07:46PM | 05/26/06
Member Since: 05/25/06
3 lifetime posts

We purchased a home about a year ago that had three hard-wired smoke detectors installed. All of them were BRK Electronics Model 2002RAC. All have a 9-volt battery backup. They attach directly to three wires coming out of the ceiling using a connector plug that is on the end of the wires.

We believe they all were ionization-type detectors.

We had no problems with this system until about two months ago when the smoke detector on the top floor, where the bedrooms are located, began chirping randomly. It would chirp loudly, with the chirps spaced 10 to 15 seconds apart, for at least three to six times and then it would be silent. This often happened in the middle of the night, waking the entire household including our young child.

We replaced the battery but the problem just continued to get worse, with the random beeping starting to occur at all times of the day and night.

We decided that, perhaps, the smoke detector just needed to be replaced. We did not know how long it had been there but the house was 22 years old.

We could not find another BRK hard-wire with battery backup in our area. We had a still-in-box smoke detector/CO detector on our basement shelf that we had not installed in our old house, so we decided to use that. It is a Kitty Nighthawk KN-COSM-B. It is battery-powered only, not hard-wired, and we used a brand new battery. We believe it also is an ionization-type detector.

The random chirp began happening again within a day or so of putting in the new detector. We replaced the battery with yet another new battery. Yet, the chirp continues. Many times, the chirping happens when we have windows open, but not always.

Last night the chirping woke us all up again at 3 a.m. and my husband yanked the smoke detector off the ceiling. To our amazement, the chirping continued - apparently coming from the wires and connector dangling from the ceiling with no alarm attached to them.

We thought at first that we must be hearing things wrong and that the chirping must be coming from the smoke detector on the first floor. But we stood right under that gaping hole in the ceiling with the dangling wires and it was beeping at us.

Can someone help us? What is going on here? How do we stop this? The beeping is driving us nuts, depriving us of sleep, and forcing us to go without a smoke detector on the sleeping floor of the house in order to keep our sanity.

How can things keep beeping when no smoke alarm is there? Is it feasible for the wires and connector themselves to be emitting a beep?

Any insight, help, fix-it advice would be appreciated.

Thank you.


08:29PM | 05/26/06
Member Since: 05/25/06
3 lifetime posts

I could not find an obvious way to edit my post and I need to make a couple of corrections/clarifications.

First, it looks like our original BRK smoke detector was a photoelectric detector, not an ionization detector. Our current detector, a Kiddie Nighthawk (spelled Kiddie wrong the first time) is an ionization detector.

Second, does the housing up in the ceiling that holds the wires for the detector have a speaker or amplifier in it that is allowing us to hear the beep when no detector is connected?

We have a theory and would appreciate any feedback:

The original BRK detector was old and went bad, somehow losing its connection to the other detectors in the house and so causing the periodic chirping. Please note, the chirping never has been continual.

We put a battery operated detector up there and that does not stop the chirping because it is not connected to the wires, so the system still detects an interrupted connection somewhere and chirps.

Is this possibly our issue? If so, will finding another BRK hard-wired detector and putting it up there solve the problem?

Thank you everyone.


04:42AM | 05/27/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
No way can the wires/connector make the sound.

And I don't know of any normal installation that would include anything else in or around the box.

I suspect that the sound is something completely different. Something in the attic and it is "coming though" the box as it is penatration into the otherwise "sealed" ceiling.

Go into the attic and check it out.

Also get some foam in a can seal the back side of the box.

And look around and see if there is anything around the box. The previous owner might have installed something else. Maybe a home rigged alarm for an open garage door or somethign like that.

But the main too things that I can think of would be a bad bearing on a wind turbine roof vent. Or a it you have HVAC equipment in the attic a bad bearing on the fan or fan motor.

Either one will make "somewhat" random sqeaking/chirping sounds.

Lets us know what you find.


09:09AM | 05/27/06
Member Since: 03/31/05
265 lifetime posts
Look for a smoke detector that has been installed in the attic. Take it out, you do not need one there.

Find the breaker that controls the detectors and turn it off. See if the chirping continues. If so, look for a bad turbine bearing, bird nest, other critter nest.


09:39AM | 05/27/06
Member Since: 05/25/06
3 lifetime posts
Thank you to both replies so far to my post.

I wanted to note that when I say the detector is chirping, I mean a loud, abrupt beep. This is not a sweet chirp that a bird might make or even a bad bearing on a mechanical system. This is the kind of beep that is shrill and loud that smoke detectors emit to wake you up. But instead of a continuous "beep, beep, beep, beep" that you get when there is smoke detected, it's just a single "beep," then silence for 10 to 15 seconds, then another "beep." This is a beep that can be heard all over the house and is loud enough that it has awakend us in the middle of the night.

It is similar to the kind of periodic beep you hear when the battery is dying in the detector. But, as I explained in my original post, we know it is not the battery.

We are going to make another run through the attic to check for a smoke detector up there, but we've never seen one.

We have no mechanicals up there either except for a radon system fan which is at the other end of the house, not right above where the smoke detector is located. Also, if the radon fan begins to fail even a little bit, its performance gauge drops and the performance gauge is right on target so the fan is operating normally.

Next time the beep sounds, we'll go for the breaker first to see if it stops the beep. If it doesn't we'll know it is coming from something else other than the smoke detector system.

Thanks all.


09:03AM | 11/08/07
Member Since: 11/07/07
1 lifetime posts
We are having the identical problem in our house in the same location and did the same trying to fix it(new battery, new smoke detector one with hard wiring one with battery alone).

No effect.

I guess it is temperature related. When the temp drops at night the battery voltage drops and the electronics may pick up on it.

We are going to put the battery operated one in the fridge tonight to check.

Maybe a call to the manufacturer is i order.


07:06PM | 06/30/08
Member Since: 06/29/08
1 lifetime posts
Has anyone come up with an answer to this problem? My grandson has a almost new house and has the same problem.


02:24AM | 01/15/09
Member Since: 01/14/09
1 lifetime posts
We have three hard-wired Firex smoke detectors with battery back-up. One of them is chirping/beeping at random and at odd hours (often at 4am). We removed them all and took the batteries out and the sound still seems like it is coming from the ceiling. There is no attic above us, just another condo. Any advice welcome!

Tom O

03:39AM | 01/15/09
Member Since: 09/17/02
476 lifetime posts
Since you mentioed the brand name, try this site by Firex

Fo anyone else with this problem, try doing a search for the manufacturer & then visit their site.


06:39AM | 08/23/09
Member Since: 08/22/09
1 lifetime posts
We are having the same problem and are desperate for a solution. I, also, thought that maybe it had to do with temperature. It has been very humid for weeks so maybe it is more to do with moisture then the actual temperture. I will keep checking the sight for ideas and advice. Thanks and good luck to all!


04:33AM | 02/10/10
Member Since: 02/09/10
2 lifetime posts
Spooky how similar my issue is. One smoke detector chirping LOUDLY in the wee hours of the morning on the second story. Have contacted the contractor that installed our security system to see if they have any answers. Will post here if they have any useful guidance.


07:47PM | 04/25/10
Member Since: 04/24/10
1 lifetime posts
The beep is not coming from the disconnected harness , and certainly not from the exposed wires . It is likely a detector elsewhere or a different electronic device; those tones can bounce around the house . Make sure you haven't overlooked a detector somewhere.

Disconnect all detectors and remove the batteries . Simply removing the battery does you no good; it's the same as a dead battery . That is actually a very common mistake .

While you have the alarms removed, you might as well take some compressed air to clean them . Place the alarms somewhere out of hearing range, and hunt down any other beeps.

Some brands tend to have this problem.

Especially in the morning, when the moisture begins to condensate inside our homes . It is usually the coolest time of the day isn't it? A different brand and model does not seem to have this problem so much.


03:55AM | 04/26/10
Member Since: 02/09/10
2 lifetime posts
Turns out my situation was much simpler than I thought, and most of the nightmares listed here. Replacing the back-up battery resolved my issues. I also followed the step-by step posted at

Good luck.


10:45AM | 11/26/10
Member Since: 11/25/10
2 lifetime posts
I have a 3 year old home. The house has seven (7) smoke detectors, four (4) CO detectors, and, in the garage, two (2) heat detectors. All of the units have hard-wired power with battery (9V) back-up, all connected in a single network. The chirping happened about a year ago. I replaced all 13 batteries, tested every unit successfully (when you press a unit's test button, it sounds its own alarm first, then echos the alarm in all other units, then repeats this process, then re-sets. Then every 35-45 seconds (timed check occurred usually every 44 seconds, though sometimes as short an interval as 35 seconds or as long as 45 seconds), one of the units, a unit in an open area between upstairs bedrooms, chirps once. A repeat of the four upstairs alarm units resulted in a more than five (5) minute cessation of the chirping routine. So, I thought the insanity generator had ceased. Not so. It resumed its chirping in 35-45 second intervals. A re-test of EVERY unit proved every unit functions properly, has a connection to the network and the power source, etc. EVERY unit has a brand new 9V battery. Every unit has the battery properly installed (a battery installed backwards results in a shrill alarm immediately - I tested that concept). BRK electronics makes all three (3) types of the alarms in this home network. All 13 units have no dust or cobwebs. Bottom line: ALL the units and the network pass every test any expert or commentator online has mentioned. With so many online entries mentioning that their home smoke/CO/heat sensors/alarms chirp falsely at frequent and random times, it seems that until the home alarm industry can solve this problem, the US citizens will likely die from insanity or suicide before ever facing the risk of smoke or CO. I recommend immediate removal of ALL home smoke/CO/heat sensors/alarms until the industry clearly proves, beyond a doubt that every unit they offer for sale works properly, sells at an economical price, has a simple bypass for a single defective unit (if it decides to start waking the household with a false alarm or battery replacement chirp in the middle of the night), that has a simple (no glue, no more than two screws, a standard plug/pigtail wire connector, etc.) replacement process, and ALL manufacturers follow a STANDARD INSTALLATION PROCESS and STANDARD BATTERY REPLACEMENT PROCESS. Annual (or semi-annual) battery replacement should take no longer than five (5) seconds per unit. Current replacement times, with non-standard battery replacement (ALL from the SAME MANUFACTURER!) from unit to unit, with no clear battery polarity (+/-) indicators -- some have a swing-out compartment, some have a slide-out battery compartment, some have a battery wire harness, some require full cover removal, some require partial cover removal, some have a clip-off battery cover, some have one screw battery covers, some have two or four screw battery covers, some have phillips head screws, some have slot-head screws, all take 1-2 minutes (minimum) per unit for battery replacement. We want the detectors/alarms for the safety of our families, not to support the profit margins of the alarm companies.


08:20PM | 12/28/12
Some of these issues are due to ghosts visiting/passing through. Ghosts, as in apparitions. I know it sounds bogus, but believe me...


05:02AM | 01/20/13
Member Since: 01/20/13
2 lifetime posts
Same problem. Since it tends to happen in the middle of the night and I didn't want to go into the cold garage to break the circuit and change the battery (hardwired), I went to the website recommended in an earlier post and read... but the key thing I noted was RESET the alarm (red button for at least 15 seconds) and CLEAN the sensor...

I held the reset button for 30 seconds, and not wanting to vacuum at 2 am... I stood on my tiptoes on the chair, BLEW on the sensor area a few times...and SILENCE. Thank the Lord.

I'll change the battery in the morning--and reset it properly.


Answer: The smoke alarm will chirp at a regular interval, about once every minute, when the battery is weak and needs to be replaced. On units with the Visible Low Battery Indicator feature, the red LED will blink approximately 4 times a minute. Replace with a fresh 9 Volt battery. FireX Alarms are certified to be used with the following models of batteries: Eveready 216, 522, 1222, Duracell MN 1604 or Ultralife U9VL-J. Do not use any type of rechargeable battery. Once the battery is replaced, the beeping or chirping should stop. If the unit chirps at seemingly random times or at random intervals after replacing the battery, check for the following conditions:

1) The battery may be loose, or improperly installed.

Make sure the battery is fresh, and that it is snapped in all the way so it cannot be shaken loose. It’s possible that battery connections may not be making good contact with the battery. Disconnecting and re-connecting the battery once or twice will likely fix this condition. On units with a front-load battery, be sure that the battery compartment door is closed completely.

2) The smoke alarm cover may be dirty.

Dust and insects can collect in the sensing chamber of the alarm. An accumulation of dust in the sensing chamber can cause the unit to chirp. It is good practice to clean the smoke alarm when you change the battery.

Cleaning smoke alarms:

Remove the alarm from the wall or ceiling and hold the unit on its side. There is a gap between the front cover and the back plate. Take a vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool and clean all around the gap area. Pay most attention to the sensor, which you will see in the gap area. The sensor looks like a small tin can with slots in it.

3) Reset the alarm.

Most current model smoke alarms have a processor that retains certain error conditions, such as a weak battery. The error condition should reset when the battery is replaced but sometimes it does not and must be manually reset to clear the error.

To reset an AC unit with a battery backup:

Turn off the power to the smoke alarm at the circuit breaker. Remove the smoke alarm from the mounting bracket and disconnect the power. Remove the battery. Press and hold the test button for at least 15 seconds. The unit may chirp or alarm for a few seconds before going silent. Reconnect the power and reinstall the battery. The unit will chirp once when the power is restored and should not chirp afterwards."


04:33PM | 02/17/13
I have 4 electric smoke detectors that are beeping loudly in the middle of the night for a few beeps. I'm assuming that I need to replace them, but I can't find the brand name anywhere on the case. It just says they are electric with no battery back-up. I bought this townhouse a little over a year ago and the previous owners left me lots of manuals but not the manual for these smoke detectors. Where do I find the brand name?


07:41PM | 02/27/13
we have the BRK 2002RAC. today all detectors went off and would not stop. there was no smoke anywhere..or any type of heat. ist issue we have ever had with them. I replace batteries every year so its not that. I tried to plug one back in..but smae thing. any suggestions on what the problem could be?


07:08AM | 03/21/13
Same issue here, detectors going off in the middle of the night for no reason. Need to find the manufacturer after taking one down...


07:32AM | 03/21/13
I have the same problem as the original poster. I unplugged the smoke detector and there is still a beeping coming from the ceiling. I've replaced all batteries, I've replaced the beeping detector and still it beeps. I guess I will check the attic to see if there is a detector up there.


01:21PM | 03/29/13
We are currently having the same issue as the original poster as well... now the chirping is every three hours like clockwork and lasts for half and hour. Driving us crazy. The alarm that is still chirping is not even attached to the wall anymore, its as if the wires are chirping! Not possible it seems but that's whats happening...
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