How about running a small gauge, two conductor wire from the smoke detector to a 9 Volt battery in an outlet box at switch height on the wall---maybe in a two-gang box with a light switch so it is prominent and highly visible and labeled?
Is is code compliant? It would keep people off too-short step ladders and make replacement or checking the battery level something anyone could do.
Patrick McGrath got Patent No: US 7.504,960 B2 March 17, 2009, REMOTELY LOCATED BATTERY FOR A SMOKE DETECTOR. So I know someone else is thinking about it. [VIEW PATENT AT: https://www.google.com/patents/US7504960]
Everyone has a nightmare SMOKE DETECTOR BATTERY story that this would solve.
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