How to Reset Smoke Detectors

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A defective smoke detector is not only annoying, but also often dangerous. If you have a smoke detector with an alarm that keeps going off, then your first step to remedy the situation is to reset it. When it comes to smoke detectors, they often come in four varieties: battery-operated, hard-wired electric smoke detectors that are directly wired to your electrical system, smoke detectors that are interconnected to various zones in your house, and smoke detectors that are connected to an external fire alarm. These are the steps to attempt to reset your smoke detector and its fire alarm.

Things You'll Need

  • Fresh battery (if working with battery-operated unit)


  1. If your smoke detector alarm starts to sound, first make sure that it is not because of an actual fire. If there is a fire, make sure you call the fire department and evacuate your home as quickly and safely as possible.

  2. If your smoke detector activates its alarm from something else, such as smoke from cooking or hot steam, simply fan the smoke away or open a window to clear the smoke out. In most instances, the smoke detector will reset itself and the alarm will stop ringing.

  3. If your smoke detector alarm begins to ring for no reason, many models have a reset button on the front of the unit that you can press and hold to clear the alarm.

  4. If you have a battery-operated smoke detector and it begins to chirp, it might be because the battery is dying. In this instance, simply remove the front cover of the smoke detector and replace the old battery with a fresh one.

  5. If you have a hard-wired smoke detector and it seems to be defective, turn off the power to the alarm from your circuit breaker, disconnect the alarm, and send it to the manufacturer for repair.

  6. If you have a smoke alarm that is directly connected to an external fire alarm system, call your fire department and have them come out and assist you.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are unsure about your particular model of smoke detector, contact the manufacturer.
  • Unnecessary tampering or removal of a smoke detector could be against the law. If you rent or lease your property, you could also be violating your rental agreement.




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