Common Smoke Detector Problems




1) The battery may be loose, or improperly installed.
Make sure the battery is fresh, and that it is snapped in all the way so it cannot be shaken loose. It’s possible that battery connections may not be making good contact with the battery. Disconnecting and re-connecting the battery once or twice will likely fix this condition. On units with a front-load battery, be sure that the battery compartment door is closed completely.


2) The smoke alarm cover may be dirty.
Dust and insects can collect in the sensing chamber of the alarm. An accumulation of dust in the sensing chamber can cause the unit to chirp. It is good practice to clean the smoke alarm when you change the battery.


Cleaning smoke alarms:
Remove the alarm from the wall or ceiling and hold the unit on its side. There is a gap between the front cover and the back plate. Take a vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool and clean all around the gap area. Pay most attention to the sensor, which you will see in the gap area. The sensor looks like a small tin can with slots in it.


3) Reset the alarm.
Most current model smoke alarms have a processor that retains certain error conditions, such as a weak battery. The error condition should reset when the battery is replaced but sometimes it does not and must be manually reset to clear the error.
To reset an AC unit with a battery backup:
Turn off the power to the smoke alarm at the circuit breaker. Remove the smoke alarm from the mounting bracket and disconnect the power. Remove the battery. Press and hold the test button for at least 15 seconds. The unit may chirp or alarm for a few seconds before going silent. Reconnect the power and reinstall the battery. The unit will chirp once when the power is restored and should not chirp afterwards."


To reset a DC only unit:
Remove the battery. Press and hold the test button for at least 15 seconds. The unit may chirp or alarm for a few seconds before going silent. Reinstall the battery. The unit will chirp when the battery is first connected but should not chirp afterwards.


4) An electrical condition may be causing the power to the unit to be interrupted. If the AC power to the unit is interrupted, the unit will chirp when the power is restored. This could be caused by power surges.


If the chirping seems to occur at about the same time in the evening or morning, it could be due to a surge created when the power company switches electrical grids to meet demand.
Check to see if the chirp (or chirping) occurs when something else in the house is turned on such as an exhaust or attic fan, a heater, etc. If the smoke alarm is connected to a circuit with such a device, the alarm may chirp when the other device is switched on. If this is the case and the device is plugged into a wall outlet, move it to another outlet on a different circuit. If it is a hardwired device, have an electrician investigate it.


5) Replace the alarm.
if none of these conditions exist and the suggestions don't alleviate the symptom, the smoke alarm should be replaced. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. FireX smoke alarms have a 5-year warranty from date of purchase. A date code stamped on the label attached to the back of the unit. If the unit is within warranty, send it to the following address for warranty repair or replacement: