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How to Silence a Home Fire Alarm

Scarlett Reine

Smoke alarms are an important home safety tool. Detecting a fire early, often before signs of a fire might be noticeable, allows people to exit their homes quickly and safely before the fire gets out of hand.

Fire can be deadly, so make sure the alarm is false before attempting to quiet the detector.

However, fire alarms can be sensitive and might go off from detecting smoke from a fireplace or food burning on the stove. Fire alarms can be annoyingly loud and startling, so you will want to silence them quickly.

  1. Press the silencer button. Most smoke detectors come with a button on the front of them that can either be pressed or held down for a few seconds to stop the alarm from sounding. Use a ladder to reach alarms on the ceiling and press the button located on the front panel. Hold this button down if necessary. If more than one button is present, press the button labeled as a silencer or an “Off” button.

  2. Clear the smoke causing the detector to activate if your fire alarm does not come with a silencer or “Off” button. If cooking, reduce the heat on the stove and turn on the overhead exhaust fan to suck up the smoke. Open your windows and turn on fans to circulate the air and push the smoke outside. Once the detector can no longer detect smoke, its alarm will turn off.

  3. Remove the battery of your fire alarm as a last resort if none of the above options work. Use a ladder to reach the fire alarm and gently pull off or unscrew the face plate. Under the face plate is a battery that supplies power independently to your smoke detector. Simply remove this battery from the inside of the fire alarm to cut its power and silence the alarm. Remember to replace the battery after the smoke clears.


Check your smoke alarm batteries monthly to ensure the smoke alarm is still working.