Problems with your FireX smoke alarm can be caused by issues ranging from dying batteries to poor location and dirty sensors. The light on a FireX smoke detector unit intermittently flashes during regular operation; this is not a cause for concern. All FireX alarms come with five-year manufacturer warranties.
Understanding Beeps, Chirps and Lights
The meaning of beeps, chirps and blinking lights varies depending on the FireX model. If the unit beeps or chirps once per minute, the battery needs to be replaced or the unit cleaned. If the unit goes off when there isn't a fire, consider relocating it. Proximity to the kitchen and steamy bathrooms is a common cause for false alarms.
Battery and Power
A dying battery or unreliable power supply is the most common cause of false alarms. FireX recommends replacing the battery in the smoke alarm at least once a year to ensure proper operation. Only use new 9-volt batteries as replacements. Do not use rechargeable batteries. If the unit is wired to electrical power, a problem with the power supply can lead to false alarms and smoke alarm chirping.
This scenario can occur when the power goes out or otherwise is interrupted. If the unit is on the same circuit as an appliance that uses a lot of electricity, have an electrician move the smoke alarm elsewhere or put it on a different circuit. If the unit is plugged into a wall outlet, move it to another one.
Location of Firex Smoke Alarm
A FireX alarm is more likely to go off if it's located in an unfinished basement, garage, attic or an any area that's prone to dirt, dust or insects. The buildup of dust or the movement of insects in the unit's sensing chamber can trigger the alarm. If the alarm goes off mostly at night, it's likely insects are getting into the sensing chamber. To prevent these false alarms, regularly clean the FireX smoke alarm and locate it to an area less prone to bugs.
Weather Affects Alarm
Extreme cold and quick changes in temperature can cause your smoke alarm to go off. False alarms also may occur if the unit is located in a cold area near a doorway to a warm area, for instance. When the door is opened, the burst of warm air causes condensation to build up in the sensing chamber. The alarm operates properly between 40 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If the FireX unit is in an attic or garage where cold temperatures are inevitable, consider replacing the smoke alarm with a heat alarm.
Maintenance and Cleaning
Apart from ensuring it has a steady supply of reliable power, cleaning your FireX alarm is the best way to keep it properly working. To clean a FireX smoke alarm, remove it from the ceiling or wall. Use a can of compressed air or a vacuum cleaner to clean the gap between the back plate and front cover. Pay particular attention to the sensor, which should be free of debris and dust to work correctly. The sensor resembles a tin can with slits in it.
Resetting and Returning the Alarm
Resetting the unit often stops false alarms. Start by removing all sources of power. For a hard-wired unit, turn off the power to the alarm circuit by switching off the appropriate breaker in your home's service panel (breaker box). Remove the unit from its mount and disconnect the wiring harness from the back of the unit, then remove the battery from the unit. For battery-powered alarms, simply remove the unit from its mount and remove the battery.
Next, press and hold the TEST button on the unit for at least 15 seconds--the unit may chirp before going silent. Reinstall the battery and the unit, including reconnecting the wiring harness and turning on the circuit, as applicable. Test the unit by pressing and holding the TEST button; the alarm should sound within 3 seconds.
If troubleshooting does not fix the problem with your alarm, or if the smoke alarm does not sound when its TEST button is pressed for at least 3 seconds, it must be replaced. Return it to the manufacturer for a replacement if it's still under warrantee.
Andrew Tennyson has been writing about culture, technology, health and a variety of other subjects since 2003. He has been published in The Gazette, DTR and ZCom. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Master of Fine Arts in writing.