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Smoke Alarm Keeps Beeping - How to Get the Issue Fixed ASAP

Smoke Alarm Keeps Beeping
When there is no fire, a beeping smoke alarm can be a frustrating experience for anyone. Read the HomeQuicks article to find out how you can get the issue fixed without having to lose sleep.
Sheetal Mandora
Last Updated: Feb 28, 2018
Essential Testing and Maintenance
Essential, you should replace a smoke detector after 10 years. However, it requires regular testing and maintenance as well:
  1. Every month, use a broom handle and press the 'test' or 'silent' button.
  2. Vacuum the vents every year around the alarm.
  3. Replace old batteries with new every year at the end of Daylight Saving Time.

Working smoke alarms can provide early warning required to save lives and minimize potential property damage. While we sleep, our sense of smell is lost, making us quite vulnerable. And this is where a smoke alarm comes in. It alerts us if there is smoke from a fire near us, and gives us the much-needed help to get to safety. However, if the smoke alarm keeps beeping when there isn't a fire in the room/house, it can make anybody anxious and frustrated. If this is the situation in your home, read the information provided below on why the beeping is occurring and what are the steps to follow.
Possible Reasons
1. The alarm requires new batteries as the power from the old ones may have run its course. If after changing the batteries, the alarm is still beeping, it might be because it's hasn't been installed properly. The next logical step will be to remove the batteries, and reinstall it with care.
With New Batteries
  • First of all, be absolutely sure that there is no smoke anywhere in the building; if not your home, perhaps the neighbors'.
  • Once you are sure that there's no smoke anywhere in the vicinity, then you need to check the batteries.
  • Now you may have replaced the batteries recently, perhaps what you overlooked was the expiration date on it.
  • Most times, a smoke detector beeps when the batteries are dead or beyond the expiration date.
  • If the batteries are new and the beeping still persists, then you need to check the expiration date for the smoke alarm itself.
  • They come with an expiration date and if the date has passed, you will have to replace the entire unit altogether.
  • Now again, if there is no issue with the date, there might be some dust, debris, bugs, or spider problem. Overtime, dirt and insects can find a home in the area.
  • Remove the smoke alarm from its place and use a hand vacuum cleaner to blow out any and all dirt from it.
  • Last but certainly not the least, search for the costumer manual that came with the unit. Read it to see if there are any particular troubleshooting tips mentioned in it. If not, then you can call the manufacturer itself and ask for help.
2. There is dust and debris, cobwebs, spiders, or other insects covering the alarm. In such cases, you need to use a handheld vacuum or a blower to clean it properly. However, while doing this, do not stand directly underneath the alarm. Instead, take a ladder so that you are facing it.
3. The temperature in your home is changing and hence it's causing the alarm to go off. If the thermostat is set on high or low, it can detect the fluctuations and detect it as an alert. Or, if the alarm is near the bathroom or kitchen, it might consider the hot air as a threat and give out false alarms.
4. Perhaps while cleaning or testing it, you pressed the 'test' or 'silent' button, and hence the alarm beeps. In such a case, switch off the circuit breaker to the alarm, detach it, remove the batteries, and then press the 'test' or 'silent' button for 30 seconds. Next, you need to replace the batteries and place the alarm back in its place. Switch the circuit breaker back on and check if the alarm has stopped beeping.
5. Finally, the reason your smoke detector keeps beeping is because it's been 8 - 10 years since you've changed it. So, it's time to say goodbye to the old alarm, and install a new one pronto.
Installation Don'ts
Depending on the size of your home/apartment, you or the landlord has to install multiple alarms. On the other hand, while installing it, make sure that you don't place an alarm:
1. near doors, windows, ceiling fans, and/or air conditioners.
2. inside or close to the bathroom and kitchen.
3. anywhere closer than 1.5 meters to a fluorescent light.
4. where there are lots of insects.
After following the suggestions provided above, the issue should have been resolved. However, if the issue persists, you might need to call in a professional to take a look at it. There might be an electrical error which needs to be addressed immediately.
Man Installing Smoke Or Carbon Monoxide Detector
Smoke detector
Close up of a fire alarm system
Hand brake the fire alarm for at the wall
Working on Fire Alarm
Changing the battery in a fire alarm