My CO alarm kept alerting, so I moved the alarm outside to clear it and brought back in and it kept making noise. I wasn't waking up and hauling out all 3 kids into the cold because it wasn't going off, per se, it was just making a loud annoying intermittent beeping, besides the secondary CO detector was still ok--aka the 9 lb geriatric cat was acting normally (we don't have a canary).
I called my husband at work to discern if it was a battery alert, a malfunction or something else, and he said if it were the battery alert, the alarm took a 9-volt and we were out. He said don't worry, but the alert kept coming closer and closer together. I use tweezers to pop open the back and it took 3 AAs and we have a whole case of those. I replaced the batteries and it stopped making the noise.
Sometimes I wonder why I bother to call him for advice, when I am obviously more mechanically inclined than he is.
So change your batteries regularly just like you do the smoke detectors, so you don't have to rely on the alarm annoying you in the middle of the night to replace the batteries.
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