Electronic self preservation.

This morning, BLAMPH I was woken up by the BLAMPH sound of a smoke detector. BLAMPH We have three of these BLAMPH things upstairs alone and I BLAMPH wasn’t sure which one BLAMPH was causing it.

I open the door to the bedroom and listen for the next BLAMPH. This is a beeping chirp-honk that’s being made by a device that’s dying. It certainly want’s to die. As visions of me knocking it directly off the ceiling flash in my sleepy head.

This is apparently a typical smoke detector system. The detectors all get power (120v) as they are wired into the apartment. They have little 9v batteries shoved in them (in case the AC power goes out) and they watch the voltage of that battery to see if it’s dead. If you know anything about electricity, you know that you can’t obtain the voltage of a battery without draining a tiny little bit of it’s remaining charge. This should take years but it’s already happened to 2 of the detectors in our apartment. You know, the apartment we’ve only been at for 5 months. I force it off the ceiling, disconnecting it from house power. IT’S STILL BLAMPH’ing. It does this 3 more times until it dies completely in this wierd 2001 Hal style; BLAM-pee-achh-ooop.

So my question is this? Why can’t we program in self preservation? It defies logic to have my cell phone beep and buzz AND flash, telling me it’s running low on charge. When THAT ITSELF is using up battery power! I think I could get at least 3 more minutes of talk time if it didn’t go BEE-doo “Battery Low!” If the phone or the smoke detector KNEW that I was going to rip out it’s only remaining power source and fling it across the room – it would die a lot quieter battery death.

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