Have you noticed that when your smoke alarm begins making a short chirping noise every 30 seconds, it generally happens at 2 AM? It is no less annoying at 2 PM, but it is less likely to awaken you from your sleep. Knowing why your smoke alarm is chirping and how to fix it, may keep you from a sleepless night.
Check first. Before you ignore a smoke alarm, always check to ensure the noise is a FALSE ALARM. A normal alarm will give off long and regular alerts, while false alarms are short and regular. Either way, check your property for fire, smoke, or any other evidence of a fire.
There are several reasons a smoke alarm will send out a false alarm with a short chirping noise. We will explore each one and the solution for each. Two types of fire/smoke alarms are commonly installed in residential properties—electric-powered units with battery backup and battery-powered units only.
Stop Smoke Alarms from Chirping by Checking the Batteries
Both types of smoke alarms use 9-volt batteries; alarms connected to the household electrical grid use batteries as a backup to continue monitoring the air during power outages. Weak or failing batteries are the leading cause of these types of chirping alerts.
Manufacturers and insurance companies recommend checking smoke alarms once per month. Locate a small red button and push it briefly; expect a short, loud tone to indicate the alarm is functioning properly.
A blinking light on the alarm may also indicate a weak battery.
Fire safety personnel and insurance companies recommend replacing the 9-volt batteries in alarms every six months; expect to replace them at least annually. If you forget to replace the batteries, the alarm will remind you with a short, chirping alert every 30 to 60 seconds, often at inopportune times.
Locate the battery tray, open it and slide the old battery out. Install the new battery in the same direction you removed the old. Close the battery tray and push the test button to make sure it is installed correctly.
Dispose of 9-volt batteries properly to avoid contamination in the environment.
Stop Smoke Alarms from Chirping by Checking the Sensors
If the chirping sound continues, the next step is to clean the smoke alarm. Smoke detectors have a very small sensor that is constantly scanning the air inside the detector, searching for airborne particles in sufficient quantity to indicate a problem. The smoke alarm near your kitchen might sound when you burn toast in the toaster. The sensor cannot distinguish between smoke particles and dust particles; if the smoke alarm has dust buildup, it can trigger intermittent alarms. To check for this problem:
Find the circuit that controls your smoke alarms at the service panel and flip the circuit that powers your smoke alarms.
The smoke alarm face cover will usually twist or easily pop off. Remove the face cover.
The sensor is delicate, so clean it carefully. Use a vacuum cleaner hose or a small, soft brush to clean the sensors.
Smoke alarms located near the kitchen or bathrooms might need a damp cloth with a mild detergent to remove stubborn dust. Use extreme care and make sure everything is dry before restoring power to the alarm.
Replace the face cover and restore power by flipping the circuit on. Push the test button to make sure the smoke alarm is working.
Stop Smoke Alarms from Chirping by checking with Air Pro Houston’s Electrical Team
If the batteries are fresh and the sensor is clean, further solutions will require professional inspection and service.
Smoke alarms may experience electrical problems, such as loose wiring. An electrician has the testers and tools to quickly locate electrical problems and provide a solution.
If your smoke alarms are new, an electrician can complete an inspection without voiding the manufacturer’s warranties.
Smoke alarms will generally last 10 years or more. If your smoke alarms are old, an electrician can recommend replacement alarms and install new units.
We Can Help to Stop Smoke Alarms from Chirping
Our four decades of experience as a Houston Electrician and contractor AirPro Houston provides you with the skill and expertise to help with Stop Smoke Alarms from Chirping in your home and business.
We have financing options available with great options with up to 72-month terms with approved credit. Call us today at 281-880-8805 and let us partner with you for all of your electrical repair and installation needs.