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Fire Alarm Chirping – What You Need to Know


Fire alarms play a significant role in keeping houses safe. They allow homeowners to have peace of mind knowing that they will get notified when a fire breaks inside the house. Unfortunately, fire alarms are exposed to wear.

Due to continuous use, their normal function gets altered, and they create chirping sounds that make the household occupants either worried or annoyed. So, to shed some light, the essential things you need to know about fire alarm chirping are discussed below By RG-Electric professional elecricians.

What is Fire Alarm Chirping?

Fire alarm chirping is a condition characterized by a fire alarm’s emission of a high-pitched chirping sound after every 30 seconds. The chirping sound is sometimes confused as a warning caused by the detection of the presence of fire. Fortunately, it is not.

Most fire alarms are designed to emit continuous or multiple beeps when they sense any of the issues that they are programmed to detect. Technically, fire alarm chirping is caused by various factors that can only be identified by literally checking the device.

What Causes Fire Alarm Chirping?

Fire alarm chirping happens to households with fire alarms that have been in use for a long time and the newly installed. This is because the emission of chirping sound is caused by a range of factors, especially the following.

Unremoved Battery Pull Tab

Fire alarm chirping could happen when the battery pull tab was not removed, and AC power was supplied into the device. It is best to have the pull tab properly removed to prevent the emission of the chirping sound.

Unclosed Battery Drawer

Chirping can also happen when the battery drawer of the fire alarm is not closed correctly. Thus, the drawer should be appropriately shut to allow the battery and the terminals to be in contact.

Low Battery

Low battery is the most common cause of fire alarm chirping. Due to continuous use, the battery’s charge gets weaker as the days go by. Upon reaching the lowest level, the device emits a chirping sound once every minute. This warns the homeowner that the alarm needs an immediate battery replacement.

Obstructed Battery Terminal

Any obstruction that prevents the battery and the device’s terminals from being in contact can also trigger it to create a chirping sound. The device should be carefully checked and have the obstruction removed to stop the sound.

Changes in Home Temperature

Fire alarms could also chirp due to sudden changes in the temperature inside the house. The sound emission tends to become more frequent when the thermostat is set at a very high or low temperature. Furthermore, the chirping sound is also emitted when the device detects hot air from the bathroom or kitchen.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

A tripped circuit breaker is another common cause of fire alarm chirping. So to prevent this, the circuit breaker should be properly installed and regularly checked by licensed and experienced electricians such as RG Electric.

Why do Fire Alarms with New Batteries Still Chirp?

Low battery is one of the most common causes of fire alarm chirping. Due to this, replacing the device’s battery with a new one is not the only solution to stop the emission of the chirping sound.

It is best to assess the cause of the problem and implement the needed solution to obtain the desired outcomes. However, it is still a must to always ensure that the fire alarm is equipped with powerful batteries.

How to Stop Fire Alarm Chirping?

Stopping the fire alarm from emitting the chirping sound is relatively easy. It does not require complex tools and can be accomplished by doing the following.

  • Check if the chirping sound comes from the fire alarm.
  • Inspect the chirping device and make sure that its battery pull tab is removed.
  • Check if the battery drawer of the device is appropriately closed. If not, close it.
  • Check the terminal of the device and ensure that there’s no obstruction.
  • Change the battery of the device with a new one
  • Have the circuit breaker and the wire attached to the device checked to ensure that these do not cause the chirping sound.
  • Clean the fire alarm to remove dust and other particles that could alter how it functions.

How to Prevent Fire Alarm Chirping

Although chirping is a common problem that confronts households equipped with fire alarms, the condition can be conveniently prevented by doing the following.

  • Have the fire alarm installed and maintained by licensed electricians
  • Make sure that the device is regularly cleaned and free from dust
  • Make sure that the wirings are properly connected and positioned during installation
  • Change the batteries regularly
  • Change fire alarms when needed

Expert Tips

Need electrical repair tips? RG Electric is an expert on electrical installations and repairs. We have collected valuable guides about safety, codes, and other related topics to boost your electrical system know-how.

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