7 Reasons A Smoke Alarm Won’t Stop Beeping

Do you ever see a small, white device attached to the ceiling of a room? A smoke alarm or smoke detector has gained popularity in the past couple of years. But what exactly does it do? Why does it beep sometimes? Has it not stopped beeping even with a new battery? Do you also see a red light? These are only some of the reasons that have crossed your mind.


The most common reasons a smoke alarm won’t stop beeping even with a new battery is that you need to change the unit and the battery drawer is still open.

We’ll also take a look at the following:

  • Which unit to replace it with
  • Other common reasons

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In the following sections, we will closely look into why these are happening to your smoke detector. It includes the possible reasons why it is happening and solutions. You’ll finally be able to get rid of that loud, annoying shrill again. It can seem never-ending and & piercing.

However, units with problems can cost lives. Dirt and insects in the sensing chamber are just some of the causes for your unit malfunctioning. as you’re cooking. Avoid unnecessary dangers with various types of smoke alarms.

7 Reasons A Smoke Alarm Won’t Stop Beeping

A smoke detector with a dying battery is the most common reason to make a beeping or chirping sound. Your first course of action is to replace the batteries with new ones, hoping the beeping noise goes off. But what if it does not? Below are some of the most commons reasons for smoke chirping smoke alarms.

Before into detail, it is important not to confuse an intermittent alarm with a chirp. An intermittent alarm is typically a random sound that lasts for several seconds. Its tone is also lower. On the other hand, a chirp is a higher-pitched tone and sounds in intervals of a minute.

Let’s look at some of the possible issues

  • Low battery
  • Obstruction of the terminal
  • The battery drawer is open.
  • The unit needs changing.

Low Battery

You should hear a chirping sound when the battery is weak. Depending on the manufacturer, it should be 30 seconds to a minute interval. When this occurs, replace the battery according to the instructions presented in the owner’s manual. If there are other interconnected units, those should not alarm unless their battery is low. It’s important to note there is often a battery backup.

The Pull-tab is Still in the Alarm

If you have turned on the device with the pull-tab still on, it will trigger a beeping sound. You need to unplug the unit and remove the pull tab. Then you can restart it. If it persists, there may be other underlying issues.

The Battery Drawer is Open

Completely closing the drawer allows the battery to connect with the terminals. 

Obstruction on the Part of the Terminal

You may want to check if the batteries have been correctly installed. If they are not in contact with the terminals, it may cause the unit to trigger beeping or chirping sounds. Check for obstructions and remove if any. 

It’s from a Different Device

Sometimes, you think it is coming from your alarm. In reality, it is not. Check other appliances and devices at the house, such as carbon monoxide alarms and security systems. These may be low battery.

End of Lifespan for your Device

Once your device has reached its end of life, there is nothing you can do about it. These smoke detectors usually last an average of eight to ten years. If you want to know the unit’s age, switch off the alarm and remove it. You should see the manufacturing date on the back. It is time to look for a replacement if it is at least eight years old.

Temperature Fluctuation

If your smoke alarm randomly beeps, it could be due to temperature fluctuations in the environment. Too low or too high temperatures could tick off the sensors in the fire alarm, causing it to set off a sound.

It could also detect hot air coming from hot places, such as the bathroom or the kitchen. It happens when you often take a hot shower while the door is open or cook in high heat. Place your fire alarms only close to the bathroom door and kitchen. You can also use other means to measure the hot air. 

Check the humidity

Some devices are very sensitive to humidity and it may be that that is the cause. Figure out what the humidity is like and alternatively call an electrician.

Listen to the number

You’re trying to keep your family safe. It’s worth knowing that these devices often have different amounts of beeps they’ll let off when there’s a problem. A specific kind of chirp has a meaning. Try figuring out the type you’re dealing with.

Table of Contents

Consistent Chirping

If your unit is consistently chirping, it may be because of one of these:

  • Malfunction – A chirp follows a flash of red light. If you experience this, press the Test button for at least two seconds. It should switch off the chirping. If it does not, you may need a battery replacement or have other issues with your device.
  • Low Battery – If you have a low battery, your unit will chirp every 30 to 60 seconds for at least seven days. When you experience this, replace it. If the chirping does not go away, other issues may need fixing.
  • End of Life – This is only limited to models with sealed ones. You should hear a beep every 30 seconds, indicating a replacement is needed. 

If your detector only chirps once every 30 seconds, it may indicate a malfunction or low battery. It could also be an EOL warning. 

Continuous Four-Beep Pattern

A continuous four-beep alarm will sound for high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) present in the area. A five-second silence immediately follows it.

If your unit gets disconnected from the main power supply, it will automatically switch to the backup. The same pattern will continue for the next five minutes. The cycle will have an every-minute interval after. 

One Long and Continuous Squeal

If you are experiencing long, continuous chirpings, there may be something wrong with the unit. Maybe the tamper-resist warning was activated. In circumstances of the latter, you will need to replug or tighten the unit from the outlet. It is best to refer to your owner’s manual for instructions on proceeding with this step. 

Random Chirping (Intermittent)

There are several reasons for this case. You may refer to the abovementioned reasons. Otherwise, check your user’s manual for more details.

How to stop it from chirping without a battery?

What should you do if it keeps chirping even without a battery? The first step is making sure it is free of dust to prevent unwanted beeping.

It might surprise you why it keeps chirping. Most units have a backup battery, explaining why your device is still beeping. The backup battery might have become active a long time ago, but the beeping only started recently after the charge ran out. Do note it is only possible with hardwired units. If you have a battery-only unit, there is another reason for the beeping.

Check if you have closed the battery drawer correctly if you own a battery-operated detector. The alarm becomes weaker over time, indicating a replacement is due soon. Maintaining clean hardware is important as it could trigger an unnecessary warning.

Now that we have enumerated the possible reasons your smoke alarm chirps, below is some basic troubleshooting.

Close the Battery Drawer for the Backup

The backup battery is useful for power outages, making it possible to detect fire even when the electricity is out. The backup is contained within a drawer as well. The unit will regularly chirp if the drawer is not closed correctly. Secure the latch to prevent it from beeping.

Replace the Backup Battery

The backup battery also needs replacing when it dies. Even if your unit uses power from the AC power cord, the backup could still run out. To replace it, follow the below general guidelines.

  1. Remove at least two screws found on the side of the detector.
  2. Carefully pull the battery compartment.
  3. Install the replacement.
  4. Put everything back together and seal tightly.

After the fact, expect it to alarm a few times to clear any issues after replacement. Any unnecessary beeps or chirps should stop.

Reconnect all the Cables

There may be issues with the wiring, causing unnecessary alarms to trigger. It can be because of debris. We recommend detaching and reconnecting all cables you can. Make sure there are no loose connections. You might also want to plug your unit into another outlet to eliminate any possible issues with the current one.

Reset your Circuit Breaker

A simple reset might fix the chirping issue. Here are steps to follow in resetting your circuit breaker:

  1. Find the circuit breaker
  2. Press and hold the switch for 15 seconds
  3. Turn the circuit breaker back ON.

After finishing these steps, it should reset. The sound should go away.

Make Use of the Hush Button

Most units have a hush button to stop the detector from chirping. The hush button should stop it from sounding for about seven minutes. If it does not stop, the issue is with the software or hardware. 

First Alert

If your First Alert unit beeps three times per minute, it indicates a malfunction. The immediate action you need to take is to replace it with a new one as soon as possible.

Check your warranty coverage. You can get a replacement if it is still within warranty. Get a replacement by returning the alarm. If available, you can bring any proof of purchase, such as an official receipt.

Twice and then stops.

It could be several reasons. The first step is to check the unit’s manufacturing and expiration date. Most fire detectors last for eight to ten years. If your alarm exceeds that range, it is time to get a replacement.

If it is still within its life expectancy, you may want to check the batteries as these may need changing. 

Once daily.

It typically happens at night or dawn. The temperature goes down at night. As a result, the batteries produce less power. The unit senses that the battery is weak, resulting in a chirping sound.

Remember to check all your units at home regularly. Replace it as soon as it weakens.

Even with a new battery

If it is still beeping even after a battery replacement, there may be other issues with your smoke detector. Before checking, make sure the new batteries are new. Some may have expired, causing your unit to beep. Once you have confirmed it is not a battery issue, try draining any residual charge. It may also need some cleaning. 

Have you found out whether one of the following things may be causing the issue?

  • The unit needs changing
  • There’s low battery in the unit
  • The battery drawer is open.

We hope you found a tip here to see what factors may be influencing your device. It might just be steam affecting it!

How does a smoke detector work?

In the simplest explanation, a smoke detector senses smoke and can help in case of an emergency so you can evacuate the building. In most cases, smoke is a fire indication. There are two main classifications for it – household and commercial detectors. The main difference lies in how the signal is issued. Household smoke alarms trigger a visual or audible alarm from themselves or several interlinked detectors. On the other hand, a commercial fire alarm signals the system. It issues an audible or visual alarm. Commercial buildings usually also use sprinklers.

These are mounted on the ceiling and are inside a plastic enclosure. Its sizes and shapes vary and depend on the manufacturer. They are typically like a disk.

Before smoke detectors existed, there were heat detectors. These devices sense heat and are the oldest form of detecting fire. A mechanism inside it responds when it meets a fixed temperature or when there is a sudden increase in temperature. Using heat to identify potential fire was not fast enough, especially in large areas where heat takes time to travel. 

Carbon monoxide detectors can identify smoke either by ionization or photoelectric. Some models can do both.

Alarm manufacturerCity of their headquartersState
First AlertAuroraIllinois
KiddeMebaneNorth Carolina
NestPalo AltoCalifornia
BRK BrandsAuroraIllinois


It responds best to slow-burning fire, where smoke is present but little to no flame. The photoelectric fire alarm uses a light source and a photoelectric sensor to determine.

Smoke travels to the chamber and passes through the light beam’s path. The smoke particles scatter the light, aiming at the sensor. As a result, the detector triggers the alarm. Depending on the model, some send out sound and light. Others only sound.


An ionization smoke alarm is the best choice for fires that burn fast. Its chamber contains radioactive material. When it passes through two charged plates, it creates an ionization chamber. Air is ionized, and current flows through the plates. If smoke travels into it, alpha particles are absorbed and disturb the ionization. The current reduces, and the alarm is triggered. 


This type is a combination of photoelectric and ionization. A combination alarm contains the parts of a photoelectric and ionization. As a result, it increases its sensitivity to fire. Using both these technology increases your protection against fire.

In most cases, residential fires include a combination of slow-burning and raging fires. It is impossible to predict which one might strike, so having both makes a world of difference. You will get notified of the early signs of fire, regardless of time and whether you are awake.

General Operation Procedures and Placement

Assuming you know your needs and have decided on what to purchase, it is time to find out how many pieces of alarms you need and where to attach these at home.

Per guidelines from the National Fire Protection Association, you should place it in the following locations:

Houses with a wider floor area will need more units than smaller ones. Getting a smart home system will do you wonders if you have the extra cash to spare. Your mobile phone and control panel will receive any notifications from the system.

How do I get the best coverage and protection at home?

You can purchase what you don’t have if you only have an ionization or photoelectric detector. If you have an ionization alarm, you can buy a photoelectric one and place it right beside the existing one.

However, not all the time do you know what type of detector you have at home. If that is the case, you then better check your manual. If that is no longer available, another option is to look at the back of the smoke detector. These would usually have a label with the type printed on it.

Another option you might want to consider is replacing these individual smoke units with combination alarms if budget is not an issue. These units have dual sensors in them working together. 

First Alert

When it comes to a combination alarm, here’s our recommendation.

NameCombination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
Company headquartersAurora, Il
Item Dimensions LxWxH2 x 5 x 5 inches
ManufacturerFirst Alert
Power SourceBattery Powered
Sensor TypeElectrochemical, Photoelectric


  • It works as intended
  • First Alert is a trusted brand.
  • It’s easy to use


  • You don’t get the ability to customize the same way you would with a Google Nest Protect.
  • There are cheaper alarms out there from less reputable companies.
  • Some reports of false alarms.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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