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Smoke Detector Flashes Red

By Hope Charlotte |

Getting worried when your smoke detector flashes red? There are different situations where your smoke detector and fire alarm can start flashing red. In order to keep yourself calm and collected, it is important that you know exactly what sort of light signals are given by smoke detectors and what they signify. In this article, understanding that is our main purpose.

LED Light Indicators on Smoke Detector

There are different situations where the LED indicator on your smoke detector can flash. There are different colors and frequencies with which the indicator will flash. The colors are green, yellow and red. These colors signify the urgency of the situation. Green is normal, yellow means to have caution, and red means to be alert and in a state of emergency.

The LED will flash along with the alarm sound. There are different occasions where your smoke detector can start flashing. These include:

  • When the unit is powered on
  • When it is in standby mode
  • When an alarm is triggered
  • When the detector is leaving the alarm mode
  • When test mode is enabled
  • When the unit has a low battery
  • When it is silent mode
  • When there is some fault or malfunctioning
  • When the detector has reached the end of its lifetime (10 years)

If you have a sound understanding of the different ways your smoke detector will flash in different situations, you will be able to avoid getting panicky or worried.

Following are the different modes and the different states in which your LED indicator can start flashing.

Powering On: Once your unit is mounting in the bracket, it will turn on by itself. After turning on, the unit will go through eight cycles (red/green/yellow). This is the first instance in the life of the unit when the smoke detector flashes red (as part of the cycle). After the cycles are completed, the flashing will cease and the unit will enter standby mode.

Standby Mode: This is the phase where the unit is merely standing by. In this state, the LED will flash green every minute i.e. 60 seconds.

Alarm State: When the alarm mode is triggered, the detector will give out three long beeps in 1.5 seconds. Along with the beeps, the LED will flash red. This is, in essence, the main state in which the smoke detector flashes red. This is when the smoke is at an alarming level.

Leaving the Alarm Mode: When the smoke level drops below the alarm level, then the detector will leave the alarm mode. When leaving the Alarm State, the LED will flash green constantly every second for the next five seconds and then enter the standby mode again.

Test Mode: When the time comes for you to check your unit to see if it is working properly (this is done once a week), hold down the test button until you hear a small beep. This beep indicates that the alarm unit has entered into the test mode.

When your alarm is in test mode, it will emit three long beeps twice. This shows that the alarm is working normally. When the beeps sound, the alarm will also flash red.

Low Battery: When your unit has a low battery, the LED indicator will flash yellow with one beep every minute. When a unit has a low battery, you should replace the smoke detector.

If you press the test mode button when the alarm for the low battery is sounding, you will be able to silence it for 10 hours. Once the alarm for the low battery is silenced, you can press the test button again to bring the unit in test mode, after which it will revert back to standby mode.

Silence Mode: If you press the test button when your unit is in an alarm state, it will go into silent mode. But, note that if the smoke is at alarm level, then the unit will not be silenced. The smoke will have to decrease to a non-threatening level for the unit to resume standby mode. The silence time is about 9 minutes. The LED will continue flashing red every five seconds albeit without the sound when silent mode is activated. When your unit is exiting the silent mode, it will flash green three times and then revert to standby mode.

Fault: When there is some fault or malfunctioning in your unit, it will beep twice every ~40 seconds and the LED will flash yellow 1-4 times.

End of life: When your unit has reached the end of its prescribed lifetime, the alarm will beep twice along with a yellow flash every thirty seconds. This alarm can be silenced for three days by pressing the test button.

You can use this feature (the silencing feature) for the end-of-life alarm for up to 30 days, after which the alarm will not be silenced.

These are the states and modes that your alarm unit can be in at any point in time. The LED light will flash and the beeps will sound in each state depending on the emergency level.

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