How to Fix Smoke Detector Blinking Red light

One of the things you need to always do when you’ve just gotten a smoke detector is to always read the manual. A smoke detector blinking red might be a normal thing while for some, it signifies smoke or a battery leak. 

Figuring this out depends on the brand of smoke detector you are using, so this article might not work for kinds of smoke detectors to detect or find out the reasons why the smoke detector keeps blinking red or other light indicating something on the device.

That being said, in this article, I will be breaking down the reason why your smoke detector is blinking red light and what you should do about it provided it is not an emergency.

Why is your Smoke Detector Blinking Red Light?

Some smoke detector blinks red light to signify that it is working fine while some might blink a red light to signify a low battery. Just as I mentioned earlier, sometimes your smoke detector might blink red light due to a simple issue like this. So you really don’t have to fret. Instead, you should understand better why and how to deal with it.

That said, below are some of the reasons behind your smoke detector blinking red light and what you ought to do about it

1. Low batteries

low batteries

Your smoke detector battery has a shelf life of about 10 months. Low batteries might not be an issue you come across very frequently, but when your smoke detector starts blinking red light and it continues profusely, then you should replace the batteries.

  • To replace your smoke detector’s batteries,
  • Take out the battery compartment cover
  • After doing that, slide open the tray and take out the old batteries.
  • Do not touch any of the electrical contacts inside the battery compartment while doing this
  • Now, insert the new set of batteries just as the old ones were placed

NOTE: a good rule of thumb is to replace the batteries once a year. 

If you are looking for a good pointer to determine if your battery is low you should check here

2. Demarcating a Working Alarm

IN some smoke detector brands a smoke detector blinking red light could signify that the smoke detector is working properly if the battery isn’t the issue. 

However, in cases like this, the smoke detector wouldn’t blink for a long time. In a scenario where the smoke detector is broken, it won’t blink. so you don’t need to panic as long as you are not perceiving smoke or you perceiving a brunt smell.

3. Smoke Detector End of Life

smoke detector end of life

You might be experiencing issues like low batteries, chirping sounds or blinking red lights and other similar issues with your smoke detector. if it is getting too frequent, it is a good pointer that your smoke detector needs a replacement, you don’t want to go around repairing the smoke detector since it has a shelf life of around 10 years, but it depends on what the manufacturer states.

To be on the safe side, change your smoke detector once every 10 years or when the battery begins to die too frequently.

4. Presence of Dust 

In some scenarios, you will be faced with your smoke detector blinking red light when it detects dust, while in some scenarios, it might blink red light because the detector is dirty and needs cleaning.

If you have replaced the battery and the smoke detector frequently blinks red light or gives an annoying sound, a good way to resolve it if there is no smoke or burning smell is to clean the smoke detector.

That said, here is how to do that

  • Remove the chamber from the smoke detector.
  • Next, use a lint-free cloth to wipe the chambers 
  • Next, use a vacuum to blow out any dust/dirt in your smoke detector

5. Smoke is Detected

Smoke Detector Blinking Red light

In a scenario where you are seeing the smoke detector blinking red light and you are also hearing the alarm sound, it signifies that smoke has been detected which means danger. In cases like that, you should move out immediately.

However, if none of the above suggestions put an end to the red light in your smoke detector, you may need to take advanced steps such as resetting the smoke detector. Therefore, we will take a look at how to reset a smoke detector below.

How to Reset the Smoke Detector?

Before you reset your Smoke detector you have to do some checking to it to ensure you are approaching the right problem with the right solution. That said, here is how you can reset your smoke detector.

NB: The test instruction is always on the user manual since the reset procedure slightly varies based on the brand

That said, here is how you reset your smoke detector

  • Locate the test button
  • Push and hold the button on your device for around 5 seconds till you hear a beep sound. In some instances, you will hear a series of beeps.

If your smoke detector is always beeping and chirping check here for a comprehensive guide to resolve that.

What does a Green light mean?

what does a green light mean

If your smoke detector is oozing off with green light, it means the detector is operational and it is working fine. While some might signify this with a green light some do with a red blinking light. 

But it depends on the smoke detector brand.

What does a Yellow Light Mean?

While red light in some smoke detectors means the battery is low, a yellow light specifically signifies that your smoke detector is low and needs a replacement. While in some other cases, it could mean that the device is reaching the end of its life and needs a replacement.

Why is my smoke detector blinking red every 10 seconds?

In a scenario where your smoke detector is blinking red light after every 10 seconds. It is doing that as the after effect of a recent smoke outburst. SO the 10 seconds blinking signifies that it is in a desensitized state.

Smoke Detector Blinking red every 30 seconds

In cases like this, what this basically signifies is that your smoke detector has a low battery. In some cases, it would blink after every 60 seconds. However, the alarm won’t come on, unlike when you are faced with a real smoke situation.

Smoke detector blinking red with no sound

If your smoke detector is blinking a red but it isn’t giving off any sound it means the smoke detector is receiving power.
It happens with wired smoke detectors

Why is my smoke detector blinking red every 20 seconds

If your smoke detector is blinking after 20 seconds, it means the battery is low and needs a replacement. Not all smoke detectors signify a low battery with red lights, some do it with yellow lights depending on the brand.


Since you are armed with this information you should be well aware of the fact that a smoke detector blinking red doesn’t necessarily mean you are faced with fire danger. It could be an incidence of low battery or dust. However, to play on the safer side it is always a good idea to go through your user manual since these demarcations differ with different brands.

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