While they mostly stay out of your mind, smoke alarms and smoke detectors play a big part in keeping your home and family safe. But while they’re pretty necessary, they can also be one of the most annoying things on this green Earth when misbehaving or malfunctioning. A smoke detector can also be a lot of work when put in the wrong place.
The Okay News About Your Smoke Detector Beeping
The upside is that the intermittent or insistent beeps or chirps you’re dealing with can only be caused by a small set of situations. Smoke alarms are fairly simple overall, and that means not a whole lot can actually go wrong. Let’s start at the simplest causes and work our way down:
- It could be battery issues. Even smoke alarms that are installed directly into your home electrical and wiring tend to have a backup battery installed to avoid outage problems. If this battery is bad or incorrectly installed, or if the battery seating is dirty, the alarm will beep. And it won’t stop until the issue is resolved. We recommend starting here: change the battery, and ensure the connection and seating is clean and secure.
- It might have gotten stuck. Modern smoke alarms have very tiny and simplistic processors and memory systems in them. These can, kind of rarely, get stuck with an error code (like a dead battery) which might cause the alarm to beep. This is still pretty easy to solve. There should be a test button inside the detector, often located under the battery. Unplug and dismount the alarm, then hold down the test button for a full 20 seconds. This should reset the alarm to error-free status!
- Do you clean your smoke alarms? Both types of smoke and fire alarms, ionization and photoelectric, are pretty sensitive. That means dirt in the chamber, bugs, and even a waft of smoke from an unfortunate dinner roast mishap can all set them off. It’s a good idea to use pressurized air cans (the same stuff you use to keep your keyboards clean) in order to keep the sensors free of debris.
Well then, we’ve got some less than great news. In this case either something went wrong in your diagnosis, or the alarms might be on their last legs. It might be time to replace! The good news is that smoke alarm installation isn’t actually all that costly, and is a quick job. But you’ll want to get it done asap to preserve both your safety and your sanity. It’s also possible that a professional smoke alarm repair can get the job done. Since that’s usually faster and cheaper we would recommend you start there unless you’re certain the alarm is fried.
Feel Super Educated About Your Smoke Detector?