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There is nothing worse than a smoke detector that won’t stop beeping. Yes, fire alarms do save lives and they are vital in almost every room of your house, but like many home appliances, they can malfunction. Sadly, when a fire alarm goes haywire, it makes a very irritating noise.
Even though there are plenty of reasons your smoke alarm is beeping, there are a handful of easy solutions to finally shut off that very annoying noise. If your smoke detector keeps beeping, try the following tactics below (before your head explodes!).
1. Reset the Smoke Detector
Just like a computer, before you buy new batteries or a whole new computer, the good old reset is always a good option. However, resetting smoke detectors is a bit more complicated. To reset your fire alarm:
- Turn off the power to the smoke detector at your circuit breaker.
- Remove the detector from its mounting bracket and unplug the power supply.
- Remove the battery from the smoke detector.
- With the battery removed, press and hold the test button for 15-20 seconds.
- Replace the new battery in the detector and plug in the power supply.
- Restore power to the circuit breaker.
- Reattach the breaker to mounting bracket.
You can watch a simplified version of this process below.
Once reset, the smoke detector should chirp one more time. If it keeps beeping, change the batteries.
2. Change the Batteries
More often than not, changing the batteries will eliminate that annoying sound coming from your smoke detector. You should change the batteries in your smoke detector every six months. If it has been longer, the likely cause of that irritating beeping are your batteries.
Before you remove the old battery, note the charge and how it is placed. Replacing the faulty battery with a battery of a different charge or placing the new battery into the slot incorrectly will not stop the beeping. Essentially, just copy what was already in the smoke detector.
3. Clear Any Dust
Smoke alarms need to be free of any dust or debris to work correctly. Sadly, if cobwebs, spiders or any other intrusion made its way into the smoke detector, it’s at risk to malfunction, even during a fire. Additionally, dust and other debris can also cause it to beep (common during construction).
If your alarm is still beeping, try taking an air dust blower (similar to one used for keyboards) and blow inside the alarm’s vents. You can also do this while changing the batteries.
4. Test Silent Button
It’s always a good idea to test your smoke alarm. Sadly, sometimes those tests turn into your worst nightmare (where the smoke detector does not stop beeping). Additionally, the test/silent button can occasionally be pushed even when it was not intended. Either way, if your smoke alarm is still beeping after trying the three tactics below, remove the smoke alarm and test it without the batteries inside.
5. Buy A New Smoke Detector
Smoke detectors do not last a lifetime. If your smoke detector is more than 10 years old, the unit should be replaced. Likewise, if you tried all four solutions above, chances are, you need a new fire alarm.
Fortunately, most smoke detectors cost less than $20 at The Home Depot. Don’t risk your family’s safety for $20, especially if your smoke detector is more than 10 years old.
What Smoke Detector Noises Mean
Even though most smoke detectors are different, their sounds tend to have the same meanings. For example, in case of a fire, your smoke alarm will continuously beep. If it beeps with spaces, chances are, the batteries are low. Nonetheless, to 100% determine the meaning of the noise, you should consult the manual or manufacture’s website. Additionally, they should also have recommendations as to how to stop the fire alarm from beeping.
For more possible causes of your smoke detector beeping, please see Why Does My Smoke Alarm Keep Beeping.
Smoke detectors save lives, but like many other home accessories, need some TLC. However, now that you have five proven solutions for that annoying beeping, you’ll never have to worry about an irritating smoke detector again.