Flat Chat Forum Neighbour noise Current Page

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  • #11496

    Hi all,

    A few days ago I started hearing this noise – at least 1 smoke detector beeping every 30 seconds to indicate that the battery is running out. It is 24/7.

    It’s a single sharp beep every 30 seconds, NOT the alarm sound that would occur if there was smoke.

    It will not stop of it’s own accord – I heard that smoke detectors are capable of doing this for years.

    I do NOT know which apartment the noise is coming from – I cannot even be 100% sure it’s coming from my building. It’s loudest when I am on my balcony. Unfortunately the direction the noise is coming from is hard to determine (and complicated by the fact that it echoes in the laneway that the balconies overlook).

    I could contact the body corporate or city council… the main problem is I cannot pinpoint the location of the noise (although I am sure it is the unmistakeable sound of a residential smoke detector).

    How can I proceed with a noise complaint without knowing the exact source? Let me know if anyone has any advice.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • #29019
    Lady Penelope

    Are the smoke detectors hard wired (i.e. the responsibility of the OC to repair) or are they not hard wired (i.e. the responsibility of the Owner to repair)?

    If they are the responsibility of the Owner then there can be various causes for the beeping.

    The tenant mentioned that he thought that the device was being affected by dust. However, a dirty device is more likely to set of the alarm (falsely) rather than to cause it to beep.

    Beeping usually indicates that the batteries are going flat, or the device has reached its use by date, or the batteries are cheap, or the battery connections are obstructed in some way.

    NB: Cheap batteries can cause voltage surges and reductions due to temperature fluctuations and these voltage reductions can cause the device to think that the battery level is low, which will cause it to beep.

    Devices should be cleaned regularly.

    With a dirty smoke detector, the best way to avoid a false alarm is to clean the inside and outside of the alarm regularly. You can do this with a vacuum cleaner, duster, or paint brush.

    Smoke Alarm Adelaide

    If the smoke detector is faulty and is causing a nuisance then it is the owner of the Lot who should be notified. The owner should arrange to have a proper inspection carried out on the device with the detector replaced, or cleaned, and the batteries changed with good quality batteries.

    Write to your Committee with your concerns and suggest that they contact the owner of the Lot to remedy the nuisance, and the possible danger to the safety of your building.

    Incidentally, did the tenant organise the inspection of the detector or was this inspection organised by the owner?

    Here is some advice that may be useful: https://www.jimsfiresafety.com.au/smoke-alarm-keep-going-off


    I finally found the apartment where the noise is coming from.

    So I spoke to the resident (a tenant) and his answer was very bizzare. He said that a qualified person had come to inspect, and told him that the beeping noise is due to particles in the air and not a flat battery.

    The person inspecting said there is no problem, and took no action.

    So the particles happen to enter the smoke detector exactly every 30 seconds, 24/7 ? Very strange explanation.

    In any event, the tenant obviously is not annoyed by the sound (personally it would drive me insane), and had some “expert” declare that there is no problem.

    With the tenant obviously lacking in enthusiam to fix the problem… is there anything I can do now?


    On the old Love Line Show with Adam Corolla and Dr. Drew, they would get callers all the time that were living with a beeping smoke detector and did not seem to notice or care.

    Never ran into anyone like this in my own life, but based on hearing about the lives of these types of people, there is certainly a trend.

    My best guess is that your solution will come in the form of bringing them new batteries, finding the smoke detector for them, and then doing the replacement yourself.

    Almost certain nothing will happen if you leave it up to them.


    I doubt anyone is sitting in their apartment enjoying the sound of a battery warning from their smoke alarm every 30 seconds, so making a noise complaint to council or the OC is overkill and probably ineffectual.  You really just want the noise to stop and a personal request is probably enough for that. Your problem is finding someone to ask.

    Firstly, look at your own smoke alarm. Depending on the age of your building if yours is hardwired its likely that they all are in your building and you can assume the source of the noise is elsewhere.

    Have you asked around your neighbours (above and below you as well as next door)? If its driving you nuts its probably annoying someone else too. They might help narrow down the direction its coming from.  If you don’t know your neighbours this is your chance to meet them.  Take a spare battery and make a joke of it.  And if it turns out that one of them is deaf and the beeping noise gets louder when they open their door to you….problem solved!

    However its more likely that its in a unit that is currently unoccupied (or possibly occupied by someone physically unable to remove or change the battery). Which gives you another clue to track down which apartment it is, but is likely to mean there is no one there to ask.  If that is the case, you will have a different problem to solve and you will have to hope that their neighbours, or the building manager, if there is one, might have a key or know some way to contact the owner or tenant to arrange a battery replacement.

    The easiest outcome for you is if the resident is there but hasn’t changed the battery because they are physically unable to – you can offer to help and both of you can stop listening to the thing.


    Surely, speak to your neighbours…


    You will have to find the source of the noise before proceeding I think. If it was a smoke detector warning you’d think that it would annoy the occupier of the unit and they would change it. Might be something else causing the beeping.

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