Smoke Alarms in Oxford

Hawtin Electrical are your local, reliable, and trustworthy Electricians in Oxfordshire.  We are pleased to announce that we are NICEIC Registered Domestic Part P Installers and are on the Which? Trusted Traders website. 

Ever wondered why your smoke alarms are Beeping?

I have lost count with the number of phone calls we received at Hawtin Electrical with people telling us that there is a strange beep or chirping noise coming from their smoke alarms.  This might be a strange thing to be calling an electrician about but we sure are the right people to talk too. 

What can we do?

When you have these smoke detectors installed the electrician or fire alarm company that fits them should leave instructions on how to maintain them.  In these instructions it explains why these beeping and or chirping noises happen.  If you do not have the instructions, then all you need to do is find out the make and model of the detector and do a Google search for the installation instructions.  When you find the instructions make sure you save them or print them out so if you forget then you know where to go again.

What is actually going on?

So why do they make that beeping noise?  Most smoke or heat alarms rely on some sort of battery to power them.  These batteries obviously have a shelf life and will undoubtedly fail or start to fail at some point.  This is the smoke or heat alarms way of telling you this.  It makes a beeping noise to let you know that the batteries power is starting to fail and would be a good idea to replace it.  Once you put the new battery in it should stop the beeping.  What you should never to is just ignore the beeping or be tempted to remove the head all together and put it in the garage because it’s annoying you.  The beep is there to annoy you into doing something. Yes that’s right, CHANGE THE BATTERY.

How do we change the battery then James?

Well again this comes back to you having the correct set of instructions for your make and model of smoke alarms.  It will tell you firstly how to remove the cover and then where to find the battery?  From there it’s just a case of simply removing the old and in with the new.  This is normally a square 9-volt battery, one’s you can pick up in any hardware store or super market so they are readily available to you. It’s also a good idea to buy packs at a time so you have spares when you need them.

But it’s now making a chirping noise and I’ve replaced the battery?


Description automatically generatedNow if it’s not the battery and it’s making a different noise it might mean you have what’s called mains powered with battery backup alarm.  These alarms are powered from the standard electricity (230 Volts) which powers everything in your home and can be on their own circuit or be powered from a local lighting circuit (one which is used regularly).  The chirping may be that that the alarm has lost its power from the circuit. This means you may have to check to see if all the lights are working in case it is on the same circuit or indeed in some cases go to the fuse box and see if anything has tripped.  You see this is the alarms way of telling you that it has lost power and that something NEEDS to be done.

In most domestic alarms on the market which are mains powered it will have the same 9-volt battery in it as a backup in case of a loss of power so yes, those batteries will also need replacing on a regular basis.

Why not find Hawtin Electrical on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to get a reminder once a month to test your alarms to see if their working as they should.

Why use a NICEIC Part Installer and Which? Trusted trader?

NICEIC Part P Installers are vetted at least once a year by NICEIC assessors with many years of experience in the electrical industry to discuss any updates in the electrical regulations (BS7671) and assess any work carried out by the installer to make sure standards are being kept with regards to how we install your electrics.  They also do an office audit to make sure that our training is up to date and that the insurance we hold is current and of the correct value.  This alone sets us apart from the cowboys.  You can Contact Hawtin Electrical by calling us on 01865 479368.