how to turn off fire alarm in apartment

Just like the solution you’re looking for; a lot of people are interested to learn the process of how to turn off fire alarm in apartment. And, in this guide, that’s what we will be teaching you!

We’ll go over the possibility of turning it off, the steps you need to take, and precautionary actions you can do moving forward!

To turn off the fire alarm in an apartment building, silence the device temporarily by clicking the silence function and telling your landlord/fire protection company about it. If you have access to the breaker, locate and turn it off.

Perform precautionary measures like cleaning the unit and testing to see if the battery is still good.

Before learning the process of how to turn off the fire alarm in an apartment building, let’s first discuss if this is actually possible in the first place.

Can You Turn Off a Fire Alarm in a Commercial Building?

Yes and No – here’s why.

The short and quick answer is no. Commercial buildings and establishments usually have tie-ups with local fire protection companies, and they are the ones that have control over it.

The long and expounded answer is yes, you can do it, but you’ll need the help of your landlord.

Most alarms would have a temporary “silence” function to ease the beeping/chirping sound.

However, that wouldn’t last too long so you need to try and ease it on your own if you have access to the breaker.

What you can do on your part is to prevent the alarm from sounding by performing relevant precautionary measures.

Now, let us give emphasis to the process of how you can turn off your fire alarm in your apartment building.

How to Turn Off Fire Alarm in Apartment? – Complete Steps

turn off fire alarm in apartment

In this guide, we cover the step-by-step procedure of how you can have a fire alarm that went off silent.

We’ll walk you through the process intricately and delicately, so you never have to worry about finding another source for it.

When You Don’t Have Access to the Breaker

Step #1: Temporarily Disable the Alarm

Modern-day fire alarms are designed to counter accidental or false alarms.

That’s why the majority of today’s fire alarms have a silence button, which helps temporarily disable the alarm when it goes off.

Older models, on the other hand, would require you to take the battery out. This is to release the stored energy on the capacitors of the unit.

Here’s what you normally have to do if you’re dealing with an older fire alarm:

  1. Take the cover of the alarm off by rotating it counter-clockwise.
  2. Remove the battery from its tray.
  3. If it’s not there, pull the alarm from its attachment on the ceiling to disable it.

NOTE: Other older versions will require you to pull it from its ceiling connection, and then press a button.

Step #2: Notify Your Landlord About It

After you’ve temporarily gotten rid of the sound, what you do next is notify your landlord about it.

Tell your landlord that the alarm went off for no apparent reason and you’ve successfully disabled it.

What they’ll do is they’ll contact the fire protection company while they try to help you ease the beeping or chirping sound that the alarm is producing.

Step #3: Contact Your Local Fire Protection Company

Alternatively, you can directly contact your fire protection company and let them know about the situation.

They would be the ones to have the keys that would help you turn the device off. From then on, they can also teach you ways on how to deal with it the next time you experience it.

Those are actually all you can do if you aren’t able to access the circuit breaker that powers up the alarm. But, what if you have access to the breaker?

How can you turn the beeping/chirping sound off?

When You Have Access to the Breaker

Should you have access to the mains or circuit breaker of your unit, you can attempt to turn it off by yourself.

Step #1: Turn the Breaker Off

It’s important to note that fire alarms wouldn’t have a direct circuit to the breaker.

This means, you’ll have to find it first. Here are a few of the most important things that would help you locate it:

  • It wouldn’t be connected to a GFI or a Ground Fault Circuit
  • Usually, it will be at a 15-ampere circuit at the breaker
  • If you have a switch for it, it wouldn’t still be effective to deactivate the unit

Once you’re able to find the breaker, you’re all good. You wouldn’t need the help of an expert.

Do trial and error to find the breaker. You’ll know that the breaker is turned off when the green LED light on the fire alarm is not turned on.

Alternatively, you can dismantle the alarm and use a voltage detector to see if electricity is still flowing on the device. 

Step #2: Dismount the Battery of the Fire Alarm

When the breaker is turned off, what you want to do next is to remove the battery on the device.

Most fire alarms have batteries that act as a backup source of energy, thanks to their capacitors. Due to this, the device would still be turned on or activated even if the power is disconnected.

So, take the battery out from the device by following these steps:

  1. Twist or rotate the cover of the alarm.
  2. Take the battery tray out (it will have the battery symbol carved/embedded).
  3. Remove the battery from the unit.

Step #3: Clean the Alarm

If an alarm’s beeping sound isn’t turning off after you tried to silence it, the problem could be with the device.

Most smoke alarms have sensors, so, if they’re blocked, it might pick up an incorrect sign, which disallows it to be turned off.

To clean your fire alarm:

  1. Remove the cover or the brace of the fire alarm.
  2. Clean out all dust and debris on the device.
  3. Vacuum out the surrounding areas, as well as the interior of the alarm.

NOTE: Make it a habit to clean your alarm at least once (1) a week or every two (2) weeks.

This is so that the build-up of dirt and dust wouldn’t be thick that it could tamper with the sensors.

Step #4: Check the Unit’s Battery

A faulty battery is also one of the culprits of a malfunctioning fire alarm. So, ensure that the battery of your fire alarm is still in good condition.

You can do this by performing a test on the device. The process is easy, you simply have to press and hold the test button on the smoke detector.

If the sound is loud, it means that your battery is still good. However, if it’s emitting a quiet sound or if it’s not sounding at all, it simply means that the battery needs to be replaced.

Step #5: Check the Wiring of the Socket/Brace

NOTE: Perform this only when you’re sure that the circuit breaker has been turned off.

Check the wiring by removing the cover of the fire alarm, and then pulling it so the wires are let out. Then, check if there are any disconnections on the wire or if there are loose threads.

If there are, you simply have to tighten them up or connect them manually by joining the wires depending on the color coding.

That’s just about it! These are the ways of how you can turn off or deactivate the fire alarm in your apartment building!

Read Next: Kidde Smoke Alarm Going Off For No Reason?

Bottom Line

In turning off the fire alarm in your apartment, you’ll have to raise this concern to your landlord or your local fire protection company if you don’t have access to the breaker. If you have, though, turn the breaker off, remove the battery, and perform maintenance services to avoid events like this again in the future.

Should you be wondering about the process of how to turn off fire alarm in an apartment, this guide will be all you need!

As you may have noticed, understanding the steps we mentioned is easy – you can do it even if you have little-to-no experience in electrical work!

Nevertheless, if you’re unable to access the circuit breaker or the mains of where the alarm is connected, you’ll have to seek help from your landlord or from an expert in the field.

Nicole B