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The Reasons for Smoke Detector False Alarms

Tue, Apr 14, 2020

Modern technology has made life easier for you. As for example, the smoke detectors are very helpful in case of an emergency. Smoke detectors have the ability to check such fires, which are hidden and electrical types. However, you need to be careful because sometimes they can malfunction and give a false alarm. So, today's topic is about what cause the smoke detector false alarms and how to stop smoke alarm false alarm.

10 Reasons for Smoke Detectors False Alarms

Smoke Detector False Alarms

1. Burnt Food on Top of Stove

The smoke alarm can be well activated if you don't check the stove when you are cooking, due to the production of the smoke of your burnt food. But there are some cases when smoke does not appear, but the smell of burnt food would be enough for a detector to tell. Your smoke alarm should be installed at the proper place, such as the way leading outside the kitchen but not properly in the kitchen.

2. Burnt Popcorns and Slices of Bread

If you have forgotten the slices of bread in the toaster and the popcorns in the microwave, it can lead to great danger. Due to burning the burnt particles will go into the air, it will be easy for your smoke alarm to pick it up. For this happening of the future, you should keep your smoke detector at large distances from these appliances.

3. Fireplaces

Your fireplaces can also activate smoke detectors and false alarms. You were thinking how!. This can happen when your fireplace sends smoke to your home, and your alarm will set off. This is not the fault of your alarm but is of your chimney. If the dampers are not set, and your chimney is not properly cleaned, this may happen. You should hire a sweeper of the chimney if it gives unbearable smoke into your house.

4. Steam

When there is a humid condition in your area, it can activate the false alarm to run. Even when you are boiling water on the stove or taking a shower, the smoke detectors can detect the steam, and alarm may go off. To avoid the false alarm, your ventilation system in washrooms and kitchens should be well installed.

5. Humidity

Smoke detectors and alarms have not the ability to distinguish between the moister element and the smoke particles. So, the intensity of humid content can activate your alarm, even if the case is opposite means they are the water particles, which are the cause of smoke alarm. You should use the fans and windows to dry the humid conditions in your homes.

6. Insects

The small insects and bugs like to live in dark places in your home. So, they may crawl into your smoke alarms and detectors devices, thus activating your false alarms. If you don't know what exactly is triggering your alarm, you should open the device and check for the insects' presence. You should spray the insecticide sprays in the smoke alarms to prevent this situation.

7. Dust and Dirt

If you are rearranging your kitchen, during these activities, your smoke alarms may set off due to the dust particles. For cleaning purposes of smoke alarms, you should open it and clean it carefully and detect the dirt and dust inside it. To remove the dust particles, you should use vacuum and electronic aerosol cleaners.

8. Smell of Chemicals

Smoke detectors have the ability to pick the odors of chemicals very fast, like the smell of paints and harsh chemicals, which can cause smoke detectors false alarms. To ignore the sound of false alarms, the ventilators of these areas should be well organized.

9. Low Batteries

When the batteries of your smoke detectors are not well connected and running low due to the low charging, they can cause unbearable chirping noises. You should check your devices because that is not the sound of smoke detectors. You should replace the batteries two times yearly to avoid such conditions.

10. Old Smoke Alarms

The smoke alarms have a life of about 10-year battery fire alarm, they usually give false alarms when they have completed their life spans. You should immediately replace it with the new ones when these are older than ten years to improve their efficiency.

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How to Stop False or Nuisance Smoke Alarm

If you are confirmed that there is no emergency condition, and your smoke alarm is sounding. It means that you are having a false or nuisance alarm. Luckily you can easily stop smoke detector false alarms by following these steps.

1. Keep Your Alarm Silent

Switch off the test or silence button of your unit to silence a nuisance alarm. By doing this, you will make the horn quiet, and it will be easier to detect the fault, causing a false alarm. If you are not able to find a button, you should read the guide book given with an appliance.

2. Review Possible Fixes

The reasons for false alarms depend upon many reasons like dust particles in the unit, or detecting of steam from a shower.

3. Installation Time

You should check that when your unit is installed. If your alarm is old and installed 7 to 10 years back, they may be expired. You should replace older alarms with new ones.

4. Cleaning Aspect of Units

To stop the false alarms, you should check insects and bugs, dust, and debris in the sensing chamber. The inner side of the chamber can be dirty with the dust, debris, and webs of a spider. You can avoid false alarms by cleaning the detectors with the help of compressed air, vacuum cleaners, and brush attachments.

If the unit is installed near the source of sunlight and the source of steam, then it can cause false alarms. If you want to avoid the noise of false alarms, your unit should be installed away from the bathrooms, fireplaces, and furnaces.

5. Power Issues in Units

The issues of power happen when companies switch their grids in the early hours in the morning. Also, a loose connection of wires can disconnect the power supply of the smoke alarm. On the other hand, when the power is restored, it can alarm. To avoid this situation of a false alarm, you should hire an electrician well in time.

Although the smoke detectors are necessary for our safety for various reasons including burnt foods, steam, dust, dirt, insects, humidity, and many more, they can malfunction at times. That’s the reason you should take all the possible precautionary measures to stop all these reasons by hiring electricians and by taking extra care of your home security system.

You may also like: What Causes Smoke Alarms Intermittent and Consistent Chirping


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