My Smoke Detector is Chirping and Driving me Nuts!


Did you know that all you have to do is install a smoke detector in your Scottsdale home (and maintain it) and you’ll cut the chances of death by fire in half? That’s amazing, considering how inexpensive smoke alarms are and how easy they are to maintain.

There are a number of reasons that a smoke detector chirps, the most common of which is that the batteries are old and need to be replaced. But, if you have a hardwired alarm without a battery backup you’ll need to do some sleuthing to figure out why it’s trying to get your attention and how to get it to stop.


The average life span of a smoke alarm is 10 years. If yours is older, it may be chirping to let you know it’s time to replace the entire unit. There should be a date stamped on it somewhere, sometimes on the back of the unit so you may need to remove it from the ceiling. If it’s older than 10 years, buy a new one.


If the detector’s sensor is covered in grime or dust it may be trying to alert you that it needs to be cleaned. The best way to do this, if it’s just a film of dust, is with compressed air such as that you use to clean your computer. If it’s grime that is causing the problem, use a soft cloth to wipe it clean.

Power outage

Even a momentary power outage can cause the smoke detector to chirp. It may also be chirping in response to a power surge. A professional electrician is required to remedy this problem.

When your smoke detector begins chirping, don’t ignore it and don’t put off finding the cause. The detector is an important safety feature in the home so its maintenance requires immediate attention. If you can’t determine why it’s making noise, call the manufacturer for assistance.

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