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Smoke Alarm Helpful Hints

The smoke alarm operates on AC power, and fresh batteries are installed for backup. When the smoke alarm ionization chamber senses products of combustion the horn will sound a loud (85db) temporal alarm until the sensing chamber is cleared of smoke particles.

Smart Hush Control

The "hush" feature has the capability of temporarily desensitizing the alarm circuit for up to 8 minutes. This feature is to be used only when a condition, such as smoke from cooking, activates the alarm. The hush feature cannot be activated unless the smoke alarm is sounding in the originating alarm mode. The smoke alarm is desensitized by pushing the "test/hush" button on the smoke alarm cover. If the smoke is not too dense the alarm will silence immediately. The red LED will illuminate for 1.5 seconds every 8 seconds while in hush. This indicates that the alarm is temporarily in a desensitized condition. The smoke alarm will automatically reset after approximately 8 minutes and sound the alarm if particles of combustion are still present. The hush feature can be used repeatedly until the air has been cleared of the condition that caused the alarm. Pushing the test/hush button on the alarm will end the hush period.

Note: Dense smoke will override the hush control feature and sound a continuous alarm.

LED Indicators on Smoke Detectors

All smoke detectors are equipped with red and green indicators. The green LED (when illuminated) indicates the presence of AC power (120 volt).

The red LED has four modes of operation:

  • Standby condition: the red LED will flash every 30 to 40 seconds to indicate that the smoke alarm is operating properly.
  • Alarm condition: When the detector senses products of combustion and goes into alarm mode, the red LED will flash one flash per second. The flashing LED and pulsating alarm will continue until the air is clear. Note: When units are interconnected, only the red LED of the alarm which senses the smoke or is being tested (the originating unit) will flash.
  • Alarm memory: This smoke detector is equipped with an alarm memory, which provides a visual indication when the alarm has been activated. The red LED will illuminate for about 1.5 seconds every 16 seconds to indicate the memory condition. The memory will remain activated until pushing the test/hush button resets it.
  • Hush mode: The red LED will illuminate 1.5 seconds every 8 seconds, indicating the smoke alarm is in the hush mode.

Battery Replacement

Kidde Firex smoke alarms have a battery backup as well as a 120 volt wired connection. If the unit begins to "chirp" -- this indicates a low battery. Batteries need to be replaced occasionally. Replace batteries with one of the following approved brands:

Carbon-zinc type:

Alkaline type:

Note: Do not use lithium batteries in this unit.

These batteries can be purchased at your local retailer.

Use of different batteries may have a detrimental effect on the smoke detector.

Note: Before putting the new battery in, push the test button to drain the capacitor.

Battery Installation and Removal

To replace or install the batteries slide the battery door in the direction indicated on the cover of the alarm. The battery can then be pulled out of the carrier. When installing a new battery into the carrier, make sure that the polarity matches the markings printed on the inside of the battery compartment. Completely slide the battery door to the closed position.

A missing or improperly installed battery will prevent the battery door from closing and result in improper alarm operation.

This smoke alarm uses a 9V carbon zinc battery (alkaline batteries may also be used). A fresh battery should last for one year under normal operating conditions.

This alarm has a low/missing battery monitor circuit which will cause the alarm to "chirp" approximately every 30 to 40 seconds for a minimum of seven (7) days when the battery gets low. Replace the battery when this condition occurs.

Note: Low/missing battery monitor will cause the unit to chirp while replacing the battery. This function will cease once the new battery has been installed. To avoid this "chirp" the unit can be removed from the base and disconnected from AC power when replacing the battery, but it is not necessary.


Cleaning is recommended due to dust particles in the air. Do not use chemicals. Instead, use a vacuum to suck out the dust particles, or compressed air to blow out the particles.

Steam and Moisture

Smoke Detectors may false alarm on sudden change of humidity such as shower steam or night air. If false alarm occurs, push the button to silence the alarm once you have assessed the situation and determine it to be a false alarm and not a life threatening situation. Smoked detectors are interconnected. In most cases the circuit for the smoke detector breaker is in your main panel marked with the master bedroom circuit. Steam and moisture can and will create nuisance alarms. Turning on a new gas appliance (heater, stoves etc.) can and will create nuisance alarms.

These are only guidelines. If smoke or fire is visible, exit your house and call 911.

Instructions from the manufacturer

Click here to view/download the instructions for this smoke alarm from Kidde.

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