Post Audio Version
The nightmare of trying to stop smoke detector beeping or chirping: Chirp! You open your eyes. It’s pitch black, except for the glaring red “2:01” at your bedside table. What is a sparrow doing in my house at two in the morning? you wonder, grumpily. You raise to your elbows on the bed and try to still your breathing so you can hear better. Nothing. You plop back onto your pillow and just as the sweet numbing sensation of sleep overtakes you—Chirp! Startled, you rub your eyes and look back at the digital clock: “2:03.” Nope. It’s no sparrow. It must be the smoke alarm chirping.
As if to confirm your suspicions, you hear it again—Chirp! This time, your ears have picked up on its position. You sit up carefully so as to not disturb your husband and crane your neck to look out the open bedroom door. Sure enough, it’s the smoke detector in your daughter’s room. You can just barely make out its faint red light from the ceiling across the hall. You look over at the blanketed form of your husband who is sound asleep. How can he… Chirp! You sigh and wonder how soundproof your pillow is just as you hear your child stirring in the other bedroom. Oh, no. The last thing you need as a sleep-deprived mother is a miniature version of yourself asking about a sparrow at—what time is it?—2:05a.m. Better just take care of it now.
Climbing out of bed, you wrap yourself in a fluffy robe and make your way to the kitchen for the step stool. Once back in the hall, you climb the stool, reach up, and—Chirp!—open the fire alarm, from which you promptly remove the battery. You close the fire alarm, step down, and replace the stool in the kitchen, where you also leave the batteries before returning to your bedroom. Quietly, you scramble into bed and resume what was nearly a great night’s sleep. WAIT!
What are you doing?! Don’t you know that, according to the National Fire Protection Association, 3 out of 5 fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors? In addition, 1 out of 5 fire deaths were the result of homes that had smoke alarms that did not sound because the batteries were disconnected or removed due to “nuisance alarms” just like that smoke detector beeping that woke you from your slumber.
Look, I get it. Smoke alarm chirping seems to invariably start in the middle of the night in one of the most inconvenient parts of the house, whether it’s your child’s bedroom or one of the high-ceilinged living spaces. It’s inevitable, it’s unfair, and it’ll make you seriously question if there is some celestial being in charge of tormenting somnolent mothers with his incessantly chirping smoke detector minions. But, there comes a time when adulting requires a change in perspective. There are no false-alarm deities out to get you.
Much like the introduction here, I was peacefully sleeping one night, dreaming of chirping birds. Suddenly, I realized it was not a dream. Instead, the smoke detector in my kids’ bedroom decided it was time to die. I didn’t know the worrisome fire hazard statistics at the time, so I left the issue alone until the next day when we put in a new battery.
We thought that battery would solve the smoke detector beeping but, to our dismay, the smoke alarm started to chirp again! We tried another battery but had the same result. Eventually, I called the local fire department and asked if the fire alarm beeping indicated something more serious than a battery-change and what we could do to stop smoke detector beeping or chirping if it wasn’t a battery issue. A nice fireman gave me some pointers. I wasn’t sure at first, but I did precisely what he suggested and it worked! The smoke detector chirping stopped. I was so relieved! It saved me the time and money of purchasing a new smoke alarm.
Change Smoke Detector Batteries Routinely
The batteries should be changed or any other smoke detector beeping issue should be immediately addressed because your life and the lives of your loved ones depend on it. You should test your smoke detector monthly and replace batteries at least once per year. It hardly takes any time or effort at all. In fact, my repeat trouble when I tried to stop smoke detector beeping or chirping myself, and I’m here to assure you that it’s something that can be quickly and easily dealt with.
So, before you just give up and take the batteries out for good or go out and make an unnecessary purchase, check out the steps I took below to stop smoke detector beeping or chirping:
How to Stop Smoke Detector Beeping or Chirping Video
Note about Video: We initially produced this video when first learning how to make and edit videos. I greatly apologize for the annoyingly loud music, but we don’t want to remove the video due to its popularity. You might want to turn down your volume before playing. Thank you for your understanding. ❤️
Try These Steps When Your Smoke Detector Beeping Starts
Steps to Take to Stop a Beeping Smoke Detector:
- Replace Old Battery
Replace the old battery, making sure you insert it correctly. See if the smoke detector beeping stops with simple battery replacement before you continue down this list.
- Remove Smoke Detector
If the smoke detector beeping continues despite replacing the battery, remove the smoke alarm from the ceiling. This is usually done by rotation of the detector until it releases from the base. If the smoke detector is wired, then you must also disconnect the wiring plugin from the smoke alarm.
- Remove Battery and Hold Down Test Button
Once you have the smoke detector down from the ceiling, remove the battery if its still attached, and hold down the test button on the top of the smoke alarm for about 15 to 20 seconds. Any residual smoke detector beeping will drain from the electronic capacitors and circuitry within the smoke alarm.
- Clean Smoke Detector
Next, the smoke detector must be cleaned of the dust that accumulates over time. There are several methods to do this. Vacuuming is the method recommended by many manufacturers, but some electronics experts advise against vacuuming, due to the creation of static electricity, which can damage some electronic components. Another effective method—and the one I recommend—is to blow out the smoke detector with compressed air. If you do not have an air compressor, you can easily use a can of compressed air purchased from your local home goods or office supply store. Make sure you blow out the detection vent on the front surface of the smoke alarm, inside the battery compartment, and around the side openings of the smoke detector. Reinstall the smoke detector and insert a charged battery. (In most cases, the smoke detector beeping will stop. If it does not, see the notes below.)
Other Notes for Smoke Detector Beeping
For some smoke alarm brands, one weak battery in a wired system can cause “nuisance alarm” smoke detector beeping that cannot be remedied once it starts. In addition, some smoke detectors expire after five to seven years anyway. Unfortunately, you won’t know this unless you have faithfully gone through the steps above to see if they stop smoke detector chirping. If you do find that my suggestions don’t help, I’m afraid you will need to replace the affected smoke alarm. In fact, the U.S. Fire Administration recommends complete smoke detector replacement every 10 years. If this is the case, here are some of the top-rated smoke detectors to start you on your shopping journey.
Thanks for reading. I hope you have found this “how to stop smoke alarm beeping” post helpful. I know how bothersome those chirps can be and I know several friends who were just as clueless about it as I was. Thankfully, the solution is simple and the peace of mind is well worth it. Remember, housefires are more common than people realize. One of the most deadliest fires start out as electrical fires. Most people sleep through these because they are silent and within the walls. Luckily, smoke detectors can pick up on even the slightest amount of smoke—even from electrical fires. This is why it’s important that you address any beeping or malfunction in your fire alarm immediately. Stay diligent! Stay safe!