3 Tips to Prevent Smoke Detector Chirping (And Increase Safety)


Does this sound familiar? You are relaxing in your home, about to fall asleep after a long day at work, only to be jolted awake by a high-pitched chirp?

You close your eyes assuming you dreamt it, but it happens again.

If you and your family's sleep has been disturbed by this annoying sound, it's time to fix your smoke detectors.

There’s an important reason why your smoke alarm is beeping.

Don’t ignore or unplug it!

Chirping smoke alarms usually mean the battery is low or dead and the detector might not alert you in case of a fire!

Here are 3 simple tips to prevent your smoke detector from chirping.

1. Stay On Top of Changing Your Batteries

Experts recommend replacing the smoke alarm's battery at least once a year.

Usually, this yearly reminder often gets forgotten until the middle-of-the-night chirp suddenly reminds you.

The reason why it seems that smoke alarms only chirp at the wee hours of the morning is because of the drop in temperature. The lower temperature causes the electrical current in the battery to decrease.

With a depleted electrical output, the battery starts to malfunction. This ultimately triggers the chirping alert to get your attention.

A good tip for many homeowners is to put a new battery in each smoke alarm at the same time you adjust your clocks for daylight savings time.

Change your clocks, change your batteries. Simple enough.

Unless you live in Arizona which of course is not affected by daylight savings. If you live in Arizona we suggest changing your smoke detector’s batteries on New Year’s eve.

That’s a New Year’s resolution you can keep!

Read our blog on the safest way to store 9-volt batteries to prevent a house fire.

2. Reset to Avoid Continued Smoke Alarm Beeping

There is nothing more annoying than having the smoke alarm continue to chirp after the battery has been replaced.

This is not a defect. This just means the device needs to be cleared of the error message with a manual reset.

This is more common with hardwired smoke alarms that also have a battery backup.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Turn off the power to the device from your electric panel

  2. Remove the detector from the ceiling

  3. Unplug the device

  4. Remove the battery

  5. Press down the reset button for at least 15 seconds (or refer to the manual)

  6. You should hear a single chirp to signify the reset was successful

  7. Install the new battery

  8. Plug the detector back in and re-secure to the ceiling

  9. Restore the power to the smoke alarm

3. Clean Your Smoke Alarm

While you are replacing the battery in each of your alarms, you may as well get out a can of compressed air to clean out the smoke detector.

Just a reminder, before you do any work on one or all of your smoke alarms, make sure the power has been disconnected.

Use the compressed air to blow away any dust or debris that could interfere with the proper functioning of the device.

Make sure to spray the air on the battery compartment to remove any particles that could get in the way of a secure connection.

Also, blow out the detection mechanism and any openings around the alarm.

Be Proactive With Your Home’s Fire Safety

These 3 simple steps to prevent your smoke alarm from chirping should do the trick.

If you are still experiencing a chirp, remember that all smoke detectors need to be replaced every 10 years.

For Your Ultimate Safety

In a fire, seconds can mean the difference between life and death for you and your family.

Stay safe with these fire safety best practices:

  • The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) advises placing one smoke alarm on every level of your home and in every bedroom.

  • Make sure all of your fire alarms are in good working order with a proper supply of power.

  • It is recommended that you test your smoke detectors at least once a month.

Have you ever been awakened in the middle of the night by a chirping smoke detector?

Share with us your smoke detector stories. Need a professional to inspect your smoke detectors?

Give us a call to secure your home’s fire safety now!

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