How to stop a hard-wired smoke alarm from chirping

Written by maxwell payne
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How to stop a hard-wired smoke alarm from chirping
Some smoke detectors are hard wired to the house electricity. (fire detector on ceiling image by StarJumper from

A hard-wired smoke detector is one that is connected to the home's main electrical system. It may also be connected to a central alarm system, allowing the fire brigade to be contacted automatically. Over time, the detector can gather dust, have a power surge or simply malfunction, resulting in false alarms or a steady chirping noise. Hard-wired detectors also contain a backup battery which, over time, can die. There are multiple things that you can do to rectify the problem and it is important to properly maintain your smoke detection system.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Ladder
  • Compressed canned air
  • Small screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Locate the reset button on the surface of the smoke detector. Hold it down for 15 to 20 seconds and release. Wait a few minutes to see if the chirping stops. Use the ladder if you can not reach the device.

  2. 2

    Use the canned air to spray the surface of the detector, especially the slots on the casing to clear away dust. Sometimes build up can cause the detector to go off.

  3. 3

    Locate the backup battery compartment cover panel on the detector. If there is a screw holding the panel in place, use the screwdriver to remove it. Slide the panel off and remove the battery.

  4. 4

    Place a fresh backup battery in the smoke detector, replace the panel and screw. Press the "Test" button and hold it down for a few seconds. If a tone emits, the battery replacement is functioning. If the chirping occurs again, proceed to the next step.

  5. 5

    Go to your home's fuse box and locate the circuit breaker switch labelled as "smoke detector" or "central alarm." If your smoke detectors are connected to your home alarm system, look for a switch labelled as "security" or "alarm."

  6. 6

    Push the switch to the "Off" position. Wait a few minutes and push the switch back to the "On" position. Go to each smoke detector in your home and push the test button to ensure that each detector is getting power.

Tips and warnings

  • Never turn off the power to the smoke detectors and leave it off to stop chirping. If the noise persists even after each of these steps, contact an electrician or your alarm company.

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