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Smoke Alarm

Troubleshooting Blog

It’s not a bird, or a plane,
it’s probably your smoke alarm

If you’re hearing a strange chirping near your ceiling, it’s probably not a family of birds come to nest – it’s more likely to be your smoke alarm letting you know that the battery needs replacing. Likewise, if your alarm seems to be going off for no apparent reason, it may be that some simple maintenance needs to be done.

Rather than ignoring or putting up with the noise, there are some things you should do to get to the bottom of it. Afterall, you need to be able to rely on your smoke alarm, and for peace of mind you need it to be operating correctly.

Testing smoke alarm
Smoke alarm in house

Other factors

If these suggestions don’t help, then it’s time to consider other factors. For example:

Photoelectric detectors are sensitive to steam and dust so place them away from locations where this might occur, such as near bathrooms.

Any moisture absorbed by the alarm may be interpreted by the circuitry as a fault, resulting in a ‘chirp’ or sounding of the alarm.

Mis-interpreted faults can also occur in areas of strong airflow such as from the roof space. Rapid temperature changes can also build up moisture, again affecting alarm circuitry. If this occurs, the smoke alarm may need to be relocated.

If you have considered the above and are still have no luck, then it’s best to call your electrician. Your alarm may have been wired incorrectly, or it may be experiencing electromagnetic interference (EMI).

Smoke alarms are filtered internally to avoid EMI problems, but they cannot cover all forms, and this may be the cause of irregular faults.

Smoke alarms require maintenance to ensure efficient and effective operation, and to reduce the likelihood of any false alarms.

Read more about smoke alarm maintenance, including videos, on our Smoke Alarms FAQs page.

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