Smoke alarm question - need answer fast

We have hard-wired smoke alarms (First Alert, if it makes any difference). One of them just started beeping one time about once a minute. The other three are not making any noise. Since they are hard-wired, it shouldn’t be a battery issue, should it?

It’s in my bedroom, I’m not going to be able to sleep if this keeps up.

I’m pretty sure it has to have a back up battery doesn’t it? Maybe that needs to be changed. Or check the wiring and see if everything’s plugged in the way it should be. If not maybe put in some ear plugs for the night until someone can check it out.

I guess there is a battery for backup, and I guess this means that it’s bad. I don’t have a replacement, so I unplugged the whole damn thing and put it in a drawer for tonight.

Most likely, the battery needs replaced. Almost all hard-wired smoke alarms still have batteries, so they work in a power outage. I would buy four batteries and replace all four at the same time, since the other three will probably start chirping soon.

I’ve just replaced all my hard wired smoke detectors because they “timed out”. They evidently have a set lifetime (8 years? I don’t remember, I’m not at home). Once the lifetime is up - they start beeping to have the whole unit replaced.

:confused: The beeping is only an indication of a low back-up battery. The sensors in any smoke alarm (hardwired or other) do go bad, but they don’t start beeping. The only way to test the sensors is to use an aerosol can of smoke alarm test spray. Consumer reports suggests replacing even hard wired alarms every 10 years.

Some smoke detectors now being sold do not have replaceable batteries. They have long-life batteries that are supposed to last 8-10 years, and then you replace the whole unit. Disposable, in other words. Not saying for sure this is what UncleMoose meant, but it could be.

Regarding the smoke test spray, I never heard of that. Would incense or, say, pipe tobacco held under a detector set it off? I’ve only ever pushed the button to test my detectors.

yes a low backup battery indication.

CO, carbon monoxide, alarms have a seven year lifetime. the sensor stops being reliable.

smoke alarms have a ten year lifetime.

some battery only alarms come with a nonreplacable lithium battery, which lasts ten years.

some wired units may be the same with a low battery alarm.

This. You should get in the habit of replacing smoke alarm batteries at Daylight Savings Time.

I know that’s the advice you hear every year, but I think it’s overkill. My batteries last quite a bit longer than a year. I just replace them all when the first one starts chirping. All of the batteries are the same age and have the same usage, and I don’t want to start hearing chirping every few weeks as one more goes south. But I definitely get much more than a year out of the batteries.

Sure good point on the battery life but most of my Smoke detectors are at least 13ft from the floor, I like changing mine all at once. Saves me having to get the ladder multiple times.

My *wall *is beeping. Has been for 3 years now. Best I can figure, the builder put a smoke alarm in a weird place, forgot about it, and then drywalled the area. It’s rather faint, but whatever is in there just keeps on beeping.

I figured eventually it would run out of juice enough to not even manage a beep (I mean, they don’t beep while boxed up at the store, right?). But it just keeps on beeping.

And you haven’t ripped the wall apart with your bare hands in a blind beep-fueled blind rage?

I admire your self-restraint.

Oh, yes, they can beep in their boxes. I know a firefighter who had a couple hundred new smokes in their garage to give to anyone who needed one. They’d aged enough that several were chirping merrily away

I am the service manager for a fire alarm company.I have been in the field 36 years. I have battery operated smoke detectors in my house, and I replace the whole detectors (rather than the batteries) every year. They are not very expensive and I like to be sure.

Smoke detector type:

If your smoke detector sounds when you cook and there is no visible smoke, you likely have an ionization detector. It is dangerous to rely on ionization as your only means of detection. If your detector has the radiation symbol on the back, it is an ionization detector. This type of detector detects the non-visible particles of combustion. The aroma from frying bacon, for example is due to these non-visible particles.

A photoelectric detector will detect the visible smoke that results from the more common types of household fires.

This video demonstrates the difference very well:
The Aquarium Smoke Detector Test

Check what type of detectors you have. There are combination detectors that will detect the products of both types of fires. I use Kidde Nighthawk Combination detectors in my house…

I can almost guarantee you it’s a back up battery as the others have mentioned. I had the exact same situation a few months ago. I found that pressing the test button would silence the beeping for a few hours.

If it’s the kitchen one, or near a child’s room, you might take the battery out, and put it back, that way it’ll still work as long as the power is on.

Great. Mine goes off whenever I boil water. I take it down and put a pillow over it when I’m doing a lot of cooking, or it would be repeatedly going off for hours. It’s the one my landlord put in, and I don’t know what they’d do if I got a different one.

We did buy a second one for our son’s room, though, and no one said anything.

it is important to keep the device clean and dust free (also inside). moisture and dust can trigger where moisture alone will not.

it is bad to disable in whatever fashion due to nuisance alarming, just incase to forget to rearm.

there are buttons on many to change to a lower sensitivity for cooking nearby.

Ionization detectors act on almost any airborne particle between 3 and 5 microns. Humidity, dust, hairspray, paint fumes and air fresheners will set them off

I was working in a shop where the smoke detector began to sound though there was no smoke. Since there were other residences in the building the fire department was called to check it out. In the end, it was water that had gotten into the unit.

Check for water or moisture. Just a suggestion!