Sunshine Coast Fire Protection , as a division of Olson Electric, has been serving the community with top quality fire protection for over 10 years. We have some of the most talented staff on the coast, and our care and attention to detail is why our clients trust us with the care of critical life safety systems. We install and maintain fire alarm systems and sprinkler interconnection equipment for apartment buildings, housing complexes, and condominiums. We also service homes all across the coast installing and updating smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. We even find ourselves changing the batteries in beeping smoke detectors, and we're proud to do it. Helping to improve fire safety and awareness on the Sunshine Coast is just part of the Olson Electric promise.
Our staff has multiple trained, certified Registered Fire Protection Technicians, and all of our inspection documentation conforms to ASTTBC standards.
Why is my smoke detector "chirping"?
The most common reasons for a beeping or "chirping" smoke detector along with the suggested actions are as follows:
1) Dead backup battery in the device, remove the detector from the ceiling and replace the battery
2) Device has exceeded it's maximum service lifetime, have a qualified electrician replace the device
3) Internal circuitry problem with the device, have a qualified electrician replace the device
Why does my smoke detector go off in the middle of the night?
Many smoke detectors for residential use are actually combination smoke and CO detectors. As with any time your smoke detector is signaling, the best course of action is to immediately clear the area, call 911, and wait for the building to be cleared by the fire department and/or gas line workers before you re-enter. CO is a colorless, odourless gas with lethal consequences if aspirated. Always err on the side of caution and take appropriate action when dealing with a smoke detector or any fire protection equipment in an alarm condition. If you've taken appropriate action and the issue does persist, the suggested action is to simply replace the device, but lives can't be replaced so easily. Never assume an alarm is a false alarm!
With that being said, there are two main types of smoke detectors, each with their own detection characteristics. Switching types might help with a frequent false alarm situation:
Photoelectric type smoke detectors
Photoelectric smoke detectors use a light source and a series of reflectors to detect visible particulant in the detection chamber. Among other things, steam will trigger these types of devices, so it's not suggested to use them outside of bathrooms, for example, where a hot shower might frequently trigger a false alarm.
Ionization type smoke detectors
Ionization smoke detectors use a system that triggers when air that has been electrically changed by heat (ionized) enters the detection chamber. Among other things, a wave of heat will trigger these types of devices, so its not suggested to use them in kitchen spaces, for example, where opening the door to a hot oven might frequently trigger a false alarm.
More information on these devices is available on the NFPA Website.