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My smoke detector keeps chirping. What does this mean?

This could mean one of two things. 1. An intermittent chirp is probably an indication of a defective smoke detector. 2. A consistent chirp is probably an indication of a low battery condition and the smoke detector requires a new battery. Other common reasons for chirping are the battery pull-tab is still in the alarm, the battery drawer is open, low battery, the battery is there but part of the terminal is obstructed and others.