first alert smoke detector blinking red

Wondering why First Alert smoke detector blinking red? We got you covered!

Understanding smoke detectors and especially the light indications are very crucial. These lights don’t just blink but also warn you of risks, and one of that indications is the red color.

If your First Alert detector blinks in red light, then in this guide you’ll learn everything that’s important.

The red light on the First Alert detector indicates different things and the most frequent cause is Low Batteries.

To be able to recognize the red light, you would need to perform a thorough inspection of the First Alert detector!

First Alert Blinking Red Light – Meaning!

first alert blinking red light

If you’re seeing a blinking red light on the First Alert alarm detector then the batteries have to be replaced.

However, the blinking light might also indicate other factors that also impact the device, hence if the red light does not disappear you’ll need a troubleshooting guide!

Blinking Red Light First Alert Smoke Detector – Fixed Easily!

As you now know, a smoke detector’s red light may flash to indicate a normal operation or to warn you of any danger.

To understand the main issue of your product, you will need to troubleshoot it to determine what’s causing the red light to blink.

Let’s begin!

Solution #1 Check For Smoke Or Fire! 

check for smoke or fire

The very first and most important thing is to check whether there is any possibility of a fire hazard in the home.

Besides the batteries, the red light can indicate a missed alarm so it’s essential to check whether the alarm hasn’t been triggered when you were gone.

Maybe the detector is detecting the smoke in the room and that’s why it is blinking or producing loud sounds.

Hence, you have to check your home for fire, smoke, or even shower vapor that might be triggering the First Alert detector. 

The level of red light or beeping sound may vary from model to model and that’s why you must need to go through the product manual to get a proper understanding.

In case there is no danger and there is no smoke in the room, continue with the next solution.

Quick Tip: Do not install a smoke detector above a cooking appliance!

Solution #2 Smoke Detector Is Functioning

smoke detector is working

The purpose of the red light on First Alert detectors models is quite different, but most of the models blink red light when they are working normally.

You shouldn’t be concerned by the red light if the alarm is not chirping or beeping. 

On some models, the “power light” is red or green, and again, based on the product it will either blink once every 60 seconds or stay solid.

In case you’ve never seen the red light blinking before, then something definitely happened to the detector.

In order to identify the cause as soon as possible, we can’t proceed without replacing the batteries so keep reading…

Solution #3 Replace Smoke Detector Batteries!

replace smoke detector batteries

The biggest possibility behind the First Alert smoke detector blinking red light is if the batteries are low or near dead.

However, each model has a different method of alerting you to low batteries; some models do this by flashing red light, while others beep or produce chirping.

  • First Alert detector batteries have to be replaced every year!

Keep in mind that not every smoke detector’s battery can be replaced depending on the model so check your product manual for the appropriate guide.

In case your detector has a 10-year sealed battery and the years have passed, you’ll need a new detector.

How To Replace Batteries In Smoke Detector?

  1. Turn off the First Alert detector if it is hard-wired.
  2. Hold the detector and remove the outer cover of the detector.
  3. Locate the battery compartment there.
  4. Hold the lever to take off the battery compartment cover.
  5. Hold the battery and carefully remove it.
  6. Then insert the AA or nine-volt battery into the detector.
  7. Place the compartment and outer cover back on the detector.

For a battery to be able to last for at least a year, we need to prove brands such as Duracell Coppertop AA Batteries or 9V Duracell Pack, again based on your detector model.

Solution #4 Smoke Detector is “SILENCED”

smoke detector is silenced

Maybe you already have an idea that the First Alert detectors have a Test/Silence button that will check whether the device is producing the expected alarm sound.

It also turns the detector into Silence Mode, which on many models is indicated by a blinking red light.

Of course, still, it doesn’t mean that the device is having some issues because it is in just silence mode and working fine.

You simply need to press the Test/Silence button to exit the test or silence mode so the detector can start functioning properly.

Tip: Make sure to test the detector once a week to maintain its performance!

Solution #5 Clear The Dust Around Alarm

dust the alarm

The First Alert detectors do not just detect the smoke level but also the dust level in the environment as well.

If the detector is still blinking red, it may be because you placed it in a dusty area or there is much dust in its surrounding.

  • Clean the area around the detector or place it somewhere else!

Is The First-Alert Detector Dirty?

Regular maintenance of the First Alert detectors is equally important as changing the batteries for their proper performance.

In the short term, that’s not an issue but in long term, the dust accumulates over the sensors which could lead to the sensor or chamber malfunction.

The need to do this is necessary because the maintenance and care of the product are what help it to work for a long time.

We should also mention that the detector shouldn’t be installed near an area from where typically we produce cooking heat or any sort of steam.

Tip: The First Alert detector should be installed in the bedroom or in the outside hall.

Solution #6 Reset The First Alert Detector!

reset the smoke detector

Sometimes, especially when the red light has never been there before we need to perform a Full Reset on the First Alert detector.

It’s possible that the device is experiencing a system glitch or bug that is impacting the entire functionality!

The reset will discharge the device and if your First Alert detector is hard-wired we strongly suggest flipping the switch of the circuit breaker fuse.

In contrast, to achieve the goal with wireless First Alert detectors we only need to remove the batteries. 

Here is how you can reset any model of First Alert detectors:

  1. Dismount the detector from the ceiling.
  2. For (hard-wired) detectors, switch OFF the AC line.
  3. For (wireless) detectors, simply eject the batteries.
  4. Next, press and hold the Test/Silence button for 20 seconds!
  5. The First Alert detector will automatically reset after a few moments.

After resetting the First Alert detector, insert the batteries and press and hold the Test/Silence button to test the alarm.

The noise should be ear-piercing and you can turn it off manually by holding the Test/Silence button again.

In case the red lights are still there, let’s see what else we can do!

First Alert Smoke Detector Blinking Red Light Still…

smoke detector still blinking red light

If after implementing all the above solutions from the guide the red blinking light doesn’t go away perhaps you can claim your warranty.

However, if the device is old and the red light started to appear recently, it’s best to purchase a new device to avoid being at risk.

  • The life span of a First Alert detection alarm is 10 years!

Feel free to contact First Alert Support if your detector is still covered by warranty and you’re confident that the red light is problematic.

They will assist you with further explanations for the red light by examining the exact product model.

Good luck!

Quick Recap:

Whenever the First Alert smoke detector blinking red, we definitely need to check the user manual to understand what it means.

The red light indication could mean that the device is working properly, the battery is low, or the device is malfunctioning.

We would like to inform you that the information in this guide is produced purely by the writer’s knowledge and research.

If the First Alert detector is broken we do not mean to provide peace of mind so seek professional help!

Nicole B