Why Is My Smoke Detector Beeping?

Posted on: June 3, 2016

Smoke detectors are wonderful devices. They save homes and property, prevent countless fire-related deaths, and alert people to potential fires before they are out of control. In fact, these alarms are so invaluable, many insurers offer discounts on homeowners coverage for homes equipped with working smoke detectors.

There’s no debate about the worth of smoke detectors in preserving the safety of your home and family. But, is there anything more nerve-shatteringly annoying than a smoke detector that won’t stop beeping? You know you’ve changed the batteries the last time you moved your clock. Your unit is fairly new, so it shouldn’t be failing. No one is frying bacon or burning toast. So what is it? What is causing this life-saving device to aggravate you to the point of knocking it off the wall with a broom?

Is the Noise a Chirp or Beep?

There can be many causes of a beep-happy smoke detector. The first thing you need to do is determine what kind of “beep” you hear. Is it the loud, long beep that warns you of the presence of smoke? Or is it a bit more “chirpy”?

Chirpy Noises

A “chirpy” sound coming from your smoke detector is very likely a warning that your battery voltage is low. Even though you’ve been diligent about replacing your batteries, you may have purchased a faulty or out-of-date battery, or significant temperature changes could have depleted your battery’s voltage. Be on the safe side and replace your battery with a brand new, non-expired one. It might be a hassle, but you need a fully operational smoke detector for your own safety and the safety of your family.

Random Beeping

Random beeping is another kind of annoyance produced by a faulty smoke detector. There are a few reasons your smoke alarm may be going off when no smoke is present.

  • Temperature – Just as temperature changes can cause your battery to deplete, so can they cause your alarm to go off in warning. Smoke detectors are sensitive to temperature changes—especially from cold to hot. If you’ve decided to crank up your heat during one of Tampa’s brief and rare cold snaps, your smoke detector may sense the change and alert you. Even the air from a steamy shower, in an otherwise cool home, can trigger your smoke detector.
  • Dirty, Cogged, or Impaired Unit – Dust, debris, cobwebs, and spider webs can impair your detector’s ability to “judge” the air for smoke. Clean or replace your smoke alarm if it’s covered in dust or dirt, especially if it’s an exterior detector, as in the garage or carport. Contact a certified electrician and find out about professional installation.
  • Expired Smoke Detector – Smoke detectors have a lifespan of around 10 years. However, depending on the quality of the device and the installation, your unit may decide to give up the ghost as early as five years. Once your smoke detector begins to lose its ability to protect you and your family, it will beep randomly, alerting you that you must replace your unit. Now is a great time to contact a certified electrician and consider professional installation of your smoke detectors.

Professional Smoke Detector Installation

Certified electricians understand just how essential it is to have working smoke detectors in your home. Your electrician can assess your home to ensure you are thoroughly protected. Placement of your smoke detectors is just as crucial as functionality, and part of the services provided by a professionally installation.

Don’t second guess your safety. Professional installation by a certified electrician is the most thorough way to ensure your home is alarmed against fire and smoke. When your smoke detector is hard-wired to your home’s electrical system, and has battery back-up, you’re provided with much more than thorough protection against a devastating house fire, you’re provided peace of mind.

If you’re experiencing trouble with your home or business’ smoke detectors, give the electricians at Hoffman Electrical a call!