Smoke alarms form an integral part of any structure. Whether it’s residential or commercial, the law requires the installation of smoke alarms within the building’s premises to help alert us in case of a potential fire or suffocating smoke. With that said, it’s easy to see why we’re mandated to have them installed under our laws.
We can’t stress how useful these smoke alarms are. These smoke-sensitive devices let out a blaring alarm once it detects the slightest hint of smoke in the area. That will instantly make you exit the premises and head to safety.
When no smoke is detected, these devices do not emit any other sound. But in some instances, it lets out an annoying beep that can simply keep you up all night.
If you don’t know what to do when this happens, then you came to the right place. Here, we will discuss what should you do when your smoke alarm beeps.
Why Your Smoke Alarm Beeps
Before we discuss the things that you should do when your smoke alarm beeps, we should first discuss the reasons why it makes that sound in the first place. This will give you an idea as to which action to take immediately.
Remember that an actual smoke alarm is a blaring sound that can usually be heard within the whole structure. The beeping sound we’re referring to is likened to an intermittent chirping sound which can only be heard within the room where it is located.
Since it’s not as loud as the actual alarm, some people tend to ignore it. But in reality, your device is telling you that there’s something wrong with it, so you have to take a look at it as soon as possible. Otherwise, it won’t be able to detect actual smoke in case a fire actually breaks out.
There are several reasons why smoke alarms make beeping noises. Here are the main reasons why.
- The battery needs replacement. The most common reason why smoke alarms emit a beeping sound once in a while is that the battery is starting to go flat. This is the system’s way of telling us that batteries need replacement as soon as possible. Otherwise, it may not be able to function as efficiently, and that could result in poor smoke detection.
- The device needs resetting. Another reason why smoke alarms beep is that the device needs resetting. This usually happens when the battery has already been replaced, but it still emits a beeping sound.
In this case, you would have to look for the reset button and give it a long press. It will alert you once the reset is successful, so you can re-install it in place.
But, remember that this varies from unit to unit. Some smoke alarms may not have a reset button installed.
- Something is blocking the sensor. In the case when you have already replaced the batteries and reset the device, and yet it still beeps – the device might be telling you that something is blocking the sensor.
Because of the smoke alarm’s positioning, it can be exposed to dust and similar debris which could clog up the sensor over time. When this happens, the device won’t be able to detect smoke properly, which is why it lets you know of an error in its smoke detection process. That’s why it won’t stop until the sensor is cleared out.
- The device needs replacement. And finally, if all of these reasons do not seem to be the answer, then you might have to replace your device entirely. This is especially true if you have conducted the necessary testing and it fails to meet the standards set by the law.
What Should You Do When Your Smoke Alarm Beeps
Now that you know the reasons why your smoke alarm beeps, we can now discuss what you should do about it. It can be a little complicated since our laws require different procedures for domestic and commercial systems. We’ll simplify things for you here.
In the case of a domestic smoke alarm system, you have to replace the batteries as soon as you remove them from the device. That means that you should already have your batteries at hand when you decide to replace them.
For added safety, you are required to test your domestic smoke alarm system weekly. Simply press the test button, and you will know when the device still works efficiently. If it fails the test, then you have to replace it as soon as possible.
In the case of commercial smoke alarm systems, you have to follow a more rigorous procedure. That includes a daily inspection of the alarm panel to ensure its proper detection and weekly testing of at least one device. As for the latter, it should be noted that the law requires a different alarm to be tested every week, with no more than 13 weeks between each testing of the same alarm zone.
In addition to this inspection and testing, it is recommended that fire detection and alarm systems be tested and serviced by an accredited professional.
These professionals are responsible for conducting the following safety protocols:
- Quarterly testing or servicing of the alarm systems, resulting in 100% of the system being tested within the year. The test or service should be done within 4 weeks more or less.
- Issue certificates following the quarterly and annual testing and servicing.
- Check sound levels of the alarm systems annually.
- Perform additional servicing in the event of a fire, alarm activation, and similar occurrences.
- Issue the certificate following such special servicing.
- Make sure that every event, as well as the steps taken to resolve problems, are properly noted for future reference.
The user is likewise required to display the certificate by the control panel. This is to serve as a reference for the date of the last service and the succeeding service.
With that said, it’s easy to see that we have such complicated laws that refer to fire alarms and safety. That’s why we should immediately act on it once the smoke alarm starts beeping.
But if all of this information still seems too complicated, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help. We are more than willing to assist you with your smoke alarm concerns.