I’ve replaced the batteries but my smoke detector won’t stop beeping!

If you have changed the battery in your chirping smoke detector and it still chirps, you might think your detector is bad.

Before you replace that smoke detector or go out and purchase another new pack of nine-volt batteries, there are a couple things you should know about your smoke detector, and a few things you can do to address this problem.

There are several different types of smoke detectors, however, the most current model detectors found in homes and apartments operate by low-voltage electrical wiring with a battery backup.

These smoke detectors have internal processors that store error codes, and a week battery chirp is a common error code that may be retained, even after the old battery is replaced. The only way to clear this error is to reset the smoke detector, which can be done by following these simple steps:

* Turn off the power to the smoke detector at your circuit breaker.
* Remove the detector from its mounting bracket and unplug the power supply.
* Remove the battery from the smoke detector.
* With the battery removed, press and hold the test button for 15-20 seconds.
* Replace the new battery in the detector and plug in the power supply.
* Restore power to the circuit breaker.
* Reattach the breaker to mounting bracket.

When the power is restored, the smoke detector should chirp once. However, your low-battery chirping should no longer be a problem. There is one other thing you can do to reduce the possibility of ever hearing chirping from your smoke detector, and this is to change your batteries before the chirp is heard.

A good rule of thumb and industry standard is to change the batteries in your smoke detectors every six months. October is fire prevention month and a good time to change all your detectors in your home. However, if your detectors are chirping, change your batteries immediately.

If your smoke detector is more than 10 years old, the unit should be replaced with a newer one.

Detectors can be purchased at your local hardware stores, or your local fire department may have a program to distribute them. It is recommended that smoke detectors be installed in each bedroom of your home and a hallway. However, if you only have one smoke detector, placing it in the hallway outside of all bedrooms is the best location for placement.

If you live in the city of Sacramento and would like to get more information on how to get a smoke detector installed in your home call 311 from a hard-line telephone. For useful and up to date information on current events you’re welcome to follow the Captain Jonathan Burgess, Public Information Officer of the Sacramento Fire Department, on Twitter or Facebook by using the links below.

Sacramento Fire Department Facebook

Follow Captain John Burgess on Twitter

 

 

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July 5, 2012 | 6:53 PM

The last bullet says: * Reattach the breaker to mounting bracket.

I believe it should say: Reattach the detector to its mounting bracket.

chris
June 18, 2014 | 11:20 AM

Good catch Atlanta, and only 2 years after the fact. Just “took the words out of my mouth” , ’cause if you hadn’t done it I would have. Let’s hope those in need will make the correction themselves (Cpt. Burgess has other priorities; besides he did his good deed so what else do you’all want?)

July 9, 2013 | 12:01 PM

Thanks for this info. It worked perfectly for me and I didn’t have to unplug the smoke alarm or remove it from the mounting bracket. I just took out the battery, turned off the breaker, held the button down for 20 seconds, put the new battery in and turned the breaker back on. Viola beeping stopped. Thanks!

August 17, 2013 | 3:45 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I followed your instructions to the letter and it worked. The chirping was driving me crazy after the power to the smoke alarm had been turned off for installation of a new ceiling light on the same circuit.

October 14, 2013 | 6:26 PM

Thank you, I followed this as well. I took some pictures of my smoke alarms as I was changing the batteries so others could see what it looks like and how to replace them if needed. The pics and instructions are here
http://www.chadspictures.com/miscellaneous/Smoke-Alarm-Battery-Replacement-Install-Guide

Kimberly Rockwell
Avatar of
November 5, 2013 | 7:08 AM

Sorry but finding and climbing a ladder at 5 in the morning to follow those 43 “simple steps” while your ears are bleeding from that hellish, unnatural sound is NOT going to happen. The only solution to the problem is to find a broom, knock the demonic disk off the ceiling, grab your biggest hiking boots, and stomp it to death. Then find a picture of the inventor of the smoke detector, print it out, and spit on it. Surely there were less mind-melting sounds the designers could have picked, especially for something that is supposed to serve merely as a “reminder.”

Damian
March 9, 2014 | 7:38 PM

Yes

Cathy N
February 24, 2014 | 2:37 PM

You are a lifesaver – my dog was going nuts with the constant chirping – never thought to turn off the circuit breaker – worked like a charm. Thank you thank you thank you!

Sam Inman
March 8, 2014 | 9:24 AM

The power of Google once again. A South Carolinian thanks you very much for these instructions. They worked. Saved another trip to the hardware store to buy a new detector. And to Kimberly…. My daughter designs cool stuff as well as mundane stuff for a living. Her biggest impediments to sleek and user-friendly design are the myriad codes and standards brought forth by well-intentioned government officials on the local, state, and national levels. Even the lowly-but-hard-to-reach smoke detector is affected by politics.

April 19, 2014 | 7:56 AM

Just read through all the comments and want to say “Thank you!” from my family. Everyone else has already spoken my mind! (“2am your battery is low” alert…)LOL We installed gas detectors since putting heaters in our basement. I love when I am cooking and they go off because something accidentally got on the burner or in the bottom of the oven and started smoking. It is peace of mind to know they are working way up there on the vaulted ceiling. Makes getting out the step ladder a joy. (not really)

Ashleyf
April 21, 2014 | 10:05 PM

Thanks also from faraway Sydney (Australia). The instructions worked even down under ;-) No more chirping , and saved a few hundred dollars from having to et an electrician in to fit a new one.

James
April 29, 2014 | 3:08 PM

Instead of pulling circuit breaker, I simply untwisted the smoke detector and disconnected the plug, it works great now, this problem was driving me crazy, thank you Captain!

Judy
May 14, 2014 | 12:36 PM

Bless you my dear!

Good night's sleep
May 28, 2014 | 5:52 PM

Just tried it on all 5 and so far, so good. I did not remove them but rather just removed the battery, turned off the breaker, counted 20 seconds and reinstalled the battery, then flipped breaker on. So far so good. My dog thanks you and I thank you! Google shines again!

christine
June 30, 2014 | 6:11 PM

This worked perfectly for me, thank you so much! I was ready to go to the store and buy a new smoke detector, I didn’t know what else to do until I thought to check the internet and found this article right away. And thank you for the tip about how to avoid the same problem in the future, I proactively changed the batteries n all the other smoke detectors. So peaceful now…

Karen
July 20, 2014 | 6:03 PM

Thanks a lot for this post! This worked for me too! Crazy smoke detectors were beeping on three floors and driving us crazy for more than 24 hrs before I found this thread. They were about to be banished from the house so we could sleep!

Mhar
July 25, 2014 | 9:06 PM

thank you it works!

Bill King
July 28, 2014 | 8:16 AM

Awesome. Thank you!! One of the most annoying sounds in the world (especially when you are half asleep) is that little chirp. When I replaced the battery IT DIDN’T STOP! With your steps above it took care of it….Ahhhhhhh…

Dave
July 28, 2014 | 1:39 PM

Followed the steps above for my constant beeping smoke detector even with new battery, and after resetting smoke detector by holding down the test button the noise finally ceased. That is one thing I didn’t know figured it would reset when I turned off breaker, but forgot back up battery still holds memory.

Thanks. Good solution

Dave
July 28, 2014 | 1:41 PM

After three days finally at peace! :)

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