All properties have smoke detectors. Properties with gas burning appliances, a fireplace, or an attached garage should have a CO/Smoke combo.
They are usually clearly labeled if they detect carbon monoxide as well as smoke/fire.
Smoke detectors have 2 alarms that mean different things:
- Beep/chirp approximately 2-3 times every 5 minutes most of the time means the battery needs changed. If that doesn’t fix it, it may have lost power to the unit or have a loose connection. If you unplug the detector from the ceiling/wall, it will probably continue making noise because there is a back-up battery in most of them. If you take the battery out it still has enough power stored internally to beep 4-5 more times.
- Beeping/chirping non-stop means there is smoke/fire or it’s a false alarm.
See below for false alarms:
- Most false alarms (chirping non-stop) are caused by dust in the sensor area of the detector. – Fixed by blowing out with compressed air or vacuum.
- Some smoke detectors have an expiration (10yrs for example & usually labeled on back of unit) and after that time period they start having false alarms. – Fixed by replacing expired detectors.
- Very rarely, false alarms are caused by drastic temp./weather changes, such as attic being 120 degrees and house at 75. – Fixed by pushing the silence button (if it has one) and after a short time it will reset and hopefully not falsely go off again.
- Very rarely, false alarms are caused by air blowing directly on the detector (open window, ceiling fan blowing upward instead of downward, etc.). – Fixed by redirecting air movement away from detector.
- Very rarely, false alarms are caused by a defective detector. – Fixed by replacing detector.