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First Alert Smoke Alarm How to & Troubleshooting Guide

First Alert Smoke Alarm How to & Troubleshooting Guide

The safety of your home is crucial. You need to protect your property and loved ones from all dangers, including fires. Fires can cause a lot of damage, injury, and even death. Therefore, it is essential to put fire safety devices in your home to alert you in case of a fire. One of the best choices in fire safety is a smoke alarm.

The smoke alarm will warn the occupants of your home that there may be a fire. They can then put it out before it becomes a problem or leave the house. Smoke alarms are designed to notice smoke and ring, so they will detect the smoke even if the fire is in your oven.

If you are looking for a smoke alarm, you should consider First Alert smoke alarms. 

First Alert is an American company established in 1958. Its founders were the creators of the first battery-operated smoke detector. The company works with various partners to provide fire safety and help keep families safe. 

Their experience means that they have the best smoke alarm systems today. If you want to buy a First Alert smoke alarm, you should know how to use and repair it. Below is a comprehensive guide on using and troubleshooting your First Alert smoke detector. 

How to reset a First Alert smoke alarm

If your smoke alarm keeps chirping when you put in new batteries, it may need a reset. Smoke alarm chirps can be irritating, making it difficult to concentrate or sleep. Resetting the smoke alarm will stop the noise. Follow these easy steps to reset your First Alert smoke alarm. 

  • Remove your First Alert smoke alarm from its position on your wall or ceiling. 
  • Carefully open the cover and remove the batteries. 
  • Long press (15-30 seconds), then release the Test button. 
  • That should ensure your smoke alarm is fully reset and drain any residue charge. 

How to turn off a First Alert smoke alarm

An alarm producing false beeps can be very annoying. In addition, such an alarm reduces the safety levels in your home. Smoke alarms may sometimes make false beeps when more than ten years old. 

They may also create false beeps when installed near a steam source. Whether your smoke alarm produces an unnecessary beep or not, you may need to turn it off. 

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Long press the silence button on the smoke detector. That should silence it and allow you to find the cause if it is not immediately apparent. 

The First Alert smoke alarm keeps going off

A smoke alarm that keeps going off even when there is no smoke can irritate you. It will keep you up at night and ensure that you cannot concentrate during the day. There are several reasons why your First Alert smoke alarm may keep going off.  

Insufficient battery power

If there is no charge in your batteries, your smoke alarm will keep going off. Consider trying out new batteries for your smoke alarm. 

Voltage problems

If the smoke alarm is connected to your home power system, you may experience a continuous weak sounding alarm. For instance, during a brownout, your First Alert smoke alarm may go off continuously. In that case, disconnect power at the mains until the brownout stops.

Ensure that you reconnect power after the brownout; that will ensure your smoke alarms can warn you in case of a fire. 

Faulty warning device

If your warning device is not compatible with your smoke alarm, it will keep going off.

How to change the battery in your First Alert smoke alarm

If there is insufficient power in your smoke alarm batteries, your smoke alarm will not warn you if there is a fire in your home. 

If your smoke alarm keeps beeping every 60 seconds, it is time to change the batteries. First Alert smoke alarms use either AA or 9V batteries. Follow these easy steps to charge its batteries. 

  • If you have a hardwired smoke alarm, you need to start by turning off the power. Hardwired means that it is connected to a 120-volt circuit. 
  • Detach your alarm from the wall or ceiling. 
  • Remove the batteries from the unit. If there is a tamper-resistant locking pin, you must first remove it. 
  • Long press the reset or test button to get rid of residue charge.
  • Carefully insert your new batteries, ensuring that contact points face the correct direction. 
  • Lock the battery drawer and mount your First Alert smoke alarm.  

First Alert smoke alarm beeping after battery change

Sometimes your First Alert smoke detector may keep beeping after changing the battery. To stop the noise, you can reset the smoke alarm. The reset will stop the noise. 

First Alert smoke alarm chirping every 40 seconds

If your smoke alarm keeps chirping every 40 seconds, you need to change the battery. Replacing the battery will ensure that the noise stops. 

Remember to change your smoke alarm batteries every 12 months to avoid such problems. In addition, use high-quality batteries that are guaranteed to serve you for a long time.

First, Alert smoke alarm three beeps then stops

If you notice that your First Alert smoke alarm beeps thrice then stops, it is probably malfunctioning. Changing the dry cells will not solve the problem, and you may have to buy a new one. 

Check the age of the alarm; if it is new, you can return it to the manufacturer for replacement. On the other hand, if it is ten years old, it has expired, and you will need to buy a new one. 

Ensure that you do not leave expired or malfunctioning smoke detectors in your home, as they will not protect you when there is a fire.

How to stop the smoke alarm from chirping

You can do various things to stop your smoke detector from chirping. First, make sure that you identify the type of chirp and then use the following troubleshooting tips to fix the problem. 

One chirp per minute

If you get one low volume chirp every minute, that is a sign of a problem with the battery. Replace the dry cells if they have been in use for more than 12 months. 

  • For users who recently replaced their batteries but hear a chirp every minute, check that the batteries are facing the right direction. If you insert batteries with the contacts facing the wrong path, you may hear the chirp, and your smoke alarm will not work. 
  • Another reason why you may face this problem is leaving the battery drawer open after changing the batteries. Make sure you check, and if it is still open, close it. 
  • If the above does not work, you can try resetting the unit. 

Three chirps per minute

Three chirps per minute suggest that the smoke detector could be malfunctioning. If you recently bought it, remove it and return it to the manufacturer. On the other hand, if it is expired, you will need to replace it with a new one. 

Five chirps per minute

Five chirps every minute mean that your smoke detector has reached the end of its life. You can use the silence button to make the beeping stop. However, the beeping will resume after two days, and after three weeks, you will not be able to use the silence button to make it stop.

If your smoke detector makes this noise, you need to replace it immediately. If it is still under warranty, you can get a new one from your manufacturer.

Intermittent beeps

A variety of problems causes these. If you recently put in new batteries, follow these troubleshooting tips.

  • Begin by unmounting the alarm.
  • Next, open the cover and remove the batteries. 
  • Next, long-press the Test button to reset the smoke detector. That will also drain residue charge. 
  • Insert a new battery and close the battery drawer.
  • Using a microfiber cloth, clean the smoke alarm.   
  • Finally, press the test button. If there is a very loud sequence, it means the unit is working correctly, and you can remount it on your wall or ceiling. 

What does flashing red light mean on a First Alert smoke detector?

The red flashing light on your First Alert has different meanings for different models. Here are some First Alert fire alarm models and the purpose of red flashing lights on them. 

Model Meaning of Red flashing Light
7010B,3120B 702BSL 7030BSL 9120B The smoke detector has been silenced using the silence or test button.
SC7010B SC9120B 9120B 7030BSL, 7020BSL 7010B 3120B A smoke detector in an interconnected series flashes inform the homeowner that it triggered the alarm
SA340 SC05 SC07CN SC05CN 0827BSmoke detector blinks red when it is connected to power and working correctly. 

The first Alert smoke alarm goes off for no reason (false alarm)

False alarms are stressful and worry your entire family for no reason. They can also be inconvenient if you have a young child. Follow these easy steps to fix the possible causes of this problem. 

  • Start by using the Test/Silence button to shut off the sound coming from the smoke alarm. 
  • Review the date of manufacture on the smoke alarm and ensure that it is not older than 7-10years. If it is, you need to replace it with a new one.
  • Next, inspect the sensing chamber for dust, debris, or bugs. These may have triggered the alarm. If you find any, clean the smoke alarm with a soft brush and a can of compressed air. Make sure that you do this regularly to prevent more nuisance alarms.  
  • Review the placement of the First Alert smoke alarm. For example, if it is near direct sunlight, fluorescent lighting, HVAC vents, moving air, or a source of steam, it will go off for no reason. If it is, move it to a different position, and the false alarms will stop. 
  • Next, find out whether the false alarm occurs during a power interruption. For example, you may experience false alarms during power outages if you have hardwired smoke alarms. In addition, a loose hot wire will have the same effect on an AC/CD smoke alarm.
  • If you have a battery-operated smoke alarm, ensure that it is not installed over a junction box. Battery-operated units give false alarms when placed near junction boxes. 
  • If none of the above are a problem, the unit may malfunction. Therefore, it is advisable to talk to the manufacturer about the issue you are having with your First Alert smoke alarm. 

How do I make my First Alert smoke detector stop beeping without disabling it?

You can quickly stop your First Alert smoke alarm without disabling it by silencing it. You can do that by pressing the silence button on the detector. That will make it stop beeping while you look for the trigger. 

First Alert smoke detector too sensitive

If your smoke detector gets easily triggered, it can become a nuisance. That could happen due to the smoke alarm position and the amount of dust and pollutants in the air. Consider doing any of the following things if an oversensitive smoke detector is bothering you. 

Move it

If your smoke detector is too close to your cooking area, it may get triggered easily. That is because kitchen accidents, as well as steam, can activate your smoke alarm. Therefore, it is advisable to use duct take while looking for the best place to mount it. That will ensure that you only drill when you find the perfect spot. 

Silence it

You can silence the smoke detector while you look for the trigger. For instance, if the alarm was activated by steam, you could consider moving it away from your kitchen.

Replace the smoke alarms

Over time smoke alarms can become clogged with dust and debris. These make the smoke alarm very sensitive and easily triggered. Consider cleaning the smoke alarm and if that does not work, buy a new one and install it. You can also consider asking your supplier about photoelectric smoke detectors. These are less likely to produce false alarms.  

Check the type

Ionization type smoke alarms are more sensitive. If it is contaminated, it will be very easily triggered. Consider using a pressurized air can to clean the sensor vent if yours is dirty.

Check fireplace smoke and other pollutants.

If the air in your home is dusty, your smoke alarm may be easily triggered. Clean the chimney if you have a fireplace and it keeps activating the unit. That will ensure no smoke comes back into the house. It would assist if you also considered moving the smoke alarm a little further away from the chimney. 

How to test a First Alert smoke detector 

It is essential to check whether your alarms are working correctly. You can do that by pressing the Test button. The test button is usually on the top or side of your smoke alarm.

When you press the Test button, you will hear a loud sound, followed by a warning to evacuate, and finally, several beeps. That means your smoke alarm is in good condition.

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How long do First Alert smoke detectors last?   

First Alert smoke detectors last ten years.

Where to install your First Alert smoke detector for optimum performance

Install smoke detectors in all parts of your home. Ensure that you install one in each bedroom and other parts of your home:

  • To ensure that you do not have false alarms, ensure that alarms in the kitchen are more than 10 feet from cooking appliances.
  • Ensure that you install your fire alarm in high places as smoke rises.
  • Do not install your smoke detector near windows or air ducts, which affects their performance. 

How to install a First Alert smoke detector

To install a First Alert smoke detector, you will need a drill with a 5mm drill bit, a hammer, a Phillips screwdriver, and a pencil. If you just purchased your new smoke detector, follow these easy steps to install it. 

  • Mark the drill points on the ceiling, 8 inches or more from the closest wall. 
  • Next, drill holes and mount your new First Alert smoke alarm onto its mounting bracket. 
  • Twist the smoke alarm into place.
  • After screwing on the alarm’s base plate, insert batteries. 

Why does my smoke alarm go off when it is cold outside?

The alarm goes off due to water vapor in the alarm’s detection chamber. Since alarms sense particles, condensation in the sensor activates the alarm. If your smoke alarm is near a door, you can move it to ensure it does not go off.