It’s one of the most annoying sounds in the world. Your house alarm or your smoke detector emits a chirping noise every 30 seconds to a minute, and it just won’t stop. It’s enough to drive you crazy. Annoying as the sound can be, it’s there to warn you something is wrong and that you need to fix your home alarm or smoke detector. You can learn how with these easy steps.
Why Your House Alarm Keeps Beeping
Whether your alarm system is beeping after a power outage or due to a low battery, you should fix it immediately. Until you take care of it, you won’t be able to depend on your system to function.
After all, you want your home alarm or your smoke detector to work correctly when you really need it — when someone tries to break into your home or a fire breaks out with the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. In most cases, a beeping house alarm or smoke detector can be reset or fixed with a few simple changes.
A house alarm emits a constant beeping to signal you to look at the display on the keypad. The keypad uses lights or a text readout to explain what’s causing the problem. Here are some simple steps you can take to alleviate the situation.
Silence the Alarm
If you know the home alarm’s code, then use it to arm and then immediately disarm the system. This will stop beeping on almost every system. Even if you don’t know the valid code, many security systems will allow you to silence beeping with a single keystroke.
Check the User Manual
The user manual that comes with your home security system will provide you with information when you investigate a chirping noise. It can tell you which keystroke silences an alarm and the steps to take in order to fix the problem.
If you can’t find a copy of the user manual, you often can download one online. You just need to know the brand and the model number. You usually can find this on the inside of the main panel of your home alarm. Silencing the alarm will stop the annoying sound but won’t fix the problem. In fact, if you merely silence the alarm but don’t correct the situation, the beeping noise eventually will return.
If the steps recommended in the user manual don’t work, you can either call the helpline for the company that manufactured the security system or contact the local security professional who installed the system for you.
Is There an Immediate Threat?
Your alarm may be making a racket because it is trying to warn you about something. Could there be an immediate threat? After surveying the situation, if you can find no carbon monoxide leak or smoke and no one is trying to break into your home, then the problem is with the house alarm itself.
Is it your house alarm that’s making the beeping noise? Smoke detectors make a similar sound when there’s a problem, and you could confuse one for the other.
Before proceeding to any of the next steps, make sure you have disconnected the alarm from its source of electricity. Trying to fix live electronics can lead to a very dangerous situation, so it’s important to make sure the security panel has been disconnected and turned off. Once you’ve done that then you can proceed to the next steps.
How to Stop a Beeping Security System
Once you’ve determined that your home alarm system does have a problem causing the constant beeping, there are numerous ways you can resolve it.
1. See If Alarm System Batteries Are Dying
Most electronic devices like house alarms or smoke detectors give off a signal when their batteries are dying or about to die. When your home alarm system requires new batteries, it will tell you.
Keep an eye on your battery situation. You can purchase a battery tester from your local hardware store or online and use it around your home to ensure your alarm system works properly. This will also give you an early heads-up that you need to replace dying batteries.
2. Monitor Loss of AC Power to the Alarm System
If you test your batteries and they seem to be working, the problem may be that the AC power is dying. This means the security panel is not receiving enough electricity from the low-voltage transformer that powers it. Here are two possible solutions:
- Check that the unit is receiving power. In most home security systems, a small cube plugs into a local outlet. Just like with a computer or a cable TV box that doesn’t seem to work properly, sometimes the problem is as simple as it needing plugged in. If this is the problem, the solution is simple — plug the transformer back into the outlet.
- The transformer may malfunction after blowing an internal fuse. In this case, you’ll probably need to replace the transformer. If no power comes from the outlet itself, the system may have tripped the circuit breaker. Go to the circuit breaker panel, find the breaker for your home security system, click it all the way off and then back on.
3. Check the Alarm System Wiring
If these suggestions don’t solve the problem, check to see if your house alarm’s wiring is corroded. Use a voltmeter to do this. A voltmeter measures electrical potential. Once again, you can purchase a voltmeter inexpensively at your local hardware store or online.
You should only do this if you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer or you’ve worked with electricity before. If not, this is a situation where you need to consult with a professional.
4. Replace the Alarm System Security Panel
If you check the batteries, AC power and the wiring and they seem to be working properly, then it may be time to replace the whole security panel. You can contact your local security company like Wayne Alarm to install a new security system for your home.
Reasons Your Smoke Detector Is Beeping
As we mentioned, sometimes the problem isn’t your home alarm system but your smoke detector. If you have several smoke detectors in your home, it can be difficult to locate the one making the chirping noise. If only one smoke detector beeps, the problem is isolated to that one unit. If all your smoke detectors go off at once, this is the sign of a larger problem that has nothing to do with the units and more to do with a larger electrical problem.
Reasons a smoke detector makes a continuous beeping noise include:
- The smoke detector’s battery has not been installed properly or may be loose
- The sensing chamber of the smoke detector may be dirty
- Environmental factors like humidity or heat may set off an alarm
- The pull-tab in a new smoke detector has not been removed
- The battery drawer is not totally closed
- An electrical problem may interrupt the smoke detector’s power
- The smoke detector may be too old and it’s time to replace it
How to Stop a Smoke Alarm From Beeping
Like a home alarm that’s gone haywire, the chirping from a smoke detector will continue if a solution is not found. Sometimes smoke alarms even keep beeping without a battery. Here are some ways to effectively silence a smoke detector from beeping by fixing the problem.
1. Replace the Smoke Alarm Batteries
Using a battery tester like the one mentioned above, check the batteries in the unit making the chirping noise. This is the most common problem in smoke detectors. When you replace the battery, use the same voltage. Remember to replace the batteries in all smoke detectors every six months.
Once you replace the battery, however, the smoke detector may continue to chirp. This is common in newer smoke alarms that are electrically powered and have a battery backup. They occasionally retain errors in the smoke detector’s processor. In this case, you need to reset the smoke alarm to clear any errors causing the alarm to continue to chirp even after you’ve installed new batteries.
Make sure the batteries are fresh. It can be extremely frustrating to dig through your stuff to find batteries and bring out a ladder to install the new batteries, and once you install them, it doesn’t stop the chirping because the “new batteries” aren’t any better than the old batteries. Use your battery tester to check the charge on replacement batteries. Don’t store batteries in a cold place as this will drain their power.
2. Close the Fire Alarm Battery Drawer
Occasionally when people install new batteries in a smoke detector, they forget to close the battery drawer all the way. You must completely close the battery drawer so that it can make proper contact with the smoke detector’s terminals.
If you locate a fire alarm beeping and you can see the battery drawer has not been close all the way, close it and this will likely solve the problem.
3. Remove the Smoke Alarm Battery Pull Tab
If the battery is not making contact with the smoke detector’ s terminals, there may be an obstruction. In most cases, this results from the installer or the homeowner failing to remove the pull-tab from the newly installed battery. Simply remove the pull-tab, and the batteries will make a proper connection to the terminals.
4. Clean the Fire Alarm’s Dirty Sensing Chamber
You may think a smoke detector located on the ceiling it won’t get dirty like your floor or your stairs. This is not true. Ceiling smoke detectors can be every bit as dusty as a piece of furniture in your home. Ceiling smoke detectors are also lovely places for spiders, ants and other insects to live. When you change your batteries every six months, clean the sensing chamber as well.
5. Check for Smoke Alarm Temperature Fluctuations
Smoke detectors can be very sensitive to heat. That’s the reason you want to have them in your home, to let you know if there’s a fire. Smoke detectors can sometimes be too sensitive, however, sounding alarms when they detect any source of heat:
- If you have the thermometer on a high setting during the winter or if you cook on high heat in the kitchen and the oven fan isn’t dispersing smoke as quickly as you would like, this can set off a smoke detector. You can solve this by turning down the thermostat or opening windows in the kitchen to disperse any heat or smoke.
- This situation can also arise if a smoke detector is located outside a bathroom and somebody leaves the door open while taking a hot shower. In this case, it’s probably better to move the smoke alarm away from the bathroom door where the heat and humidity from a shower won’t have as much effect.
6. Get Newer Smoke Detectors
When it comes time for your smoke detector to go to that great big smoke detector place in the sky, it will start chirping to let you know. Most smoke detectors last eight to 10 years. If you replace the batteries, remove any obstructions from the terminals, clean the sensing chamber and made sure the smoke detector isn’t falling victim to high heat from the kitchen or bathroom, and it’s still not working, then it’s likely time to replace the smoke detector.
All smoke detectors have a label that tells you when it was manufactured. Remove the smoke detector from its brackets and check the date. If the smoke detector is older than eight years, you should replace it as soon as possible.
Remember, the purpose of a smoke detector is to save your life in an emergency. You need to keep your smoke detectors in good working condition. Even if your alarm is not chirping, you should check them regularly to make sure they operate properly.
Contact Wayne Alarm for Security System Services Today
Do you require assistance with a beeping fire or home alarm? Wayne Alarm Systems has served New England for over 50 years. We have been recognized locally, nationally and internationally for our outstanding customer service combined with a commitment to exceeding our industry’s highest standards.
Whether your need is for your home, your business or your community, we can help. We can provide complete security systems that combine:
- Monitoring Services
- Alarm Systems
- Fire, Long-Range Radio and CCTV Systems
Our staff of experienced and knowledgeable technicians can install the very best systems that will provide you with a high level of security.
If you want to know more about what we can do to build you an extraordinary security system, call our Lynn number at 781-595-0000 or call us in Nantucket at 508-825-9200. You can also visit our contact page, where you can leave us details about your location, how we can contact you and your security needs. A member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.