Fire Prevention: How to Troubleshoot Smoke Detector Issues at Home?

By shakir_williams on 08/25/2017

smoke detector troubleshooting

When you get your smoke detector, it is important to read your owner’s manual. This will tell you how your smoke detector will properly function, and what each alert and light means. 

When your smoke detector goes off, this could indicate a few things:


Why does my smoke detector chirp?

This usually indicates that you have a low battery. You should replace it with a brand new 9-volt battery, and press the test button. If the smoke detector still goes off, this may indicate that there is dirt or dust in and around your smoke detector. 


How often should I change the battery in my smoke detector?

batteryGenerally, you should change the battery in your smoke detector twice a year. The rule of thumb is when you change the batteries in your clocks, you should change the batteries in your smoke detectors. 



I just bought a new smoke detector and the battery drawer won’t close…

Most smoke detectors have a security feature that does not allow you to close the “battery drawer,” without a battery inside. For safety reasons, a smoke detector must have a battery in it before you can install it, to protect you from smoke or a fire in the event of a power outage. 


How do I clean a smoke detector?

The best way to clean it is to take a dry rag and wipe off any dust, dirt, or debris. Water, chemicals, or cleaning solvents should NOT be used on your smoke detector. A can of compressed air can also be used to blow any dirt or debris that is inside of the smoke detector. If your smoke detector can be removed from the wall, be sure to wipe around the back of the detector as well.


What happens when I have tried everything, and my smoke detector is still going off? 

This means that it’s time to purchase a new smoke detector, and replace your old one. If it is a hard-wired alarm, you can normally twist the alarm to remove it from its base. After that, you can remove the hard wire bracket, and plug in your new smoke detector.



“Remember, the best way to survive a fire, is to prevent one from happening by making sure you have a properly functioning smoke detector.”



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