Smoke Alarm ChirpingA smoke alarm makes a chirping sound when there are issues surrounding the battery, or when there is a potential wiring issue.
Sometimes it’s possible to think a smoke alarm that is chirping has detected a fire. It is actually due to a detector malfunction.
If your smoke alarm starts to chirp it’s important you take immediate steps to resolve it. A faulty detector is no use to man or beast in the event of a real fire.
Not only does the chirp suggest a malfunction (something you don’t want for obvious reasons) but there is also a danger that when a real fire occurs you mistake it for a chirp.
Thus it always pays to make sure your smoke alarm remains in tip top condition.
One way to avoid chirping type issues is to install hard wired alarms. These are alarms that are wired into the central mains. The disadvantage in doing this is you may need to get professional help when messing around with electrics.
See our article entitled first alert smoke alarm, electrical faults can cause fires in themselves.
Secondly, if the mains suplly fails at any time (e.g. a power cut) your alarms will not be operational. If the power cut is linked with the fire (e.g. a bad lightning storm) then you’re in for a double whammy.
The way to resolve this is to ensure alarms which are hard-wired come with an in-built battery back-up system. See our article entitled firex smoke alarm which discusses alarms which have these back-up systems contained within them. Thus, if the mains fails, the battery back-up kicks in, and you still have an effective alarm.
But, because your alarm relies partly on batteries then, just as with a full blown battery alarm, you will need to change these batteries every so often. The frequency of the change depends on the longevity of the batteries you are using.
Cheaper shorter life batteries will need to be changed fairly frequently – say at least once every six months. Quality long life batteries should be changed no less than once a year.
When you change the batteries you should also clean the internals of each alarm with a light cloth and a vacuum cleaner. You should also clean the external surfaces as well. In addition, to prevent chirping or indeed any other malfunction you should make sure the battery contacts are free of dust and other debris.
There should be a snug fit (battery to each contact) at all times.
Do be careful when cleaning or battery changing, particularly if your alarms are hard wired. You also want to ensure that you do not cause additional damage in the process (e.g. twisting or distorting contacts or damaging battery housings).
Another habit you must avoid is if, in the middle of the night, one of your alarms starts to chirp and because you are tired you simply pull out the battery or the wires, or loosen the contacts within the alarm.
This completely defeats the purpose of the alarm. Best practice is to ensure you maintain all of your alarms periodically to ensure they never start chirping.
Lastly, it always pays to buy quality alarms. These are less likely to suffer malfunction and will not distract you by chirping. Even quality alarms do not cost the earth, although they do cost more than their more inferior cousins. Get decent alarms and decent batteries.
As soon as you hear your alram chirp, do something about it, immediately. After all, your life may depend upon it.
And, after your purchase, should you need it, we provide our own unique personal follow up customer care, at this site, in addition to the follow up care you receive from the manufacturer (when you click on the contact link below).