I Have a Chirping Fire Alarm After Battery Installation


Battery-operated smoke detectors detect smoke from a fire. When they detect smoke they begin to emit a loud warning alarm. When the battery is low the alarm begins chirping every 30 seconds to indicate a new battery is needed. Sometimes the chirping may continue even after the battery is replaced. Or it may occur randomly for no apparent reason. A few steps can be taken to try and troubleshoot this chirping.

Things You'll Need

  • Can of compressed air
  • Remove the battery. Re-install the battery and put the smoke detector cover back on. If the beep continues, proceed to Step 2.

  • Locate the "Test" button. On some smoke detectors this may be labeled as "Reset." Press and hold the button for a few seconds. A tone will emit. Release the button. Wait a few minutes. If the chirp occurs again proceed to Step 3.

  • Remove the smoke detector cover or battery compartment door and remove the battery. Press and hold down the "Test" or "Reset" button for a few seconds. This will drain any remaining electrical current in the detector. Replace the battery and wait a few minutes. If the chirp continues proceed to Step 4.

  • Remove the battery and hold the compressed air can upright. Remove the smoke detector cover and hold the can a few inches from the detector. Press the nozzle down and spray out any dust in the detector.

  • Remove the battery and replace with a fresh battery. Verify that the "positive" and "negative" terminals line up to the matching "+" and "-" icons in the battery compartment. Close the cover or compartment door. Press the "Test" button once to ensure the smoke detector is getting power.

Tips & Warnings

  • It is important to replace defective smoke detectors as soon as possible. If the smoke detector continues to emit chirps or does not make a sound when "test" is pressed, even after all troubleshooting, the detector needs to be replaced. If you have any doubt of the functionality of a fire alarm, have it replaced immediately.
  • Do not hold the canned air nozzle too close to the components of the smoke detector as the force of the air could damage the sensitive components.

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