How to Turn off a Smoke Alarm

Kidde 1276 / I12060 / i9010 Chirping

I moved into a condo a while back and it has 5 Kidde 1276 smoke alarms linked together (the Kidde I12060 is the replacement model). I guess the benefit is that if one goes off, the others will and everyone in my unit knows about it. Well, it’s only a small, 3 bedroom condo (rooms are not too big) and it one goes off, the other 3 don’t need to go off – you’ll know since you can hear any of them well enough.

This short article explains what I did to get the low battery chirping noise to stop.

Smoke Alarm Batteries Are the Worst, Right?

The pain in the butt with these things is when a battery in one of them is low. They all seem to communicate this to each other and sometimes they all start chirping (every 30, 45 seconds or 1 minute). You replace the battery in one and they all keep chirping for some reason, so you run out the store to get some more 9 volt batteries (a flashback to the 1980s when everything ran on 9 volt batteries) and replace them all. Once you do that, they all keep chirping. What the heck?

Also, I don’t know if anyone else has encountered this but if it’s not warm enough inside, they start chirping / beeping. Turning up the heat seems to help. They stop beeping in 5 minutes or so.

How to Turn Off a Smoke Alarm

Smoke Alarm Keeps Beeping – Tips to Stop It

Here are the tips:

  • Fire? First, make sure there’s no fire.
  • Change all batteries – If two or more are linked, you might as well just change the batteries in all of them.
  • Push button twice – When you replace the battery, it might still beep. What I did was push each button twice, really quickly (don’t hold buttons).
  • Press and hold the test button – This also works with certain models. It just takes a few seconds.
  • Discharge them – If they are still chirping after 5-10 minutes, then you have to discharge one or all of them.
    To do this, twist them to remove them from the base/mounting bracket, unplug it by squeezing the sides of the clip, open the battery compartment and then hold down the test button for about 20-25 seconds. This will release all the charge in them and you can plug it back in and push the battery back in. This step is important. It might beep in a few minutes, but just wait and it will hopefully stop.
  • Kill the power – If it’s a false alarm, go to the circuit breaker and turn it off that way.
  • Find them all – Make sure you’ve found all the smoke alarms. I thought I had only 4 of these and then found one more.
  • Is it the carbon monoxide detector instead? If you have a carbon monoxide detector in the area, maybe it’s the batteries in that unit instead. Sometimes they’re plugged into the wall instead of hanging on the ceiling. It’s worth replacing those batteries to stop the annoying chirping.
  • Clean them – Get a can of compressed air and blow that air into them to get any dust out. These things will require some cleaning from time to time. Using a vacuum may work, too.
    Your smoke alarm might require even more cleaning. Open it up and clean off the sensor with a damp cloth. Allow it to completely dry (20 min) and then put it back together and reinstall.
  • Replace it – If your smoke alarm is 10 years old, replace it. Better safe than sorry.
    If after replacing the battery, the test button doesn’t do anything, replace it.


Those are some solutions I’ve found which seem to work for the most part. If anyone has more, please let me know – leave them in the comments below.

Should You Replace Your Smoke Alarms?

Worst case, you can always get new ones. There’s not a lot to smoke alarms, so they’re made kind of cheaply and they’re eventually just going to break – like about anything.

With mine, the plastic really got yellow and looked terrible on my white ceiling. When that happens, it’s probably best to just replace them. Smoke alarms are there to save your life, so getting new ones is a small price to pay when it comes to the safety of you and your family.

The replacement smoke alarm for the Kidde 1276 is the Kidde I12060.

Change Your Smoke Alarm Batteries at Daylight Savings Time

It’s smart to change your smoke and carbon monoxide batteries when you change your clocks due to Daylight Savings Time, which would be twice a year. Batteries are lasting longer now but again, we’re talking about the safety of your home, so it’s just a good idea to replace your batteries twice a year.

If you do replace them twice a year, then there’s no need to go with the most expensive batteries – the regular 9 volt batteries will work just fine.

Lithium Battery Smoke Alarms are Trending… Why?

Kidde i9010 Sealed Lithium Battery Power Smoke Alarm

Many cities and municipalities are now requiring that everyone get disposable smoke alarms with lithium-ion batteries. They want this because smoke alarms generally last about 10 years and so will a lithium-ion battery. They don’t want people using old smoke alarms, so now you can simply get a smoke alarm using a long-lasting, lithium-ion battery that you just throw out (or recycle) every 10 years and you get a new smoke alarm that will be more reliable, which is the best idea since a newer smoke alarm is the safer choice.

The one I got when I sold my condo (per the standard in my city) was the Kidde i9010 Sealed Lithium Battery Power Smoke Alarm that has a sealed-in lithium battery. There’s no battery door. And guess what? It won’t keep chirping because when it does, it’ll be 10 years and you just go get a new one!

If you’re tired of smoke alarms chirping in the middle of the night, going with lithium is your best choice!

Kidde Smoke Alarm Manual PDF

I also found a Kidde 1276 manual online, which might help as well. It might give you some clues and help.

And Don’t Forget About Carbon Monoxide Detectors

They passed a law where I live and because I live in a condo, I had to get carbon monoxide detectors in my unit. I got some and just installed them next to the smoke detectors. The kind that look better and easier, though, are the kind you just plug into a wall socket. That’ll be the kind I get next.

With the plug in kind. you don’t have to worry about batteries as much since the main power comes from the wall and the battery is just for backup purposes.


We all know that having a smoke alarm in our home is a necessity, but did you know that there are several other things you can do to help ensure your smoke alarms will work every time you need them? First of all, the more you read about smoke alarms, the more you’ll be able to determine how to prevent the most problems. You also need to have a basic understanding of how they work. The bottom line is, if you are unsure of how they operate, the chances are your smoke alarm won’t work as effectively as it should.

Take the time to learn more about your smoke alarm, and be sure to try to follow the tips mentioned above to make sure you are as safe as possible with your smoke alarm. When smoke alarms aren’t working as well as they should, it could mean that you’re putting your family in danger every time you go to bed.

Hopefully these tips help you quiet your smoke alarm without you having to take a golf club or baseball bat to each one. If they continue to beep after changing the batteries, then maybe it’s time to replace each one. They should be changed after 10 years anyway, so if the tips listed above don’t work, then just get new ones.

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    • Original Writer
    • September 21, 2016

    Barabara C: I had churping and that has stopped with replacing the batteries. Now I have red light flashing on 2 of the 4 units. what is the reset sequence ????

    Original Writer: We’d suggest removing the batteries, unplugging them, waiting and then put fresh batteries in and plug them in. Push both buttons down at once on each unit.

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