The smoke alarm has been beeping for a few minutes now, and you can’t seem to ward off the imminent headache. Before you grab the baseball bat and crush the chirping nuisance, check out these 5 reasons why your smoke alarm is beeping (and save yourself the extra headache of cleaning up).
1. The Batteries
The number one reason smoke alarms start beeping is to alert you to change your batteries. As a matter of fact, batteries should be replaced every 6 months to make sure the smoke alarm is functioning properly. An easy way to remember to do this is to switch them out when daylight saving times are reset in the fall and the spring.
Even after replacing the dead batteries, the alarm may still beep. Check to see if the batteries are installed correctly. If you’re using rechargeable batteries, you may want to consider replacing them with non-rechargeable ones that are compatible with the smoke detector.
2. The Test Button
You’ve seen that test or silent button on the smoke alarm. You may have even pressed it every once in a while to test the detector. When cleaning the surface around the alarm, you might accidentally press the silent button and set off the beeping.
In order to stop the beeping, you need to:
- Switch off the circuit breaker
- Detach the alarm
- Remove the batteries
- Hold the test button for 30 seconds
- Replace the batteries
- Place the unit back in its housing
- Switch the breaker back on
- Verify that the beeping is gone
3. Dust & Debris
Cobwebs and little insects might be clouding the sensors in the smoke detector. They can be easily removed using a blower or a handheld vacuum cleaner such as the one used to clean your computer’s keyboard.
Spiders might be lurking in and around the smoke alarm. It’s best to use a broom to remove them. Don’t stand underneath the alarm when you’re doing this. You risk having a poisonous spider falling on your face. You wouldn’t want that to happen.
4. Temperature Variations
If the thermostat is set at a very high or very low temperature, the alarm might interpret that as an emergency situation and set off a beeping sequence. In order to avoid that, keep the thermostat set at a moderate temperature at all times.
Hot air from the kitchen or the shower might also lead to intermittent beeping. You can simply move the detector away from the immediate line of the hot air, so it’s not quite near the kitchen or the bathroom door. This prevents the steam from the kitchen and bathroom from rushing upward, reaching the alarm vents, and triggering the noise.
5. Time For A New Alarm
If the alarm is beeping, it just might be time to get a new one. Most smoke detectors last between 8 to 10 years. Not sure how long it’s been in use? Check the date of manufacturing on the back. If it’s older than 8 years, there’s your cue to replace it.
Based on the size of your home, there might be multiple smoke alarms to check. After all, you want to make sure there’s adequate coverage across the space. We recommend that every room and every hallway has its own alarm for immediate detection. If this is not feasible, placing one right outside two bedrooms would work. Since every house has different safety needs, find out yours by taking this quick assessment.
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