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Smoke Detectors and Family Pets

The batteries in your home smoke detectors should last for quite a long time. However, once they begin to noticeably lose their charge the detector will begin to beep. This annoying reminder can be quite distressing to pets. This is a page about smoke detectors and family pets.
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December 7, 2011

I recently had an experience with my dogs that I will never, ever forget and need to share what I learned with other dog owners for their dogs and other inside pets they may have.

When a smoke alarm's battery is about to die, it will beep nonstop until it is replaced. Some alarms are louder than others, we have two within our home.

Last year when one of the batteries died and started to beep, it was loud and scared all three of my dogs. I had to run outside to our detached garage, get a ladder, run back inside, climb up and remove the battery. It took a little longer than 3 minutes and my dogs were visibly shaken. I stopped the loud noise and it took several hours for my dogs to calm down.

Time passed and I took one of my dogs to PetSmart. While there, she heard the forklift in their warehouse area and completely fell apart in the store. She was shaking all over and was absolutely terrified. I've taken her back a few times and each time the same thing happened so I now shop at PetSmart alone.

I wrote on my calendar when to change the battery and actually will probably physically do so much earlier than I need too. I never want my dogs to be that terrified again. I felt like an unfit mother. It never occurred to me to change the second smoke alarm because it was wired into the ceiling. I didn't know that it had a back up battery in it.

Well to make a very long story short, I was taking a shower when it decided to die. All of my dogs jumped into the shower with me, literally, shaking. Ginger is 95 pounds, Emma 70 pounds, and Rosie 65 pounds. I had just put hair conditioner on when it happened. If this wasn't so sad, it would of been almost hysterical to watch. I rinsed off the cream rinse, jumped into a robe and ran out to the garage with all 3 dogs, soaking wet, fast on my heels to get the ladder. I left all three in the backyard and removed the battery from the ceiling smoke detector as fast as I could.

Thank God, I'm disabled and was actually home when this happened. If I was still able to work and this had happened while I was gone, my three dogs would have been extremely stressed, if not worse.

Afterwards, my now muddy dogs, each had to have a bath and it took several hours to clean up the house and bathroom after their desperate escape to get away from the shrieking alarm.

Due to this, all three now panic when they hear trucks backing up. There's nothing I can do, to undo how they react to the noise, but if I can help other owners and pets, this hint is well worth it.

By CPJ from Madison, AL

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