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What are some common problems with smoke alarms?

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Quick Answer

Some of the most common problems with smoke alarms are battery problems, electrical problems and an end of life warning. All of these issues should be taken care of as soon as possible to keep a smoke alarm working as it should.

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Full Answer

The most common problem with smoke alarms is a dying battery. A dying battery will usually cause a smoke alarm to "chirp" which is annoying, but let's the owner know there is a problem. To fix this problem, simply change out the battery. Most smoke alarms have an easily accessible battery compartment to make changing the battery fast and easy.

Another problem with smoke alarms in more modern buildings is electrical issues. Some smoke detectors are interconnected to the same circuit in the home. When the power goes out, for whatever reason, the smoke alarms throughout the home will chirp until the power comes back on. To solve this problem, check for a tripped circuit breaker and make sure the smoke alarm is properly wired in the home. In this instance, an electrician's help may be needed.

Smoke detectors don't live forever. They usually have a lifespan of around 10 years and when a smoke alarm reaches the end of its life, it will emit an "end of life" warning, telling the homeowner it's time for a new alarm. Many smoke detectors will beep in a pattern when it's time for a new one.

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