Help! Fire Alarm Randomly Going Off for a Few Seconds?

fire alarm randomly going off for a few seconds

Can we think of a house without a fire alarm? We guess our answer matched yours. Indisputably, a fire alarm is a significant element to keep us aware of any fire in the house. 

Sometimes, this fire alarm stops working suddenly and lead us to unfathom misery.

But, why is a fire alarm randomly going off for a few seconds?           

It happens because of several reasons. Common ones from them are dirt and dust, placing them in the kitchen, near a fireplace, old or defective battery. Other than that, an expired lifespan, shower steam, bugs in the alarm, power surges, chemicals, and inaccurate installation are some of the causes.

Now, as you have the brief idea, let’s move to the details of this.

Why is Your Fire Alarm Randomly Going Off for a Few Seconds? 

When the fire alarm is randomly going off for a few seconds, the heart beats much faster. Assuredly, a false alarm can wake you up in the middle of the night.      

Fortunately, we pointed out the possible reasons along with solutions. Thus, you can detect the cause, which will help you in fixing the alarm.

So, why don’t we dive in to learn these? 

Reason 1: Dirt and Dust

Dirt and dust are the biggest culprits behind a fire alarm randomly going off for a few seconds.

If you live near a sea beach or a dusty area, the alarm will often clog for this. As it is clogged, it can malfunction and shock you with false alarms.       

Dust and debris can attack the alarm when the house is going through renovation. Any work with wood or furniture is also responsible for this misfortune. 

Solution: Clean the Alarm

Cleaning the alarm will provide you relief by avoiding the issue. As we mentioned the root of dirt, you must be cautious.

First, turn off the alarm and open it. Now, observe the amount of dirt and dust inside it. You can clean it using a brush or a dry towel if there is less dirt.

In case of excessive dirt and dust, try to vacuum the alarm. Using an aerosol cleaner is preferred in this condition.         

Reason 2: Placed in Kitchen

When the alarm is placed in the kitchen, it will catch smoke or a sign of fire. A burnt food creates smoke in the air and the alarm detects it as a fire.

You may have faced it already, right? Even while cooking, the alarm may find the stove fire life-threatening. 

Solution: Place it Outside the Kitchen 

What is the solution then? Placing the fire alarm in the kitchen is not an appreciable idea!

Thus, place the alarm outside the kitchen. Wait! Do not keep much distance. You can install it at the entrance of the kitchen to be secure.    

Reason 3: Near a Fireplace

Placing the alarm near a fireplace may end up troubling you with false alarms over and over.

The smoke in the air coming from the fireplace appeals to the alarm sensor. so, don’t you think it is enough reasonable for the ashes to clog up the alarm.  

Solution: Install it Away from Fireplace

Try installing the alarm away from a fireplace to keep the alarm working properly and to generate only true alarms.

Distance from the fireplace will avoid ashes and dirt from clogging it. Thus, you won’t be irritated by false alarms.           

Reason 4: Old or Defective Battery

Defects in the battery are an effective reason for false alarms. It lets the alarm work improperly and creates chaos.

The alarm batteries can operate efficiently for up to 12 months. Unfortunately, with malfunction, the alarm goes off repeatedly.         

Solution: Repair or Replace   

If the battery has any defects on it, you should repair it soon.

But if it is already 9 months old, consider replacing it with a better one. This will help you from sleepless nights.      

Reason 5: Expired Lifespan

The lifespan of a fire alarm is up to 10 years. But you may notice changes in it in between 7 to 8 years as it becomes weak.

If there are quite a lot of false alarms, there is a chance that it has already been there for 9 to 10 years or more than that. If the lifespan is expired, it will not work properly.     

Solution: Replace the Alarm

Replacing the alarm after 10 years is the best prevention of false alarms. You can detect the replacement time if the alarm becomes yellowish or find the replacement date.   

Reason 6: Shower Steam

Reading about shower steam is indeed reminding you of comfort. Unfortunately, it can drive the alarm to go off. Urg!

The dense air generated from the steam is detected as the fire smoke to the alarm. Therefore, it causes an alarm to start its deafening noise.       

Solution: Place it Away from the Bathroom

To be free from this issue, you should place the fire alarm away from the bathroom.

When it gets less dense air or humidity, it won’t go off for a few seconds.  And that’s quite normal. 

Reason 7: Bugs in the Alarm

Bugs like spiders and lizards can go inside the alarm as they stay in dark and small areas in the house.

Bugs in the alarm can cause false fire alarms. They can even be burnt there due to electric shock, which can direct the alarm to go off often.  

Solution: Remove the Bugs   

When you observe such a situation, inspecting the alarm is a must. It is because leaving them inside the alarm can even damage it.

Therefore, you need to open the alarm and remove the bugs wearing hand gloves. Then, spray the pest control from a distance to the alarm.    

Reason 8: Power Surges

Power surges are quite familiar to homeowners during a heavy storm of lightning.

When power surges attack the electric cables of the house, a high range of power flows in them. A fire alarm is unable to stay calm at such high power flow. Thus,  it malfunctions and generates false alarms.      

Solution: Inspect the Alarm

If the alarm is reminding you often of a fire after a storm, it becomes a matter of concern. We suggest inspecting the alarm after every thunderstorm and lightning.  

If you do not need to operate the inspection whether the alarm is alright after a storm or lightning, then, you can relax peacefully.     

Reason 9: Due to Chemicals

Aren’t you also shocked to see this one? Even we were astonished when we found this one to be a profound reason.

Chemicals on the alarm can go while painting anything or working with something that contains chemicals. Not all chemicals are the culprit of the issue, only the harsh ones are.

Due to excessive amounts of chemicals, the fire alarm can randomly go off. Moreover, it can even lead the alarm to stop working.              

Solution: Purify the Alarm

Whenever you are renovating the house or painting going on, you should clean the alarm regularly. Do it by switching off the alarm.

Likewise, after the tasks with chemicals are done, purifying the alarm is a significant job.         

Reason 10: Inaccurate Installation 

You think, you have tried every fixing manner but the alarm still goes off often for a few seconds? Who knows it might be the problem of installation?

In most cases, homeowners install the alarm on their own. Due to lack of proper knowledge of the process, they make silly mistakes. No doubt, this can result in false alarms frequently and not letting us sit peacefully.              

Solution: Crosscheck the Installation or Call an Expert  

Take the user manual whether you decide to install the fire alarm on your own.  If needed check it out by a professional.

Follow each step cautiously to avoid mistakes.

In case, the alarm is still creating false alarms, calling an expert is the only way. And, hopefully, your problem will be solved.

How to Turn Off Fire Alarm in Home, Apartment or Commercial Building?

Sometimes, the fire alarm gets turned on after detecting fire that may not be harmful and which is created by us for some reason. At that point, turning off the alarm in a home, apartment or commercial building becomes tough. 

Here is a short note of different ways to turn the fire alarm off. 

• In a commercial building 

• Battery powered fire alarm

• Inactive fire alarm

To learn more of them, don’t forget to check out this section. 

Method 1: In a Commercial Building 

Commercial buildings have the access to turn off the fire alarm in their electric breaker area. When you reach there, access the fire alarm control panel. 

To get access to it, you may need to enter the security or verification code. It will have a silence option for the alarm and you can use that. 

Method 2: Battery Powered Fire Alarm

In a battery powered fire alarm, press its reset switch and hold it till the alarm gets turned off. Taking out the batteries can perform the job in a quicker way.

Method 3: Inactive Fire Alarm 

The easiest way of turning off an inactive fire alarm is just going with its silence option. If it doesn’t help, disconnect the fire alarm. Moreover, removing the batteries can do it, too.

How Many Fire Alarms Does a House Need?

Answer: A house needs fire alarms for each room including the garage and basement. Install fire alarms in the living area, near the kitchen, bedrooms, hallway, garage, and basement. We recommend it as safety comes first.     

Can a Hard Wired-Fire Alarm Go Off Frequently? 

Answer: Yes, a hard-wired fire alarm can go off frequently because of dust, faulty backup battery, problems in installation, humidity, and so on. It means that even a hard-wired fire alarm requires regular maintenance and care.          

When to Test a Fire Alarm?

Answer: A fire alarm demands regular testing to work properly. However, regular means not every day. It means you should test it once or twice a week. Following the user manual, operate the testing with the ‘Test’ button.    

Final Verdict 

With this, we have reached the end of our discussion. We guess now you exactly why fire alarm randomly going off for a few seconds? Doesn’t it tension relieving.

Maintain caution and work safely through each step. Hopefully, this will solve all your problems.

Share your experience with us anytime. We are here to help you out. Till then, take care.                 

Interesting to read:

Dale Carnegie

Hey! This is Dale Carnegie. I am a professional and expert in electrical work. From teenage till now, I found myself fascinated with the nitty-gritty installation and electrical works at home. Eventually, this led me to share about my journey and solve your electrical task of installing and maintaining power systems. With my experience and practice, I can guarantee you will get the best advice here. Stay tuned for more latest updates and sneak peeks of any electrical solutions for your home.

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