FAQs About Smoke Detectors

FAQ – Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors save lives, but sometimes can be a nuisance. Here are some smoke detector tips that can help you keep your smoke detectors in tip top shape.

Smoke detectors chirp to alert the homeowner that the battery is low. If your smoke detector chirps, replace the battery with a brand new battery. If your smoke detector still chirps after installing a BRAND NEW battery, remove the battery and check the polarity. Note that smoke detectors will still chirp after the “silence” or “hush” button has been pushed. This chirping should end within 10 minutes of silencing the alarm.

All alarms should be taken seriously and treated as an emergency. If the source of the alarm is determined to not be a fire, use the “hush” or “silence” buttons to end the alarm. The alarm may continue to chirp for a few minutes after pressing “silence.” If the condition has not cleared by the time the hush period ends, the alarm will sound again. Also, note that the hush button will not work if the sensor is significantly clogged or senses heavy smoke.

Cooking smoke, steam, dusty air, and even bugs can cause false alarms. Consider moving your smoke detector if you are getting regular false alarms from cooking smoke or shower steam. If you are experiencing false alarms for an unknown reason, try cleaning your smoke detector by dusting the exterior and gently vacuuming over the sensor vent holes. ALL YOUR ALARMS will sound during a false alarm, but typically ONLY ONE alarm triggered the alert. You can identify the culprit by locating the alarm with the flashing red indicator light. Clean and clear out this alarm first.

Smoke detectors located in kitchens, near air conditioning return vents, or in unused or dusty parts of the house are the most likely to give you a false alarm.