first alert smoke alarm beeping

Nothing is more annoying than the constant sound of your First Alert smoke alarm beeping.

It makes you want to rip it out of the wall and never plug it back in.

The problem is, your First Alert smoke alarm is designed to keep you and your family safe from any random fire that may occur in your home.

This guide is here to make sure you can finally stop your smoke alarm’s beeping, chirping, and screeching.

The most likely cause for this annoyance is a low battery. To fix this, take the smoke alarm down, take the old batteries out and replace them with fresh ones. 

Don’t live the rest of your life wondering how to stop the constant annoying sounds. Use this guide to finally make it stop.

How To Troubleshoot Your Battery

how troubleshoot battery

A big part of stopping this annoying sound is the battery itself. With a beeping alarm, the battery is most likely the culprit.

Here are all the ways you can troubleshoot the batteries of your device: 

Inspect The Drawer For Corrosion

The battery drawer is the small compartment where the batteries are stored.

Corrosion is a type of damage that can occur on metal surfaces. This happens due to a chemical reaction with the environment.

Rusting is an example of corrosion.

To unlock it, use a flathead screwdriver to unlock the locking pin and pry it out until it clicks. (You can save the locking pin if you plan to re-lock.)

Once the drawer is open, check the batteries for any signs of corroded material.

inspect the corrosion

If there are signs of corrosion on the batteries, they will need to be replaced.

Make sure to inspect:

  • The back of the batteries.
  • The entire surface of the drawer.
  • The battery terminals (the Plus and Minus pieces of metal).

If you do see corrosion, use a cotton swab dipped in vinegar to clean it off. Alternatively, you can use a wire brush to softly scrape the corrosion away.

Tip: While inspecting this area look for any kinds of foreign obstructions that shouldn't be there. Remove them immediately if you find any.

Your Battery Needs To Be Changed

The most common reason for First alert smoke and carbon monoxide alarm beeping is insufficient battery power.

To fix this, you simply need to change out the batteries.

Changing your battery is relatively straightforward:

  1. Take off the casing.
  2. Remove the old batteries.
  3. Connect the positive and negative terminals on the battery to those on the device.
  4. Install the new battery.
  5. To verify that the detector is working correctly, use the test button.
the battery need changed

If the unit starts randomly making noise, don’t panic.

First Alert alarms are designed to go off and make noise for a short time (between 5-10 seconds) when you replace the battery or when it first turns on.

Clear Any Residual Charge 

If the smoke detector’s battery is new but still chirping, the unit may be suffering from a residual charge.

This means there’s still power from the old battery stuck in there.

Follow these steps to get rid of any leftover power:

  1. Take the smoke alarm down.
  2. To begin, pry the cover open and remove the battery(s).
  3. Press down the “test button” for around 15-30 seconds to fully reset your smoke detector. Any leftover power will be discharged from the device.
  4. Open the back of the device and slide in the new battery.
  5. Use a cloth or compressed air to clean the unit. Vacuum the exterior with a small attachment. 
  6. By pressing the Test button, you will trigger a loud alarm sequence. This just means everything is working as it should be.

Ensure The Batteries Are “Fresh” Batteries

ensure the batteries are fresh

After changing the batteries, your First Alert alarm may still beep randomly.

If it does, that may mean that your batteries aren’t “fresh” enough.

Batteries stored in colder environments won’t keep their charge as long. 

So, if you think your batteries may be too cold, try moving them to a warmer location for a little while before using them.

Tip: When buying new batteries, check the freshness date on the packaging to ensure that they are still effective. Keep extras on hand just in case of an emergency.

Other Reasons For Your First Alert Smoke Alarm Beeping

other reason why beeping

Reasons for random sounds from your alarm are not limited to just the battery alone.

Here are all the other ways you can troubleshoot this issue.

Clear Any Dust And Debris

Not only does dust cause smoke alarms to chirp, but it can also prevent them from working properly.

The battery connection is especially vulnerable to dust and should be cleaned every six month period.

Here is how to keep your First Alert alarm clean:

  • After you take the faceplate off, use one of the smaller attachments on your vacuum cleaner to eliminate dust and debris. 
  • Use wipes to clean the exterior of your unit. Most commercial wipes will get the job done. 
  • Store a can of compressed air in your home to easily remove dust from tight spaces and for monthly cleanings.
Tip: You can extend the life and effectiveness of your smoke detectors by giving them a blast of compressed air once a month.

Reset Your First Alert Smoke Alarm

reset the smoke alarm

If the problem still persists,  you might have to reset it to solve the issue.

The instructions are different, depending on if the emergency alarm is wired or wireless.

To reset a battery-operated device, simply follow these three steps:

  1. Remove the batteries from the drawer. 
  2. Keep the test button depressed for at least 15 seconds.
  3. Replace the batteries with a brand new one, or the old one if there’s still a charge.

Wired devices rely on your home’s electricity, but most models come with backup batteries that will eventually need to be swapped out.

For wired smoke alarms:

  1. Turn off your home’s electrical power to avoid electric shocks.
  2. Unplug the unit’s power cable.
  3. Remove it from the ceiling or wall.
  4. Remove the fire alarm’s backup battery from the battery drawer.
  5. Depress the test button for around 15 seconds. 
  6. Restore your backup battery or replace with a new one if you’d like.
  7. Reconnect the device to the ceiling or wall.
  8. To turn your home’s power back on, flip the main breaker switch.

Temperature Can Affect Your Device

the temp can affect device

High humidity levels can cause a detector’s sensors to sound an alarm. To prevent this, don’t install units near bathrooms or other places with lots of moisture.

Similarly, if the device is positioned in direct sunlight, the sensors can get confused.

If your safety alarm is going off frequently and you suspect that direct sunlight may be the cause, try relocating the device.

If you install a smoke alarm too close to a heating or cooling vent, the particles from the ductwork can blow into and trigger false alarms.

This is more common when changing seasons cause you to turn on your heating or cooling for the first time in a while.

You could either relocate the detector or just be aware that there might be some false alarms during these times.

Warning: Insects can also set off sensors. This problem is easily remedied by cleaning the detector on a regular basis.

End Of Life Warning 

the end life warning

The last potential reason the smoke detector is making so much noise is that it could be nearing the end of the unit’s life and emitting a warning sound.

First Alert devices don’t last forever, and they will need to be replaced eventually.

However, you can extend the life of your smoke alarm by following the steps and advice given to you in this article.


Yes, it can be annoying when it comes to your First Alert smoke alarm beeping randomly throughout the day.

As long as you follow this guide, you can make the beeping stop and keep your home safer if a fire starts.

Nicole B