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Why is my smoke alarm beeping?

Tired of hearing the constant beeping from your smoke alarm? We have all had to deal with an annoying smoke alarm. Before you smash it to pieces, there are some tricks to stop the beeping and regain your sanity.

Remember - smoke alarms save lives and it is mandatory to have working smoke alarms installed in residential and commercial buildings.

There could be many reasons behind a beeping smoke alarm. In this article, we discuss the reasons behind beeping or chirping smoke alarms and how to stop the sound.

Stop a beeping smoke alarm

Reset the Smoke Alarm

A beeping smoke alarm is a sign of a faulty battery or maybe the smoke detector just needs a reset. To reset the alarm, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the reset button on the smoke alarm
  2. Hold the button for 10-15 seconds and release
  3. Wait for a few seconds

Fingers crossed, the beeping sound should stop!

Is the alarm still beeping? It could be due to other reasons like:

  • Faulty or low battery
  • Dust or insect accumulated inside the alarm
  • Open battery drawer
  • Battery pull-tab may still be in the alarm
  • Smoke alarm may be older than 10 years

#1 : Low or Faulty Battery

A faulty battery is mostly the culprit behind a chirping smoke alarm detector. Smoke alarms are designed to beep if the battery is low or faulty. There are 3 types of alarms and the solution depends on the type of alarm you have.

9 volt Battery Operated Smoke Alarm

For a 9 volt battery, the batteries are removable and you can replace it with a fresh battery yourself. Hold down the test buttons and wait for an alert tone. If you hear the beep, your alarm is working.

But if the alarm still beeps, the battery may not be the problem. We will get to the other possible causes later.

10 volt Lithium Battery Smoke Alarm

Not all smoke alarms have replaceable batteries though. For example, a 10 volt lithium battery-powered smoke alarm has a non-removable battery. In that case, you may need to replace the smoke detector.

Hard-wired Smoke Detectors

These smoke alarms are powered by the mains power supply. When the alarm is operating, a green LED indicator light would be ON.

A hardwired alarm could beep if the battery is low due to mains power outage. It may have a 9 volt replaceable battery or a 10 year non-removable lithium battery.

9 volt battery can be replaced however if you have a lithium battery, the detector would have to replaced. Do not attempt to replace the alarm yourself. Get in contact with your local electrician to replace the alarm as soon as possible.

#2 : Dust

Dirt and insects can dislodge the battery, accumulate in the sensing chamber and trigger a false alarm.

Turn off the power to your 240v hardwired smoke alarm. Clean the alarm with the help of a vacuum, remove the debris and close the slot. Test the alarm again and wait for the beep.

If it is still chirping, your device may be old and would need to be replaced.

#3 : Old or malfunctioning device

Smoke alarms need to be replaced every 10 years to comply wih the Australian standards AS 3786 -2014. If your alarm has reached its expiration date, the constant beeping is actually a sign that you need to replace the alarm.

Check the manufacturing date on your smoke alarm. If it is under 10 years old, let a professional electrician take a look at it. They can inspect the possible reasons behind the beeping and replace the alarm if necessary.

#4 : Humidity

Humidity can also trigger a false alarm.

Queensland is a high humdity region with humidity often higher than 60%. If your alarm is located near high humidity areas like bathroom or laundry, the location and humidity could be the reason behind the incessant beeping.

Note: check the type of your smoke alarm, a photoelectric smoke alarm usually has photoelectric or p written on the back whereas an ionisation alarm has i or ionisation written on the back.

Ionisation alarms can mistake humidity for smoke and trigger false alarms. So if you have an ionisation alarm, replace it with a photoelectric alarm which is more accurate at detecting smoke.

Still no luck?

Smoke alarm installlation & repairs

Talk to a licensed electrician

If you have tried all the ways and your alarm still won’t stop beeping, contact us. We will check all the possible reasons for beeping smoke alarms and recommend the suitable method to fix it. Simply call us on 07 3353 3248 or complete our Smoke Alarm Booking form today.

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