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Smoke Alarm Battery Replacement Guide

How to change the battery in a smoke detector and stop a smoke alarm from beeping from a dead battery

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This smoke alarm battery replacement guide was written to show you how to remove the battery from a smoke detector that is beeping. This guide shows you how to remove a dead battery in a hardwired fire alarm that has a removable battery back up. These do it yourself (DIY) smoke detector removal instructions were written specifically for a BRK First Alert model 9120B interconnected smoke alarm and the FireX single and multiple station smoke detector with a 9 volt battery back up. But the instructions on how to install a new battery in a smoke detector may also be helpful for other brands of smoke alarms like Kidde, Universal Security, USI, GE, Bosch Security, UTC, Interlogix, Amico and Honeywell. The smoke detector is also similar in shape and style to a Carbon Monoxide gas detector and a Raydon Gas detector so these battery removal instructions may be helpful to owners of those devices as well. If you are trying to figure out how to stop a fire alarm from beeping, try replacing the battery and installing a new battery in your smoke alarm. Read disclaimer.

Tools Needed: Flat head screwdriver, Step ladder, 9v Battery.

How often should you change the batteries in your smoke alarm? It is recommended to change the battery in your smoke detectors at least once a year. Some people change the battery twice a year when we set our clocks back or forward for Daylight Savings time. You should clean your smoke alarm's sensor with compressed air or with a vacuum every month to keep dirt and dust from giving a false alarm or keeping the unit from functioning properly. Smoke alarms have a manufacture date on the back of them, you should replace the entire unit every 10 years to insure that the sensor is working properly. Please check your manufactures recommended replacement schedules and warranty information for accurate replacement intervals. You should test your smoke alarm once a week to make sure that it is working properly, an interconnected smoke detector will sound all units when the test button is held down.

What do the beep codes mean from a smoke alarm?
One beep per minute means you need to replace a low, dead or dying square 9v battery in the smoke detector.
Constant beeping from one or all units means the an alarm has detected something and you should check for smoke or fire. It could also mean that the sensor is dirty and needs to be cleaned.

What do the lights mean on a smoke detector?
The constant green LED means the alarm has AC power.
A flashing green light every 2 seconds without an audible alert means the unit recently sounded and is now in latching mode to let you know that it was the unit that detected the problem. To clear the latching mode hold down the test button for 5 seconds.
Red LED flashing once per minute means that the back-up battery is connected and functioning.
Red light flashing constantly during alarm means that it is the unit that initiated the alarm siren.

Tip: Before attempting to remove the battery from a chirping smoke detector you should turn off the main breaker that supplies power to the faulty smoke alarm. This will also help you reset and clear the error code from the fire alarm. After you remove the battery with the power off, hold down the test button for 15 seconds to clear the smoke alarm memory. Otherwise after you install the new battery it may continue to beep as if the battery is low.

Smoke Alarm Side Mount Battery
Smoke Alarm Battery Compartment
Alarm Battery Cover Latch
If your smoke alarm has a replaceable battery located on the side of the unit you will need to push inward on the battery cover latch to access the 9v square battery that the smoke detector takes. Push out the smoke alarm battery compartment to access the bad battery in the beeping alarm.
Ceiling Mounted Smoke Alarm
Remove Smoke Alarm Battery
Removed 9V Smoke Alarm Battery
Remove the 9 volt battery from the smoke detector. Once the battery has been removed the battery cover will not close until you install a new battery in the fire alarm.
Install New Smoke Detector Battery
Test Smoke Alarm Button
BRK First Alert Smoke Alarm
Insert the replacement battery in the electric smoke detector and close the battery back up compartment. Press the test button to make sure the detector is functioning properly. Power on the main breaker and check to make sure the green light on the smoke alarm is on steady.

The pictures below are to show you how to remove the battery of a smoke alarm with a battery compartment under the alarm.
Under Mount Battery Smoke Alarm
Remove Chirping Smoke Detector
Remove From Mounting Bracket
After the main breaker has been shut off, you will need to remove the smoke alarm from the ceiling or wall to access the battery back up panel on the smoke alarm. Turn the smoke detector about a quarter turn counter clockwise and pull it away from the ceiling and smoke alarm mounting bracket.
Remove AC Power Connector
Smoke Alarm Power Connector
Smoke Alarm Battery Cover
Disconnect the smoke alarm 120v AC power connector by pulling it up and directly off the back of the smoke alarm. Below the electrical connector is the battery compartment.
Red Button Under Smoke Alarm
Bad Battery in Smoke Detector
FireX Smoke Alarm
Using your finger nail or a flat head screwdriver pop up the battery cover. When the cover is open and the battery is dislodged the small red button next to the cover will pop up to let you know the battery is not installed properly. If there is no battery installed in the smoke detector the red button will not stay down. This keeps you from installing the smoke detector without a battery. Once you have installed a new battery under the smoke detector reconnect the home electric power connector and reattach the smoke detector to the mounting plate.

You can buy 9v batteries from any supermarket or convenience store for less than $3 from brands like Energizer, Duracell and Eveready. If you have a smoke detector that is connected to your alarm system you may need to press *72 to reset the error code in home alarm system. Please always check your manufacturers alarm codes in your owners manual to be sure you are interpreting them correctly. Smoke detectors should be placed away from air-conditioning and heating vents and mounted on the ceiling or the wall near the ceiling because smoke rises to the highest point in the home.

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