First Alert Wired Smoke & Fire?

During our remodel (Man! It's already been six years ago!), the electrician added smoke-and-fire alarms throughout the house. I really liked this until recently. The entire first floor's units (six total) have started randomly beeping. I replace the batteries twice-yearly (Daylight Savings swings) so it's not that -- especially since the entire second floor are still silent unless I run a test. I can only think that each of these beeping units have gotten some dust or debris on their smoke sensors. Since the electric variety do not have replicable sensors, how do I go about "cleaning" them -- or would it be best to simply replace each unit?
Secondly, the Cupertino branch of Home Despot no longer sells First Alert units. They sell another brand (Pirex, I think). Since I'm familiar with First Alert products, I tend to shy away from alternatives. Are there other products that are comparable (both in cost and quality?)
Many thanks!
The Ranger
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With them wired together it only takes one to be dirty. VERY ODD that the second floor is not sounding as well. I would think that your local fire code would want ALL of the horns working together.
Cleaning the heads is a good idea. DO NOT touch the lenses(s) with your fingers. Fingers have oil and oil attracts dirt. A can of compressed air might do the trick.
I suggest you find out why only the down stairs is working like this. Does not smell right to me.
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Superb advice IMO. At my workplace the alarms need to be cleaned once in a while with compressed air. We use a CO2 tank with a hose hooked to it on a valve. The CO2 is under quite a bit of pressure and does the trick nicely.
When one detector sends the alarm signal to the main panel it sounds the alarms throughout the entire house.
From the sounds of the OP's post these are individual alarms that aren't tied together in any way. A can of computer duster stuff would probably do the trick. Just keep the can upright!
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If it is dust, you could use a shop vac with a wand/brush and go over each one. Couldn't hurt.

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Since these are "electrician installed" detectors, I will assume that they are not the simple battery operated detectors, but are connected to the house wiring and/or a central alarm system. These detectors do have their own internal battery which will operate the detector in event of a power failure.
These types of detectors are usually daisy-chained (i.e. detector 1 wired to detector 2, which is wired to 3, etc.), with the last detector in the chain connected to the house wiring or alarm panel.
A failure of the wiring, circuit breaker, loss of power, or other failure will usually cause all detectors in the daisy-chain to start beeping randomly (they are now operating on there own batteries) as an indicator that something is wrong. Each floor in a home would be wired with it's own daisy-chain, so a failure on one floor would not affect other floors.
Detectors of this type usually have a small indicator lamp that either glows all of the time, or flashes every few seconds when everything is working OK.
Had the same problem in my daughters home which turned out to be a poor connection to the house wiring in a junction box.
There are many variations of the above, so this is just a guess -- YMMV.
--
-Ernie-

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