What do you do when you hear a fire alarm going off in your house? Do you walk around looking for the beeping alarm to change the battery? I know I used to. What's the point of a fire alarm if it doesn't alert us to fire but rather is alerting us to the battery charge? What is the point when we become so desensitized to the alarm that we don't first think, we should get the kids out of the house?
I worry about this. I worry because I've noticed a significant change in behavior since the fire. I don't immediately start walking around my house when I hear the alarm. No. The first thing I do is check for signs of a fire. Do I smell smoke? Is it hot? I walk outside. Honestly, the alarm can go off for a few minutes. I would rather it annoy the neighbors than be caught in a real fire thinking it was just a battery.
This brings me to another point about smoke alarms. You really need to test them once a month. They don't do you any good if they don't work. (And they really don't do you any good if you are annoyed by them and took them down.) Replace the batteries. Please.