What is Chirping in Our House?


Four days ago, my husband, Rick, and I heard a chirping noise coming from our gym. You know, that annoying chirping sound I mean, the high-pitched one that goes off every minute or so?

“It’s the battery in the motion detector,” Rick said. So he went to the garage, brought in a ladder, climbed up, and replaced the battery.

The chirping continued.

Hmmm… “Obviously, something is wrong at the alarm company. I’ll give them a call,” I said. They told me that motion detectors don’t chirp and there were no errors on our alarm panel, indicating nothing was wrong. However, probably to humor me since I was insistent that the sound was, indeed, coming from the motion detector, they ran some tests. But, as they anticipated, they couldn’t find anything wrong with our system.

Alright. Maybe it’s the smoke alarm then? So Rick replaced the batteries in the Smoke Alarm.


The chirping continued.

We both stood in the room and listened carefully. Sometimes the chirping seemed to be coming from the motion detector and other times it seemed to be coming from the alarm. We were frustrated, so just gave up for the day.

Over the next 2 days, we took out the batteries on both units, called the alarm company several times, and still couldn’t get the issue resolved.

The chirping was driving us crazy.

At this point, we were ready to cancel our alarm service, remove the smoke detectors, and just take our chances.

Yesterday Rick ran some errands. While he was gone, I decided I could NOT live with the chirping one more second.

There had to be something on the Internet about smoke alarms that keep chirping even when batteries are new, and there was!

  1. Turn off the main electrical power to the house.
  2. Remove the battery.
  3. Disconnect the smoke alarm wires.
  4. Press the Ready button until it stops making noise.
  5. Replace the wires.
  6. Replace the battery.
  7. Turn the power back on.

I can do that! And I did. And the chirping continued. Seriously. I was befuddled.

I stood in the middle of the room and listened. The sound now seemed to be coming from the middle of the room. Was it something in the lockers? That HAD to be it. I would have bet anything that Rick had a Garmin or watch or something in there that needed a new battery.  Why hadn’t I thought of that before?

I tore everything out of the lockers… but there was nothing there that was chirping.

As I stood there, thinking,  a thought started swirling around in my mind. It seemed to be coming out of a haze, and then I remembered……

Didn’t an electrician tell us once that he saw a smoke detector up in our attic? He commented on the fact that he had never seen that before – anywhere – and that it was a really strange place for a wired smoke alarm to be.

I couldn’t wait for Rick to get home to tell him. But I did. It was nearly 100 degrees outside, and I certainly didn’t want to climb up into the even-hotter attic. 🙂

Sure enough. When Rick got up into the attic, this is what he saw.



He replaced the battery, and the chirping stopped. Thank goodness.

Did you ever watch the television series, “Modern Family?” Do you remember the episode where Phil replaced all of the smoke detector batteries in the entire house and still heard the chirping? That’s exactly how our week has been. In the television episode, Phil gets so frustrated he takes a golf club and smashes the smoke detector. I think we’re lucky that didn’t happen here. Rick does play golf, and his golf clubs were nearby.

This morning, when we were laughing about this experience, Rick said, “You know, if we ever sell this house I don’t think we should tell the new owners about that attic alarm.”

He was joking, I think.



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Comment (1)

  1. Lorri Kleinmuntz

    Great story! I cringe whenever I hear a chirping in our house too.

    August 27, 2022 at 6:11 am
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