Why Is My Smoke Detector Making Noise?

Why Is My Smoke Detector Making Noise?

Fire alarms and smoke detectors are necessary to keep you and your family safe in your Atlanta home. But sometimes, they make noise unexpectedly, from annoying beeps to false alarms that seem to go off randomly.

The first thing you should always do when you hear your fire alarm go off is check for signs of fire, like flames, heat, and smoke. Once you’ve ruled out a real fire, learn why your smoke alarm may be beeping and how to minimize false alarms.

What Causes Smoke Detector False Alarms?

Consider the Alarm’s Location

The fire alarm’s location could trigger false alarms if it’s nearby certain household fixtures. A few areas of the house can disrupt the system’s sensors and cause annoying smoke alarm beeping without a fire:

  • Near fluorescent lights. Fluorescent lights can cause light “noise” that confuses the sensor and causes the system to beep. Move your smoke alarm at least a foot away, or swap for non-fluorescent bulbs. Remember to drop off your fluorescent bulbs for recycling.

  • Areas with extreme temperatures or temperature swings. Non-temperature-controlled areas of your home may climb above 100°F in the Atlanta summers, resulting in a false alarm. Smoke detectors near vents and ceiling fans may also go off unexpectedly due to changing temperatures and air currents.

  • Next to a steamy bathroom. Keep the alarm more than three feet from a bathroom or shower room to prevent the system from reading the steam flowing from the room as smoke, which could set off an alarm.

  • Above a cooker or kettle. While fire alarms are designed not to go off during regular cooking, a sensor may give a false alarm if placed directly above a kettle or a cooker that produces a lot of steam. Install smoke alarms at least ten feet away from any cooking appliance that emits steam.


Learn more about how smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors work.

Other Reasons for False Alarms

  1. Fluctuating temperature. Sometimes a hardwired smoke detector beeps because it is sensitive to sharp changes in temperature. If you turn your air conditioner very low very suddenly, the system may not be able to adjust quickly enough. As we mentioned earlier, this is especially relevant if the alarm is near the heater vent or the bathroom door.

  2. Dust in the unit. The dust from the drywall, sanding, paint, or even daily life can clog the sensor, causing an error. Most alarms come with a cover you can use to prevent dust buildup during renovations. Blow out the unit with compressed air to clean a dusty smoke detector.

  3. An old fire alarm. Fire alarms last for 5-10 years before they need replacing. When the alarm gets too old, it may sound an alarm to notify you. As you check the alarm, look at the date of manufacture. If your alarm is eight years or older, get a new alarm before yours is no longer effective in protecting your home.


Why Is My Wired Smoke Alarm Beeping?

There are several reasons you may hear your wired smoke alarm beeping without signs of fire. Here are a few of the most common causes.

  1. Low batteries. While this issue may seem obvious for battery-powered smoke detectors, hardwired fire alarms start chirping if the system’s backup battery is low. If the smoke detector continues to beep after you change the batteries, press and hold the test button on your smoke detector to learn if the battery is defective.

  2. Loose battery cover. Securely latch the plastic cover because the alarm will continue to chirp if it's ajar.

  3. Electrical issue. Hardwired smoke detector beeping could be from electrical issues in the wiring or mechanical problems in the system itself. Leave electrical complications to the professionals.


Expert Electricians in Atlanta Can Fix Hardwired Electrical Problems

Experiencing multiple false alarms is almost like having no detector at all. The simple task of vacuuming the dust out of the system, moving your detectors, and changing out old or defective fire alarms is worth preventing you or your family from becoming desensitized to the alert of fire.

If you can still hear your battery-powered or wired smoke detector chirping or sounding the alarm after troubleshooting, the expert Mister Sparky electricians of Atlanta can help. We service all kinds of residential smoke detectors, to help keep your family safe. Call (770) 824-9592 or book online.