Smoke alarms are designed to start beeping when the batteries are running low. This can cause your smoke alarm to make a chirping noise at times when the smoke has not been detected. In most cases, you can stop the beeping noise by replacing the batteries and resetting the smoke alarm.

This is all a part of ongoing smoke alarm maintenance.

The fact that your alarm is beeping is a good sign – it means your device is still working well enough to detect the low battery power and let you know that a changeover is due.

Aside from low battery problems, there can be other reasons you’re always asking “why does my smoke alarm keep going off?”. Check out the rest of our blog post to silence your mysterious beeping friend.


If your smoke alarm keeps beeping, you might need to check the inside of the device for battery obstructions.

Sometimes people forget to remove the ‘pull tab’ from the battery. This can stop your alarm from functioning properly, so double check that you have pulled it out. If that’s not the problem, there might be something else stopping the battery from connecting properly.

Open your alarm and check for debris, insects, and dust. It might seem silly, but spiders can often find their way into your alarm and take up enough space to dislodge the battery. After you have finished removing any obstructions, make sure the battery drawer is completely closed.

End of Life Warning

That pesky smoke alarm chirping might be a sign that you actually need to replace your device. Most smoke alarms have a life of around 10 years.

According to the building code of Australia, domestic smoke alarms need to be replaced every 10 years. So, if you’re a landlord or property manager, make sure you are up to date.

The main problem with smoke alarm replacement is remembering when you last installed a new one. Luckily, a lot of new devices have a built-in “end of life warning” that will indicate the need for replacement. The sound your system makes will be unique to your device but it will likely be similar to the low battery warning sound.

Check the manual (if you can find it) to identify the sound.

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Dirty Device

Why does my smoke alarm keep going off? Dust might be the simple answer to your question. When dust gets inside your alarm, it can disrupt the internal sensors. Any debris on the outside of your device can cause confusion on the external sensors.

The best way to avoid a false alarm is to clean the inside and outside of your alarms regularly. You can do this with a vacuum cleaner, duster, or paint brush.

In addition to cleaning your device, you can also assess its location. Is it in an area where it is likely to be exposed to a lot of dust or moisture? You might need to consider relocating your smoke alarm to a position where it will encounter less debris.

How to Reset a Smoke Alarm

Sometimes, even after you’ve replaced the batteries inside your alarm, it can still keep beeping. This is when you need to know how to reset smoke alarms. It might be a bit tricky – the way you reset your device will depend on the make and model of your alarm.

If you can’t find the user manual, follow these steps for resetting the most common smoke alarms. Pease note: if you hear an alarm go off, always assume this is because of a fire. Investigate the cause of the alarm before you reset anything.

  • For battery powered smoke alarms, find the reset button and hold it down until the beeping stops.
  • For mains powered smoke alarms, try the reset button and see if it works. If it doesn’t switch your circuit breaker on and off and see if that silences the alarm.
  • If you really need to silence your alarm (with the intention of contacting a professional for help), take the batteries out for a temporary fix. You’ll need to restore your system to working order as soon as possible to ensure a working fire warning system in your building.


It is important to remember that resetting an alarm is only a temporary fix. The constant beeping of your device could be a symptom of a larger issue. Of course, if your alarm is beeping, always consider the chance that it has detected a fire. Complete a full risk assessment before tampering with your device.

We hope we’ve answered your FAQ – “why does my smoke alarm keep going off?”. If you are a property manager or a landlord, ask us about our testing services. We’ll help your tenants troubleshoot any smoke alarm issues and complete routine tests to ensure functionality.


The Importance of Ensuring You Have a Functional Smoke Alarm

Anyone who has ever owned a home or business in which constant, unexplained smoke alarm beeping is a problem will know just how frustrating the issue can be. But whilst many people may be tempted in the circumstances to give up on their smoke detectors altogether, there are of course a number of crucial reasons why you must not be persuaded to do so.

In many states and territories in Australia, strict legislation has been passed to ensure that all businesses – and even residential properties – comply with stringent fire-safety standards, including ensuring that functional smoke detectors are fitted and maintained onsite.

But the legal ramifications of failing to ensure that your property is fitted with smoke alarms are only a small part of the issue: the really important reason is to minimise the very serious dangers which caused legislation to be required originally. Many people hugely underestimate the risk of fire on their property, as well as just how quickly and easily fire can spread and cause major destruction and threat to life.

So if you’re currently struggling to determine the reason that you’re experiencing random smoke alarm beeping, don’t give up and uninstall your device. Instead, work to find out what the issue is, hire professional help, or otherwise consider purchasing a replacement.

The Benefits of a Professional Assessment

If there’s a smoke alarm not working in your business, you can, of course, opt to try to resolve the problem yourself – or simply to replace it. But the very best option is to work with a professional fire safety expert to determine exactly what’s coursing the issue and put it right as swiftly, effectively and affordably as possible.

Whilst it may seem the simpler and cheaper option to try to put the issue right yourself, or even to simply foot the bill for a replacement, it’s far better in the long-term to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that an expert has performed a thorough, comprehensive investigation and ensured that your property is fully compliant with all fire safety laws and is well-protected against the threat of fire.

Why You Should Choose Jim’s Fire Safety

Here at Jim’s Fire Safety, we’ve built a strong reputation in the industry as one of Australia’s leading fire safety specialists. Our team of friendly and professional staff can apply their extensive knowledge, experience and training to a wide range of properties and situations. Regardless of whether you’re the owner of a small, family-run business, a large, national corporation or simply a humble home in the suburbs, we’re always more than happy to work with you to get to the bottom of the problems you’re experiencing with your smoke alarm and put them right with maximum efficiency and minimal expense.

Get in touch today if you’re interested in finding out more information about who we are and what we can do for your home or business.

Jim’s Fire Safety specialises in fire safety protection for homes & workplaces around Australia. We offer a variety of services such as smoke alarm testing and fire extinguisher testing to ensure you are safe if a fire does occur. Browse our website further or contact us to learn more.