Q:

What should you do if your carbon monoxide detector is chirping?

A:

Quick Answer

When a carbon monoxide alarm makes a chirping noise, typically consisting of beeps every 30 seconds or so, the batteries in the device are low on power. The homeowner should change the batteries immediately. Renters should immediately contact building management. If there is confusion about whether the chirping noise is a low battery or a real emergency, residents should leave the building immediately and call for help.

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Full Answer

The fire department recommends changing carbon monoxide detector batteries twice a year, ideally during spring and fall seasonal time changes. This preventative step ensures the device continues to run smoothly, beeping only when a true emergency arises. Batteries should never be removed and set aside just to silence or reset the device. Doing so endangers the entire household.

If a homeowner needs instructions on how to change the batteries, he should consult the product guide, the manufacturer or customer service at a hardware store. After replacing the batteries, the alarm should be tested by pressing the test button. The alarm will make several loud beeps, which continue repeating until it is silenced. The red indicator light also turns on when it is working properly. A correctly placed carbon monoxide alarm only goes off when carbon monoxide gas is detected or batteries are low.

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