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What Would Make a Smoke Detector Beep at Night?

smoke filling black backgroundThere is nothing scarier than hearing your smoke detector go off in the middle of the night. You get worried that you left the fire on, or your kids forgot to put off the stove. You might eventually realize nothing that can start a fire is on, but the chirping sound persists.

The reason for this can range from you leaving on something that can trigger your smoke detector to other technical issues.

Why Does Your Smoke Detector Keep Making Sounds?

The following factors might be responsible for the chirping or whiny sounds your smoke detector makes at night:

  • Your smoke alarm is old.

The simple reason your smoke detector is always beeping at odd hours of the day, especially at night, could be because it is old. An outdated alarm system will malfunction, meaning it needs to be replaced immediately.

Ideally, a good smoke alarm system should last for 10 years, but in between that time, it’s important to have it constantly checked by a professional electrician. When your smoke detector is nearing the end of its life, the chirping sound will increase, but you don’t have to wait for this sound before replacing your smoke alarm.

  • The battery is weak.

Most smoke alarms use alkaline batteries, which are powered by a reaction between manganese dioxide and zinc metal. Temperature affects the emission of this energy connection, and so an alkaline battery is 2% less effective after the first year when stored at room temperature. At 85°F and 100°F, the alkaline battery loses 5% and 25% energy, respectively.

Even when you try to preserve their power by freezing them, colder temperatures will still affect alkaline batteries. A hot temperature drains the battery life faster, a cold temperature causes slow battery discharge, leading to a weaker voltage being transmitted into the smoke alarm.

To prevent further unnecessary beeping at night, always replace the batteries in your smoke detector, and test the alarms weekly to ensure they are working.

  • There’s a drop in the room’s temperature

The beeping sounds your alarm makes are to alert you to a fire or smoke outbreak, or low battery. Sometimes, a drop in room temperature can cause a false fire alarm or low battery alert. Between 2-6 am, most houses are cold, making the smoke detector chirp a low battery warning. When the temperature warms up a few degrees, the sounds will stop.

Also, when a battery is about to expire, the drop in power impacts the battery’s output. This causes the battery to enter low battery mode more often, lowering the effectiveness of the smoke detector system and making it chirp unnecessarily. There isn’t much you can do in this case, but to have your smoke detector checked constantly and replace their batteries regularly.

What To Do When Your Smoke Detector Constantly Beeps at Night?

Apart from the tips shared above, have a professional electrician near you to inspect your smoke detector system once in a few months just to be on the safe side.

The Electric Connection has professional electricians who carry out routine checks, repair, and replacement of smoke detectors.