :(

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Aethelflaed's avatar

Ok, cool, thanks everyone. I’ll let him know. (I just hope that he knows where this damned alarm is hidding – I’m starting to wonder if it’s somehow behind a wall or in a vent or something).

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Garebo's avatar

I agree with the first comment, yes, certain pines under extreme heat will produce CO like anything oxidizing under extreme heat in combination with other gases.
Weird, how coincidental thing seem to pop up under times of panic or concern.
I just don’t believe in coincidence, though; so I would be watching the wind direction and forecast before checking on my home owners, then the nearest safe motel.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
JLeslie's avatar

I think you have a low battery in a smoke alarm, monoxide detector, or alarm system. If you were in danger it would not be a beep at intervals most likely it would be a loud constant alarm.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
gambitking's avatar

Haven’t seen this much moderation on here in a while, very interesting.

Anywho… Yes I’m in Colorado too, (as you must know hence previous correspondence with all my moving questions – thanks again btw). These wildfires are extreme to say the least, so having those tools in the home is super important. I think it’s doubtful that the landlord would have “hidden” it from you, and most will make it a point to ensure you know where they are, last testing date and what they sound like…. it’s odd especially if you’re just now hearing the beeping. I agree that it’s likely a fading battery. Follow the sound regardless and uncover it if you can. Contacting the landlord should be the next step.

If all else fails, you could contact a non-emergency number at the FD, and check this resource for help: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/466.html (Also call their hotline for advice). Regardless of the situation, definitely get to the bottom of it, CO is deadly and nothing to play around with. Better safe than sorry.

Stay safe during this troubling fire weather.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I had elderly aunt that bought a four detectors and had one of my cousins install them, only put up 3. So one was put in the towel closet and yes couple years later . . . BEEP . . . BEEP.

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