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Why is my smoke detector beeping non-stop?

Posted on: January 29, 2013

Smoke detectors are designed to save lives and add an extra measure of peace and safety to DC-area homes and buildings. If you replace the batteries annually, your unit should continue to work properly for quite some time. However, if your smoke detector beeps continuously, it may be a sign that your detector needs extra maintenance or another electrical repair.

Distinguishing Between Certain Types of Smoke Detector Beeps

If you’re like most people, you hear the smoke detector beeping and begin to panic, wondering where the smoke is coming from; however, if there is no smoke, and you here a “chirping” sound, there could be an electrical problem with your detector or if the electricity goes out, a back-up battery may signal its presence.

If you haven’t replaced your battery annually, smoke detector beeping every few minutes or so means that the battery is dying and needs to be replaced. Remember that rechargeable batteries don’t work nearly as well as traditional ones. A good rule of thumb is to change the battery either during the New Year or Daylight Savings Time, if applicable.

Recommended Smoke Detector Maintenance

If your smoke detector beeps continually, it may mean that it’s time to clean it. If debris or even spiders get into it, it may sound a false alarm; so taking it down and dusting and then running a damp cloth over it may stop the beeping. Sucking the dust out with a portable vacuum or a can of compressed air usually does the trick as well.

Your home temperature may be a factor in continual smoke detector beeping. If the sensor reads too hot or too cold of a temperature, it may sound the alarm, so turning the thermostat down a few degrees may solve the problem.

How to Tell If the Smoke Detector Needs to Be Replaced

Smoke detectors usually come with a warranty. Some last five years, while others may last longer. There are a few things to look out for as far as smoke detector replacement is concerned. If it works on and off, chirps intermittently, or just plain quits working, it’s time to replace it. Also, if you’re moving into a new home, but the home itself isn’t new, replace the unit, since you have no idea how old the detector may be.

If you need further help diagnosing and fixing your beeping smoke detector in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, contact Kolb Electric.

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