How to troubleshoot a smoke detector?

Here are some useful tips on how to troubleshoot a smoke detector and general information.

Troubleshooting Smoke Detectors


1. Cover or sensor chamber is covered by dust or dirt. Alarms may look clean, but dust
can accumulate inside the cover
2. Smoke alarms may alarm briefly when power is interrupted, then restored.

1. Battery pull-tab is still in the alarm. The battery pull-tab must be removed after AC
power is provided to the alarm.
2. The Battery Drawer is open. The battery drawer must be completely closed for the
battery to make contact with the terminals
3. Low battery. As the battery in a smoke alarm becomes weak, the smoke alarm will
"chirp" about once a minute to alert you that the battery needs to be replaced.
Note: Only the alarm with a low battery will chirp. No signal is sent through the
interconnect wire. The other alarms will be silent.

4. Battery is present but part of the terminal is obstructed. The battery may not be
fully making contact with the terminals in the alarm. Check to be sure the battery
pull-tab or some other obstruction is completely removed.
5. Why does the alarm chirp when power is disconnected, and the battery is
removed? The circuitry of the alarm contains capacitors that store energy. You must
press and hold the test button to dissipate the capacitor. You will hear a steadily
weakening sound until it is silent
6. Replacement – Smoke detectors are generally meant to last for 10 to 15 years
7. Silence Button - Most smoke detectors feature a silence button, which allows you to
stop the alarm if it goes off as a result of cooking, showering or another nonemergency situation. If you press this button, clear the air and then reset the
detector so that it knows that there is not an emergency. If you don’t follow that
procedure, the detector will beep every minute or so remind you that it is still on
silence mode and needs to be reset.