If you hear a smoke alarm go off, you should always assume there is a fire and seek shelter immediately. However, what if your smoke alarm goes out, but it doesn’t turn off? In that case, the fire department is called. While no one wants a fire, the National Fire Protection Association prefers to attend to genuine emergencies rather than false alarms.
To swiftly resolve a false alarm, you must first understand how your home’s smoke alarms function. There are three different power sources for smoke alarms: battery-operated, Long-life lithium batteries, or hard-wired with a battery backup. Your first step is to locate the reset button and then take the smoke alarm down if that doesn’t work.
If you can, on battery-powered detectors, remove the batteries, although if the smoke alarm has a lithium battery, you can’t take out, and the best hope is to hide it under a thick blanket or cushion and hope it stops. However, for a hard-wired smoke detector, they are on a circuit for smoke detector that is connected by electrical wires. If one alarm sounds, you’ll be struggling to find what circuit are smoke detectors on as all the alarms sound.
You can try to hit the reset button on all your smoke alarms. Yet, it could be quicker to flip the circuit breaker off. (Learn How To Disconnect Hard Wired Smoke Alarm)
In our guide, you can learn more about a smoke alarm circuit. By the end, you’ll know more about the ultimate solution and how do you turn off hard-wired smoke detectors.
How Do You Turn Off A Hardwired Smoke Detector?
You can get several types of smoke detectors for your home. Battery-powered don’t use the home electrical system, and thus there is no circuit breaker for smoke detector.
However, many residential smoke alarms are hard-wired smoke detectors on a breaker. The breaker controls most of the power, and the battery serves as a backup.
If the power goes out, the battery kicks in.
With this, you can ask, do you have to turn off power to change smoke detector?
Here is one reason you’ll find, should smoke alarms be on their own circuit. You’ll need to disable the fire alarm circuit breaker if you need to service or replace the alarm to ensure it stays working properly.
One instance, you may find a carbon monoxide alarm start beeping is at night. A battery characteristic may cause your smoke alarm to fall into low battery chirp mode as air temperatures drop.
Most homes have cooler temps from 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. when the alarm may sound a low-battery chirp, where it then stops as the home warms a few degrees.
Hardwired alarms shouldn’t suffer this problem.
Here you can see how to go about silencing a battery-powered smoke detector
- Look around your home for a fire alarm that has been activated.
- Because the alarm is self-contained, it should not have triggered any other alarms, leaving you with only one to be concerned about.
- Keep in mind that some battery-powered smoke alarms can be remotely connected or to a fire alarm panel.
- A few seconds of holding down a button on the front of a modern battery-powered fire alarm will accomplish this.
- In order to activate an alarm that is more than five years old, you may have to remove it from the wall or ceiling and push a button on the back.
- If resetting the detector does not turn off the alarm, the batteries may be faulty.
- Remove the old battery and add a new battery to your detector by unscrewing it from the wall or ceiling mounting bracket.
- The device should then be reset. Finally remove the batteries entirely if the alarm is still operational.
- You may find a non-removable 10-year battery in newer alarms. It is not advisable to attempt to remove such a battery. If the item is defective, get a new fire alarm sooner rather than later.
- It’s a sign that the batteries are fading or that the equipment has become damaged if the fire alarm beeps occasionally instead of emitting a full, quick alarm.
- Smoke detectors that aren’t working should be replaced. If the alarm continues to sound even after replacing the batteries after several days, it’s time to replace the gadget.
- Many fire codes mandate that residential smoke alarms be replaced every ten years or as soon as the manufacturer’s instructions specify.
- Check with your local fire department to see if they provide smoke detectors for free or at a reduced cost.
How Do I Turn Off My Mains Smoke Alarm?
The first rule of smoke detectors is to always suspect a fire. After confirming no fire, remove the battery, turn off the breaker, and look for conditions that could produce a false alarm. They are:
- The smoke detector mistook steam from the shower or kitchen for smoke.
- Dust from a filthy heat register or other sources. Dust may have accumulated on the device’s sensor.
- Actual kitchen smoke. It’s probably too close to the kitchen and should be moved.
- High humidity. Fire alarms can misinterpret humid air as smoke.
Can I Disconnect A Hard-Wired Smoke Detector Without Turning Off Power?
Many residential smoke alarms connect via several smoke alarm power sources, yet hardwired smoke alarms are always on and have the backup battery in place. (Learn How To Disconnect ADT Alarm System)
If the power goes, then the battery takes over. Depending on the battery type, you can add a new battery without cutting power, yet it isn’t possible to disconnect a smoke detector without cutting the power and the battery.
To switch off hardwired smoke alarms, first, remove the battery. Then, turn off the smoke alarm by turning off the circuit breaker.
How to Turn Off Hard-Wired Smoke Alarm
- Remove cover from the fire alarm: Rotate the hard-wired smoke alarm cover counterclockwise.
- Remove the cover from the main device mounting bracket.
- Removing the battery depends on the type of smoke alarm you have. For example, if the smoke alarm has the battery inside a brace, you need to remove it.
- If the battery is easily dismounted from the brace, lift or remove the battery from the tray.
- The smoke alarm’s base, or the part connected to the ceiling, will be screwed. Unscrew this component to allow the circuit wires to exit.
- Be careful not to touch these since they are live wires that might electrocute you even if you touch them by accident.
- The detector will go off since the wires are still connected to the power source.
- Now you’ve dismantled the alarm, locate the smoke detector circuit breaker.
There won’t be a smoke alarm circuit breaker set aside for the alarm in most houses.
Therefore, if you can’t find breaker for smoke detectors, you’ll need some trial and error by turning off breakers until the detector models turn off. If you point the detector to a power supply or wires and it beeps, it’s still turned on.
What Circuit Breaker Are Smoke Detectors On?
So, all you have to do is find the one for the alarm system and turn it off. If your panel isn’t indexed, you’ll have to rely on trial and error. Turn off each breaker until you discover the proper one.
If the alarm is still ringing, it will cease. After pressing the reset button, have a helper watch the LED on the gadget while you turn off the breakers, and inform you when it goes out.
So, after the hush button’s silent period expires, the device may make noise again. If so, you need to reset it.
How To Reset A Smoke Detector
If your hardwired smoke detector has a replaceable battery, you may usually reset it if it starts chirping or sounds a false alarm. Follow these steps to reset a smoke alarm.
- The circuit breaker should be turned off.
- Remove the battery from the device.
- Press and hold the test button on the front of the cover for 15 seconds.
- With the old battery removed, add the new batteries inserted, enable the circuit breaker. When you do this, the unit may chirp once. You can try the test button before enabling the AC power.
- If your smoke detector is sealed, consult your owner’s manual for instructions on how to reset it. It may or may not be the same technique as for models with replaceable batteries, depending on the model.
Hush Button Features
The hush button can be used to temporarily turn off the alarm. This is a handy approach to handle false alarms, such as those triggered by something burning under the broker or in the oven.
You can silence the alert without deactivating it by turning off the power source. (This is frequently accomplished by pressing and holding the test button.)
The hush button will mute the alarm for a few minutes before resetting itself. (Read Water Leaking Through Ceiling Fire Alarm – What to do)
You’ll find manufacturers that include this feature discourage the potentially dangerous practice of removing the battery or disconnecting the power source to deal with frequent nuisance alarms.
The hush feature will automatically reset after a while rather than leaving your home unprotected if you forget to enable the power supply.