So many times I have arrive at a job to do some work, and a smoke alarm has been pull down off the ceiling because it has driven someone crazy. The annoying constant beep is usually an indicator that the battery is flat. However some alarms will beep if the unit is faulty or needs cleaning, if vacuuming the alarm does not help then you will need to replace the unit. Some smoke alarm have no removable lithium batteries and these will last the life of the alarm which is 10 years. If the alarm goes with out power for sometime the battery can go flat, and it will beep until it is recharged which can take a day. All 240v mains powered smoke alarms have a green light with AC next to it to indicate that the alarm is correctly connected and receiving power.
Most smoke alarms will detach from the mounting base with out any wiring required, and if you purchase the same model the new one will click straight back in. Some smoke alarm will require a small philips screw be undone before it will slide out. However sometimes it can be tricky to find the same model, in that case a licensed electrician should change the alarm to a new one.
Additional recent requirement if you have a property in Perth WA, specify that to rent or sell a property the smoke alarm should be compliant with the standard AS 3786:2014 which has replaced the AS 3786:1993 and some alarms available for purchase may not comply with AS 3786:2014. Please see Real Estate Bulletin 142 HERE for more info.
Smoke are alarms are very important to have working correctly, as they can save your life in the event of a fire, and you can never know when or if you will have a house fire. Smoke alarms have a life of 10 years after which they should be replaced. If your home requires more than 1 alarm you should make sure that they are interconnected so when 1 alarm goes of the others will as well, this is a requirement in new homes. And it is recommended that photo electric smoke alarms or a mix of photo electric and ionization alarms are used.
There are 2 main different type of alarms photo electric and ionization and they detect smoke differently please see this fact sheet on how each type works FACTSHEET.
Additional there are 240v mains powered, Long life lithium and 12/24vdc that often are used on alarm systems. There are also a number a smart alarms that connect to home automation systems like the Fibaro Smoke Sensor that can alert you to a fire even if you are out of the house. However many of these don't comply to AS 3786:2014 so while they are added and worth while security for you personally, complying alarms are still required as well.
There are many ways to interconnect smoke alarms into a smart home, if you would like to know more and you live in Perth please contact us and we can design a good value system to suit your property.