By Shutup! - 31/10/2014 10:42 - United Kingdom - London
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Yikes. Might not be a bad idea to go out or possibly stay at a motel for a day. If it's just in your apartment I would take the batteries out.
It is a fire alarm inspection. Happens once per year to make sure everything works including inside the apartments. Do NOT call the fire department or you could be fined for it and it is not a cheap fine. Sorry it happened on your day off but at least you know you're safe.
I work in the fire protection industry and when we test apartment buildings, depending on how old the systems are, we do have to ring it on and off all day. On several occassions because of how old and massive the buildings and systems are I have had to ring it for 8 hours on and off a day for a week. The fine may just be in the one state though because the tenants got a notice and called on purpose to try and get us shut down.
My apt complex does testing on the alarms once (or maybe twice) every year. It lasts all day long for an entire week, Monday - Friday. My complex is massive, and it is annoying. At least I work 4 days of the week, and always make plans to not be home my day off when it's happening.