Your smoke detector will display a red blinking or LED light, alongside a loud chirping noise. This will continue depending on your specific type of smoke alarm every couple of hours. But how do I know if my smoke detector needs a new battery – usually if the red light flashes every couple of minutes to less. Your smoke alarm should have its batteries changed out, as well as a complete run through it testing sequence. This usually consists of pressing and holding your testing button for 5-10 seconds until a loud chirping noise is heard.
After completing the testing steps your smoke detectors should be completely displaying green, if there is any variance, such as continuing to display a red color, then there is something is amiss. This can be anything from the system detecting actual smoke particles, to particulate from around the area, to dust and debris.
Cleaning out the smoke detector and the area around it would be your best chance to figure out the issue. This preliminary cleaning can be done with a variety of different cleaning products but using some soapy water after dusting the unit with a cloth, is your best bet. After completing those steps, make sure your unit has some clean air circulating around it.
You can manually reset the unit or wait 10 minutes, if there are no other issues, the entirety of the system should reset by itself. Glowing a welcoming green color to any observer. Continue to clean and allow air to circulate within the room that your smoke detector resides in, but be wary if the LED continues to show red. There may be smoke generating somewhere within the room that holds your smoke detector.
If it is not possible to remove or replace the batteries of your smoke detector unit, as is the case with hardwired or 10-year smoke alarms, then the only option left is to replace your smoke detector unit. Unless your system is hardwired, you can do the entire operation yourself.
Most smoke detector units are connected to a scaffold that acts as a slot where the unit can be held by while installed on the ceiling. Either by turning the unit counterclockwise or pressing it in an upward motion to unhitch the system, you can fully detach the smoke detector.
For your hardwired system getting an operator for your home’s smoke detector system would be best as most home security systems require a trained technician to manually disconnect and troubleshoot the units interconnected with your system. The good news is that if there are any issues, they will be very easy to diagnose as most newer home defense systems have built in alerts that give notice to the members of a household when there is an issue with a particular unit.
Those that are worried of losing functionality when their smoke detector system gives out, you do have a grace period before having to change it. Even If the batteries are running out of energy, your smoke detector will automatically switch over to auxiliary power. This will allow it to function for a small amount of time until the auxiliary energy cannot expend enough to turn the LED on nor let out the characteristic chirping noise.
The mechanism behind this system is ingenious as when your smoke detector is running out of power, it also begins to let the user know immediately. Modern smoke detectors have small electrical currents that runs through the sensing chamber that allows for the smoke particles to enter, and when the current cannot run freely, it will begin to blare out noise.
Normally this reaction only happens when smoke is passing through the sensing chamber, but when the internal battery cannot support the current at the voltage necessary, it will respond with the characteristic loud chirping until the unit has its battery replaced.