How to Fix a Beeping Smoke Alarm

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Change the battery in a smoke detector on a regular basis.
Change the battery in a smoke detector on a regular basis. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

A smoke detector that senses smoke in a residential or commercial structure emits a loud beep to alert the homeowner or building occupants that smoke is present, likely the result of a fire. Typically mounted on a wall or ceiling, smoke detectors feature a 9-volt battery as either a primary or backup power source. Replacing the battery on a regular basis is an essential part of residential and commercial property safety. A loud beep will typically sound every minute or so when the battery is in need of replacement.

Things You'll Need

  • Smoke detector
  • Circuit breaker panel
  • 9-volt battery

Locate the circuit breaker in the electrical control panel that controls power to the smoke detector for a detector that is wired. Flip the breaker off to disconnect the power to the detector.

Place a step ladder under the smoke detector, if necessary, so the battery access door is easily accessible.

Open the battery compartment door.

Pull the 9-volt battery from the smoke detector and remove the flat battery plug from the end of the battery.

Install a new 9-volt battery into the battery plug. Snap the plug onto the battery securely.

Place the battery into the battery compartment of the smoke detector and close the compartment door.

Return to the electrical control panel and turn the power back on to the smoke detector. Flip the circuit breaker back on that controls power to the detector.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most detectors have a test button. After installing the battery, press the test button. The smoke detector should emit a sharp beep. This will let you know that you installed the battery correctly.
  • Safety experts advise changing the batteries in smoke detectors twice a year. An easy way to remember to do this is to change the batteries when the country goes on daylight savings time, and again when everyone returns to standard time.

References

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