Condo Blues: Four Ways to Repair a Beeping Smoke Alarm




Friday, July 25, 2008

Four Ways to Repair a Beeping Smoke Alarm

It is night. All of The Condo residents are nestled all snug in their beds, except for Blitzkrieg, the one-eyed wonder dog who is snoring like a buzz saw in my ear because he is sleepign under my side of the bed. Out of the darkness it comes.
“Eeeep!”
“Eeeep!”
"Bow-rowr- -rowr- -rowr- -rowr- -rowr- -rowr!
Eeeep!

Groggily Husband and I investigate the noise. There is no smoke. There is no fire. However, one of the hardwired smoke detectors is beeping and it will.not. stop.


How to Fix a Beeping Smoke Detector



The first time this happened, I called 911 just as I learned to do in case of an emergency in Safety Town. The firefighters came. Fortunately, they confirmed that The Condo was not on fire. Nor did we have an electrical fire in the walls. The firefighters said that I’d know if an internal electrical fire was the culprit in the The Case of the Beeping Smoke Detector because the walls of The Condo would be hot to the touch (good to know.) That was a relief! They said that my smoke detector is chirping intermittently because either it needs a new battery or it needs repair.

Four Ways to Fix a Falsely Beeping Hard Wired Smoke Detector or Fire Alarm




Four Ways to Repair a Beeping Smoke Detector1.Replace the old battery with a fresh new battery. Do not just remove the battery and think the smoke detector will stop the beeping as a quick fix. For most hardwired smoke detectors, completely removing the battery makes the false chirping situation worse.

With my fire alarms, removing and not replacing the battery makes all of the detectors in The Condo screech louder and more frequently (and sends the dog into longer and louder barking fits) as a reminder that you need to reinstall the backup battery which you can buy on line below if you reading this post in the middle of the night when the stores are closed.


Rechargeable batteries do not work well in smoke detectors. Use a traditional battery. It is a good habit to change the backup batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year at each time change. That way you ensure that, you will always have a fresh battery in your smoke detector in case of emergency.

2. Clean it. Even in the cleanest of homes (or Condos) dust or little indoor pests such as spiders may gather in the housing of the smoke detector and make it falsely beep. You can easily clean a smoke detector by either blowing the dust out of the detector using a can of compressed air (typically used to clean computer keyboards) or by sucking the dust out of the detector using a vacuum cleaner hose attachment. Don’t’ even think about using a Roomba to clean a ceiling mounted smoke detector. Trust me, it won’t work.

3.Check its temperature. If the smoke detector decides that the interior of the house is too hot or too cold, the temperature may make your fire alarm beep, especially if you use a programmable thermostat. If that’s the case, try raising or lowering the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees to stop the fire alarm from intermittently chirping.

4. Replace it. If you have tried the above solutions and your smoke alarm still gives you beeping fits every month or so then the best solution is to replace the smoke detector with a new unit.
I’ve used all of the above solutions to stop my fire alarm from falsely beeping with success. Including replacing the alarm similar to the options below:

Unfortunately, an intermittent beeping fire alarm has become an almost monthly occurrence here at The Condo. Last night was the final straw. I will be replacing the faulty smoke detector in my bedroom with a new unit to insure a full night sleep for all. And to put a stop to the cause of the dog’s late night barking fits.

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92 comments :

maggie said...

Mine did that months ago and scared the crap out of me. It was a battery thing. All better.

OIMS said...

I think smoke detectors have a mind of their own LOL! It always happens in the middle of the night.

Christina said...

Mine went from chirping to just going off full siren in the middle of the night. I replaced all the batteries, and they still randomly set off, so I took the damn things down.

They're still down, but we did buy two battery only ones to serve until we decide if it's worth the cost to get the hardwired ones replaced.

(And WHY does it always happen at 3am?)

Now how do you stop the chirping of the smoke detectors in the foreclosed house next door? The window is open in the empty house, and the chirping is driving me insane.

Anonymous said...

This is TOO funny... My smoke detector is going mad and it's 4:30am... WHY?????? I'm going to wake up my neighbors in a minute attempting to dust it off. Oh well! Not my fault at all! :) Thanks for your help.

Anonymous said...

Mine is hard-wired with NO back up battery. Does anyone know what I should do now? I can't throw the switch, it turns off too many other things. I do have an independant one hat runs strictly on batteries. I have a feeling, since I found mouse feces this week, that maybe they've chewed some wires in the ceiling?

Condo Blues said...

Anonymous#2 - Yes chances are that your smoke alarm is beeping because mice have chewed at the wires. First you'll have to get rid of the mice and then you may have to replace the smoke alarm. Hope this helps!

sandy said...

This is a great site for practical advice, my question is: Where do you locate the back up battery (If there is one) on a hard wired detector. My dectector has just started to bllep the way a battery powered one would normally do when the battery is about to run out. The light on my detector is green which I thought meant that everything was working ok

Condo Blues said...

Sandy - Where the backup battery is located depends on the make and model of the smoke detector itself. Mine has a small knob that opens a batty door on the backside of the smoke detector. Without knowing exactly what make and model you have I can't be of more help than that.

Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Same problem here. It's continuously beeping, at the best possible time. My son woke up at 3:00, and could not go back to sleep. Why does it do it at night? Wouldn't it be more sensible to make it beep in the daylight? When everyone is awake?

Anonymous said...

I have lived in this condo for three months now and have had nightly intermittent beeps constantly. All the hard wired smoke detectors have been replaced - twice. I thought I was losing it so it is great to know that others have the same problem. Now to look for spiders and mice! And, yes, it ALWAYS happens at night, sometimes 4 and 5 times. Pat

Anonymous said...

Have spoken to the smoke detector reps and they say they units can't act like this! Aside from replacing the units and batteries (and mice) has anyone actually solved this problem? I like the temperature idea as my beeping is slowing down now that it is getting warmer. How would one fix that for the winter?

Condo Blues said...

Anon #5 - When I raised the temperature on the thermostate it temporarily stopped my smoke detector from beeping that evening. It was a nightly accurance until I changed the unit.

Anonymous said...

I was woken by beeping 25 minutes ago (it's 3.20 am) ...

Can't get the cover of the alarm off to change the batteries, so am pretty much stuck till the morning (when I can call to get some help) with the beeping ....

Can't smell smoke and nothing feels hot, so am reassured that according to this and various websites it is a case of changing the batteries.

Aaaarrgggh!! Need some sleep.

Anonymous said...

Hahahah... this is ridiculous! For the second night in a row (last night at 3:30am and tonight at 2:45am) our entire house of fire alarms decided to go off, FULL FORCE for about 20 seconds! Not just the interval beeping, the kind that makes you jump 3 feet out of your bed and leave you with a freaked out feeling... yeah those!! WTF??

HP Laptop Batteries said...

thank you for the wonderful advice!

My some detector has been going off all day and the management call to see what is going on. The failed to tell me to switch the battery, clean it... they just advised me to turn on the air conditioning.

Well i changed the battery, cleaned it, turned on the air conditioning and hopefully that will put an end to the headaches from the beeping, a scared crying baby waking up after it took me hours to put her to sleep and pointless phone conversations with management!

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Wow! It has to be a conspiracy of smoke alarms nationally! :) It's 3:30am and all the units in my house are taking turns at chirping randomly. I feel like a mouse in a maze, running around trying to locate the unit that's beeping. Just when I think I've isolated it..."beep" (off in the distance of another room).

Sleepless in Seattle

Eric said...

I don't have anything productive to add, other than to confirm that it is indeed 4:15 a.m. and I've been trying to figure this out since 3:00 without waking my wife and baby.

Anonymous said...

Our fir alarm keeps chirping at night only. My wife is driving me crazy asking to go and change the battery. I told her that if it was the battery that it would have beeped durring the day yesterday But it didn't beep. It beeped last night. It did not beep durring the day today and now when it is time to fall asleep it starts beeping again....and I just got asked again to change the battery. I just installed a new digital thermostat so maybe that will help with the hot/cold symptoms that cause the detector to beep...we'll have to see. If not I ag going to call a technitian to change out/fix the control pannel. If that doesn't work I am going to change out the detectors to battery operated ones. If that doesn't work I am going to use the detectors for target practice at 100 yrds. Deer season IS coming up you know

Nancy said...

Hi! I just wanted to thank you for the helpful instructions. I had the same thing happen to me today and was at quite a loss. This really helped me figure out what was going on!

Poppins said...

My detectors (both of them) started beeping on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, of course, so I had to brave the traffic to go out and buy batteries for them. At 4:00 this morning it started again, so I took the blasted things down. I am still getting a beep and a low battery warning--from where? I bought two new detectors today and hope that I get some peace.

Poppins said...

I found a third smoke detector in the basement--who knew? Glad that I can now return the detectors that I bought. So relieved that peace has returned.

Anonymous said...

hey, this was really helpful, thanks: i had no idea smoke alarms would beep from a house being too cold which is what i came home to! (12 degrees celsius inside) after 15 it should quiet down. at least there's no dog to set off, although the neighbours kindly left a new battery on the doormat... :)

Grazia said...

I used the self-cleaning operation for my new stove (Kenmore) for the first time on Thursday. I opened patio doors, upstairs and down to keep ventilation going and I turned down the thermostat to 50 (it was about 35 outside which is warm for Maine). About an hour and a half into the self-cleaning cycle, the hard wired Firex alarm went off in the living followed by the one in the master, the basement and the attic (but not the other two rooms). We switched off circuits, pulled batteries and finally got the damn things to stop. I turned off the cleaning cycle, but everytime we tried to reconnect the smoke detectors, they started to beep, batteries or no batteries. It took several hours for them to calm down. They are back to normal, but wait this gets even weirder but I'll post that later. First question for this segment is, why does the self cleaning element, which did not produce any smoke, set off the alarm? No amount of fanning, exhaust or ceiling fan air circulation would quiet the damn thing. Opening all the windows didn't help either.

Anonymous said...

I have hardwire smoke detectors in my every room in my apartment. The one in my sons room always go off when his room gets cold. How can I fix it? Its a good thing he slept out lastnight. I also cant figure out how to get it off to check the batteries. The light on it is green. So I am confused...

Condo Blues said...

Anonymous #11- If the smoke detector stops beeping after you raise the temperature in your son's room, then its probably a safe bet that the lower temperature is making the smoke detector chirp, don't you think? Because, geez, I'd hate for anyone in my family to sleep through a beeping smoke detector false alarm or not.

Anonymous said...

In reading the comments, it appears that numerous individuals have the identical problem of hard wired smoke detectors beeping when the interior temperature falls below a certain degree and then having to adjust the thermostat upward which then stops this annoying noise. Unfortunately, no one has invented a detector that is not affected by temperature change when there is no threat of a fire. My thermostat will probably need to be replaced soon also because of the constant adjusting to quiet the dectectors.

Cliffl said...

Wow it is a consprirocy to beep when you are sleeping. Mine decided to start beeping at 7:00 PM.. too bad I work midnights. good grief

Anonymous said...

Uggh! The detector in my daughter's room is chirping ONLY when the a/c is on and below 75 degrees, and @ night {FLORIDA}.The other 3 are not. I will attempt to change the battery today, hopefully this works! Also as I recall the fire sprinklers systems co checked all the units in the condo complex in May. Hmmm shortly after this started. IDK

Jesse said...

Has anyone found a solution...? I am having the same issue, one of my hardwired smoke detectors, located in the basement, has the audible “nuisance alarm” going off, then at times stops, then comes on again.

I noticed that it more often comes on in the evening when my A/C kicks on... So, I am thinking it does have to do with when the interior temperature falling below a certain degree – when my central air is on. (Now I’m worried about cold winters setting off these chirps too!)

I am hesitant to attempt to “fix” or try different things (i.e. back-up battery) as there are three other townhouses attached and believe any “testing” will set theirs off as well. I guess I could warn them in advance but if there is something else I can try first I'm all for it :)

Any suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

it's 5:30 and the smoke detector has been chirping snce 3:30 - I gave up looking for the manual and came online to see what is going on -- I guess I'll start implementing your suggestions -- sleepless in Canada

Kate Donahue said...

8:29 pm on Friday night of my QUIET WEEKEND at home alone. LOL

Anonymous said...

Ok, mine too, in fact my two! The one in my bedroom did it about a year ago, it now lives in the garage and stopped beeping after about a week (no hard wire, no battery), and the one in my hall way just started - 3-30. It too lives in the garage now.

Has anyone spoken to the manufacturers? Could we all meet outside the CEO's house at 3-30 in the morning and set off his fire alarms? Then again at 4-30 and again at...

Tazy said...

I'm think it's a giant con designed to make money for the manufacturers. Our hardwired alarms have been going off in the middle of the night for 20 years. We're on our 3rd set of new replacement detectors... same problem. ALWAYS in the middle of the night.

The kicker: our neighbor's home was gutted by a fire when the house was only 7 years old. They had identical detectors to ours. The alarms never sounded during the actual fire. When did they go off? Two days later (in the middle of the night), after firemen left windows open to air out the house. - Thanks for the warning! (Luckily, nobody was home, so no one was hurt.)

What a scam. They aren't smoke detectors. They're dust, temperature & condensation detectors.

Freezing In North Idaho said...

My basement detector (wired/battery) started chirping every minute at around 3am just in the last few days during the kids christmas holiday vacation. So of course they've been up at the crack of dawn every morning instead of sleeping in. I pulled it down and stuck my tongue on the 9v battery and it seemed good.

From the comments here it appears that when a battery is *near* the detectors low power level limit, where the detector would normally chirp, but not low enough to make it chirp, the cold air during the coldest time of the night (3am) causes the battery voltage to drop just enough to make it start chirping. As the ambient room temp increases ,back to normal, due to a heater kicking on or morning sun, it warms the battery causing the voltage in the battery to go up enough to stop the chirping during the day.

I disconnected the wired power, removed the battery, pressed the test button to drain all the power from the internal capacitor and replaced the batter with a new one and so far no problems.

Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

I have hardwired smoke detectors that also have a back-up battery. I've been through the chirping thing (which always starts at 3:00 am), and it was always just the batteries being low. At my house, if one of the batteries is low, all of them will chirp. So I always replace them all at the same time. I just did that this past November.

At 3:00 am (again the perfect timing...at least it wasn't a weekday) this past Saturday morning, all of my smoke detectors starting going off...and I don't mean the chirping. I mean full force going off. It was deafening. I looked around the house and didn't find anything wrong. After about 10 minutes, the detectors stopped.

I just thought "okay whatever" and went back to bed with my ears ringing like crazy. Then after about 15 minutes they all started going off again. I went out to the garage and got the ladder and started going around replacing batteries. I have a 2-story house and my only ladder weighs like 85 lbs. Getting it from room-to-room really sucks. I have 7 detectors. At one point I fell halfway down the stairs with the ladder on top of me.

After about 10 minutes, all the detectors stopped, and I finished replacing all the batteries.

At this point, I was up. There was no going back to bed for me. So I started getting ready for the day. I was just about to hop in the shower when all the detectors started going off again.

I was tired and angry. I got up on a stool and ripped the detector in my room from the ceiling leaving the three wires just hanging there. I reached up to cap the wires and was electrocuted. I was knocked off the stool and hit my shoulder and elbow on my desk.

So I cut off all the power to the house, got my ladder again and one-by-one dismantled every smoke detector in the house disconnecting them from the house power supply and capping the wires in the ceiling.

I plan on getting some simple battery operated detectors today. If they try to pull any of that kind of crap, I'll just smash them to bits with a hammer and get new ones. I'll never use hard-wired detectors ever again. If I move to a new home that has hard-wired detectors, the first thing I do will be to disconnect all them and buy new battery operated detectors.

I'm not so worried about a fire. My smoke detectors were much more dangerous and disruptive than any fire could be.

Anonymous said...

We have 4 smoke alarms in our condo. One is in an elavator shaft. The others are in inaccessible places. For the last 3 months, we have paid over a $1000 to get elevator repairmen and electricians to stop the chirping all over the condo. These things chirp with new batteries, old and dead batteries. They screech, when we try to dust them.

Does anyone make a smoke alarm that does not chirp or one that can be unplugged without turning off the lights in the entire condo!

Annalea said...

Here's one more for you: high humidity. We've had ours actually go off (full volume) when they're outside a steamy bathroom door that's just been opened. Otherwise, if it's a cool night and the humid air comes in off of the lake in a sudden draft, it'll set one or two of them to beeping or blaring.

Just sayin'. ;o)

Thanks for the great posts!

Anonymous said...

This just happened to me at 8 am, so it is possible for smoke detectors to go crazy during the day, not just at night. I replaced the battery and so far it hasn't beeped. Fingers crossed...


Thank you for all the info, I had no idea how to fix it!

Anonymous said...

My stupid hard wired smoke alarm has been chirping for 3.5 hours!! Have replaced batteries and cleaned it. What next? Spend money on an electrician or just replace it under the assumption that it is 'faulty'. What gets me, is it is only 18mths old!! Grrr...
Thanks for all the advise everyone.

cathy said...

One of my hard wired only smoke detectors started chirping this afternoon. After reading all advice and finding out how to get the cover off, dusting with compressed air checked make and model for online help (only maintenance directions)' it is still chirping. What else is there to do? Can I remove it without electrocuting myself? I did leave messages with the handyman, the alarm service company and the electrician. Is everyone on vacation? Shall o check I to a hotel, with my dog, for the night?

Jay Kar said...

my alarms go off at unearthly hours. i just changed the batteries of all of them at the same time (do this every year early summer time). really dont know what the issue is. my wife & i wake up with pounding hearts and its really difficult to sleep then. no idea which one has a problem as all of them seem to go off at the same time. sometimes they stop after few secs. sometimes i have to press the test button on any one of them to make them stop. all the alarms are connected. i live outside charleston in south carolina. what factors trigger such incidences & how can they be avoided ? i never had a issue for last 5 years after i purchased this house. any battery chirp issue and I used to replace batteries in all. email me your answers at jaihind77@indiatimes.com

Anonymous said...

My hard-wired detector started "chirping" after 2 years of no problem. I will ck for a battery, clean it, ck for mice chewing wires. The noise is NOT the loud alarm noise, but a quick "chirp" about 2 seconds long. Still loud, though. For folks who can't get the cover off at 3am, we pushed one of the 2 buttons on it, and it did stop the chirping for exactly 3 hours, when it will start again. Look for a button to push near the indicator light.

Anonymous said...

My wired smoke alarm is driving me insane it is chirping every few seconds and does not have batteries i hear it at night. I think they do them during the day to I just think we all notice it more at night. My kids hate the chirping but I can't figure out how to stop it lol

Anonymous said...

Ours is "chirping", too, and we have put 4 different new batteries in it. I've got the heat on, so maybe that will help; but, the temp in our house was only about 63F. The big issue for me is, who do we call when we have this problem? My HOA office doesn't even know! Any suggestions? Thanks for this blog & all the comments; it's so good to know we aren't alone!

Anonymous said...

We are having this same issue with our hardwired smoke detectors. First I will give you the quick solution, turn all your ceiling fans on or wave something under the detector, this shuts them off in a matter of seconds. Now, the first two times this happened the house temperature had fallen to about 63f while we were out of town, but recently they have been going off no matter the temperature at all hours. We replaced all the batteries so complexed as to why they ate doing this.

WeeBGB said...

I have taken my hard-wired detector down, taken the battery out of it, after it continued to chirp "with" the battery in it, and it's STILL CHIRPING!!!! It's not connected to "anything"!!!! LMAO!!!!

So now what???? Shoot it? :O)

WeeBGB said...

Hmmm.....let's try this again! My first attempt at leaving a msg. didn't go through! LOL!

We have a hard-wired detector with battery. It started chirping! Replaced battery, and before we could get it put back, it started chirping. I took the battery out of it, so now it's not connected to ANYTHING, and it's STILL CHIRPING!!!! LMAO! Fortunately, it doesn't seem to bother our dog! But it's driving US insane! Now, I ask you, why in the world would it continue to chirp (for hours now) when it's NOT HOOKED UP? Very frustrating! I'm guessing I'll have to shoot the damn thing! LOL!

Any other suggestions???? Very weird, indeed! :O)

Duncan Rydall said...

Ontario Fire Inspector.

If your smoke alarm is chirping:
Change battery
If is still chirping:
Possibly end of life signal, replace smoke alarm.
Replace hard wired smoke alarm with:
Hardwired with battery back up.
If steam sets it off:
Relocate smoke alarm or exchange it for Photoelectric smoke alarm.

Have an escape plan, its not about the kids staying in the lines colouring, it is about planting emergency procedures in their heads so that if a real emergency occurs when the smoke alarm activates the kids and family will know what to do. Protect the irreplacable, your family. Make and practice your escape.
CFPO Duncan Rydall

WeeBGB said...

Thank you, Duncan! This is VERY good and sound advice! :O)

I finally figured out our predicament! Apparently, the people who owned our home before us wanted to protect this house!!!! They installed 5 smoke alarms in a 2 bdrm/1200 sq.ft. house! I found one of the alarms, that my partner had taken down (3 alarms within about 5 feet of each other, LOL,) and he put it in a drawer. I guess the battery finally died in it so it kept beeping! Once we replaced the battery and re-installed it, along with all of the other 4, no more chirping! YAAAYYY!!!!!! So, we are now good to go for a few more months! :O) AND we are definitely assured of being alerted if there is a fire! :O)

Also, on another site, I read that if the batteries are not installed properly it would cause the chirping, too, so that might be something else to think about if you have that problem!

When we lit our first fire in our new woodstove, a couple of months ago, there was a lot of smoke from the paint, we think, and it set all 5 alarms off at once! LOLOL! So we know there is NO WAY we will miss any future smoke/fire emergencies!

Thanks to everyone who has given advice on this comment! This is a VERY IMPORTANT topic to be knowledgable about!

Hope you all have a safe and Happy New Year! :O)

Duncan Rydall said...

WeeGBG

Also Smoke Alarms have a 10 year life span, some are only 7 years...

As for your new wood stove pipes...next time you replace the pipes; take them outside to a SAFE area and crumple newpapers inside and then lite the paper. The heat from the newspaper fire will burn off the oils on the new pipes and once they have cooled off...you can install the pipes indoors and avoid the new stove pipe burning smells.


Stay Safe
Duncan Rydall CFPO

Anonymous said...

ALWAYS make sure the battery is installed polarity correct. Otherwise the damn thing will chirp until hell freezes over or you knock it off the cieling with a 9 iron!

Anonymous said...

IT MADE ME MAD WHEN I HAD THE SAME PROBLEM THAT EVERYONE SAID TO "CHANGE THE BATTERY," AS IF I HADN'T THOUGHT OF THAT. THE LIKELY ANSWER IS TO SHUT OF THE POWER TO THE ROOM IT'S IN FOR A SECOND (VIA CIRCUIT BREAKER) AND IT SHOULD STOP.

Anonymous said...

All of the hard wired smoke detectors in our house have started chirping between 2:30 & 4:00 in the morning. We've changed the batteries & reset the damn things and they still chirp. Guess we'll have to try cleaning them & shuting off the power & hope that stops the madness; if not - time for new ones.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to say this, but these posts are hilarious! I can only laugh as we are experiencing many of the issues previously posted and still having hard wired chirping. My son has not slept for 3 days and he is ticked! My curiosity is peeked that other detectors start going off when one has a battery issue. Why is that? Is there some other source that tells them all to freak out. Ions- how do you diffuse ions? The Green lights are on, battery changes have been done, chirping all night and during the morning, but they get tired in the afternoon and take a break to re-energize and prepare for another all nighter. I have no idea how many alarms we have in the house, so I'm hoping we don't have to hunt them all down. One is in a 24 foot tower - why anyone would ever put one up there I have no idea as we will have to construct scaffolding to get to it or rope a kid to the chandelier and have him shoot one of those James bond hook thingy's up to the ceiling then arm pull himself up to yank the thing out. By the sounds of it he will then have to take it out back and shoot it to make it stop, but the other detectors in the house might find out and conspire against us, so maybe we will just have put a muzzle on it and to put it in a sound proof box in the garage until we move out which may be many years away.

The temperature, dust and back up battery are comments I have found helpful, and will check into those. Thanks. Best of luck to you all, and if anyone cracks this case, preferably without replacing all of them, let us know.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and btw, the constant chirping has scared the gecko and the crickets he eats into complete silence!

Anonymous said...

I have hardwired with battery backup. after going through most of this my brother called me back. His suggestion worked. if one battery is bad they will all go off because they are wired together. unplug all of them and seperate them throughout the house. only one should go off at this point and then change the battery in that one and you are good. I had a new/old battery that was bad and tested it on a multimeter and it was the same as the others - no help. his trick worked

Anonymous said...

Give this a try! We tried pulling out the little metal prong that the battery connectors touch, just a little so it was bent a little more out, and that seems to have done the trick. My boyfriend used his multitool or a screwdriver to pull it out just a little bit. Seems like the batteries weren't completely connecting with the detector.

Anonymous said...

just spent a bad night after we unplugged every single smoke detector in the house and the one in our bedroom STILL is making a two-signal piercing signal, not the little chirp that means it has a low battery. it's up in the ceiling, just in the one room, and we can't get it off!! rough night...woke up our kids, we moved to a different room, and the dogs are just freaked. what is that about??

WeeBGB said...

Well, for start, I'd shut off the connection to the smoke alarms at the electrical box until you can get it fixed. Not a clue why the "empty" connection in your ceiling is still going off. I feel for ya!

Anonymous said...

Why on earth would people design smoke alarms so that they go off when a room is too cold?

Carol said...

Thank you for all of the tips, and especially for the odd comfort at 3 a.m. (as that is when our smoke detector started chirping). Ours is on a 12 ft. ceiling in our bedroom, so we had to do something about it. Replacing the battery seems to have worked, but I am grateful for all of the other ideas... for next time.

Anonymous said...

HELP..... it is good friday and nothing is open!!! my smoke alarm has been going off since 5:00...... luckily it is only a beep every 3 minutes instead of a beep beep beep beep beep beep 24 7. i tried removing the lid to change the battery but it is not comming off. The alarm says to slide but it just isnt. i have also tried turning it, pulling it and ripping it off but it is STILL not working!! Uhhhhh help!!! Can anyone tell me how to remove this stupid lid!!!!

Anonymous said...

Mine just starting doing this...guess what? It's 3 am!

Anonymous said...

Lol! I'm in!

adam said...

I have hardwired with battery backup. after going through most of this my brother called me back. His suggestion worked. if one battery is bad they will all go off because they are wired together. unplug all of them and seperate them throughout the house. only one should go off at this point and then change the battery in that one and you are good. I had a new/old battery that was bad and tested it on a multimeter and it was the same as the others - no help. his trick worked

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if fire alarms have light sensors? It was chirping and I turned on the light and it stopped. It's almost 5 am!

Anonymous said...

I have a smoke detector that is chirping...but is located up on a 20 ft. high ceiling. I can't get to it to replace the battery like I have done with the other smoke detectors in the house. If I just let it go, will the chirping eventually stop once the battery is completely dead?

Anonymous said...

mine is at two. its driving me nuts

Anonymous said...

I am up and can't go back to sleep. My battery only smoke dectectors -- 2 of them in 2 different parts of the house keep going off -- really loud! So -- I just called the Fire Department -- the nice guys that they are -- woke the whole neighborhood up -- and they said that all is okay, no smoke but I should call an electrician to check out the entire house. My batteries are new, my dectectors are clean, and the temp in the house is pretty cool. I never post anything so you all know my desperation and now inability to sleep. And of course my flight leaves at 7 am in the morning! To be continued..

Anonymous said...

I would suggest buying new batteries again because I have found that "new" batteries are not that reliable either! If that doesn't work, buy new smoke detectors!

Good luck! :O)

Anonymous said...

Hi! :O)

I'm curious as to the outcome of your problem. We also have 20' ceilings, but our smoke detectors fortunately are located where we can reach them with a normal ladder. I'm wondering how you resolved your problem as we have a ceiling fan at the very peak of our 20' ceiling and also, our ceilings are cathedral style so putting up a ladder seems like a HUGE safety hazard! We are fortunate that the light bulbs have not burnt out yet, but it is inevitable! LOL! So, your post has me curious as to how you got to your smoke detector, if you ever did. :O)

Thanks for your help! Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

********What ever you do, do not take them down and leave them out! Mine kept going off among many other electrical outlet/breaker problems and 3 months ago my whole house burnt down and I lost everything including my cats. Luckily I left one plugged in or we might not be here today. Most likely the problem in your situation is the battery needs to be replaced. There is usually a red or green flashing light and from the detectors I seen, the red means low battery. So grab a chair or step ladder and replace the 9 volt battery. IF you were still having concerns then during the day, contact your local fire department, they will come and do a safety check for you. Oh and for you 3 am people getting woke up, I read an article about that being a common problem with Duracell batteries if you wanted to do a google search and check on that.

Anonymous said...

Here I sit awake at 12:30 reading this and listening to my smoke alarm.

Anonymous said...

2:15am.. Chirping from the smoke alarm in my room. Dogs didn't bark, which was a nice change. I pull the battery out and inspect the unit, to no avail. I swap a few batteries between other smoke alarms.. Still chirping. I unplug the Carbon Monoxide detector, pull its battery, plug it back in thinking it'd be fine. Something continues to chirp... I disconnected the smoke alarm and the CM detector.. Both are sitting on a chair with zero power; true "hush" mode..

The one dog who sleeps in the front room is scared and wants to hide under the bed (2y/o 100lb Rhodesian Ridgeback), and the other dog (8y/o Golden Retriever) that normally sleeps in the bedroom is frightened and refuses to go back into the bedroom.. At least it's quiet once again.

Anonymous said...

Been there, done that! I found that either disconnecting "all" of the alarms (as you did), and replacing every one of the batteries at one time is what works. It was the only way I could take care of the "culprit"! LOL! It took me DAYS to figure that out! I had one alarm shoved into a drawer and "it" kept going off! LOL!

I definitely feel for you and your "puppies", too. Their ears are so extremely sensitive. I had a Shih Tzu that this happened to one time in a motel and ever since that happened, she would have total panic attacks whenever she heard "anything" that sounded like that, even when it was on TV! Poor baby! So I know what "all" of you are going through.

Blessings to you all, and I hope this helped to solve your problem.

Anonymous said...

We just moved in our house, this is our first night sleeping here and it's 2:30 in the morning and they r all going off every min. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

Anonymous said...

Who designed these things?? Zombie units that will not die - how can they beep when they are disconnected from the power and the bad battery is removed? What is a capacitor and why does it keep the damn thing cheeping? Nearly smashed mine with a hammer. Had to take down EVERY unit in the house because I could not find the source. And then the culprit laid there on the table, beeping once per minute with NO POWER SOURCE! Put the damn thing in a box in the garage. Just short of dynamite.

Libertyville said...

There just doesn't seem to be a back-up battery on the hardwired one in our house. I guess we'll try cleaning it now (3:27a.m.) and dealing with it tomorrow. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

These smoke detectors are useless. It's "cry wolf" in the middle of the night. No smoke around ever. I'm an old lady and can't fix it or turn it off. The neighbors and animals go crazy. They are hardwired. I want to get rid of them permanently. I can't afford to hire people to fix them. I want these things out of my life and my ears.

Anonymous said...

Lysol always sets mine off. Even the tiniest amount.

Anonymous said...

In the wintertime, when it's cold out and I take my shower, if I don't vent all the steam out of the bathroom completely, it will set them all off as soon as I open the door! LOL! So I can see why Lysol would set them off, too! I think they've made them so sensitive, in the name of "safety", that just about anything with a vapor of any kind will do it!

I'm wondering, in the name of "safety", how "SAFE" the guy who invented these things would feel around everyone here, if we were to all meet in a group! LMAO!!!!

Anonymous said...

Alas, the wee hours of the morning seems to be the designed hour for the smoke alarm to chirp for battery replacement.....Monday morning...2:30am, directly above my bed, 12 ft ceiling...out of reach..every 20 seconds..no ladder....ahhhhh, the apartment life....just me and the chirping neon-green one eyed smoke alarm. Maintenance office opens at 8am.......... 3:15am now..... Must....change....batteriezzzzzzzzzzzzz

Anonymous said...

Mine waited until 3:35am. Luckily I have 12 foot ceilings, no walls and no backup batteries.

John Sheets said...

3:45AM here in Michigan. For the 4th night out of 7, our smoke alarm right outside the bedroom is going off. Seems I have to take the battery out of the hard wired piece of junk, and turn the power off at the circuit breaker to reset the damn thing. I'm thinking the logical reason is that the CO2 portion of it is bad, and somehow the colder air at night is triggering the unit. Going to replace it tomorrow - as FIREX was bought out by KIDDE and they stopped making these pieces of garbage. Gee - I wonder why?

In any event, I had a dream that a disease struck earth and all life was wiped out. Aliens showed up months later to a planet filled with homes that had smoke alarms beeping twice every 60 seconds. They concluded that the malfunctioning smoke alarms are what killed off the human race.

I know if mine goes off one more time, it's either me or the smoke detector. If it goes off again tonight, I'm going to go with the Louisville Slugger Solution.

FIREX - worthless piece of GARBAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes - I'm crabby but that's what happens when a product created to save your life ends up taking years OFF your life!!!

ARRRGGHH!!!!!!!!!

Rachelle said...

Thank you for your blog! It's 3 am and I was awoken by chirping!!! My two toddlers and husband are sound asleep but the chirping continues. Some one commented to try heating the house. So I did and it stopped!!!!! I'll go for some new batteries tomorrow. This particular fire alarm seems overly sensitive and goes off every time the oven is baking over 400 degrees. So maybe it needs to batteries. The good news is I don't need to go to the store at 3 am!

Anonymous said...

Why is there never ending comments on here.... N my alarm keeps going off.. Bloody 2am...come on man i need sleep

Anonymous said...

I had turned the heat down then the chirping started.. read this and turned the heat back up.. It has stopped, I thank you and my dog really thanks you. He can come out of the bathroom now!

Anonymous said...

It is 4:51am and guess what I am doing? The chirping is driving me insane. Out of all the detectors in my huge house, the one that decides to go off is the one located right above my bed. Great. I can't take the cover off. I guess I am going to sleep with my daughter.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's planned obsolescence on the manufacturer's part...

Stephen Cusack said...

Mine started at 3.20!

WDT said...

Done all the normal steps and I'm still getting beeping EVERY 30 seconds...at random times of the day. Usually around 2AM, been going on for about a month, sometimes it goes days without anything, other times it's every couple of hours. Guess I am going to replace them all, I swear I am going to take the old ones and bash them to complete ****.

desi said...

Hello,
I have the same smoke detector that you have in the picture, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out how to open it. Could you please explain it? Thanks.

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