Why Do I Get So Many False Fire Alarms?
Fire protection is an integral part of any home security system. Even if you don't own a security system, you probably have a basic smoke detector somewhere in your home. But smoke detectors can sometimes get a little finicky. If you've noticed your fire alarm going off more frequently than usual, here are a few common causes of false alarms.
Too Close to the Kitchen
"If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen." Smoke detectors often go off when placed too close to cooking appliances. However, it is normal for these appliances to give off small amounts of smoke, and sometimes things like burnt toast trigger a false alarm. The solution to this problem is simple, just move your smoke detector into the hall. Smoke detectors should be placed in halls and bedrooms, where smoke is an uncommon occurrence. If you feel better with a smoke detector in your kitchen, feel free to place one there, but just recognize that you'll probably get a few more smoke detector false alarms.
Steam and Humidity
Believe it or not, steam and high humidity can both contribute to false fire alarms. Depending on the sensor used in your smoke/fire detector, it may sense heat rather than smoke. Unfortunately, steam is pretty hot, and when a fire detector is placed too close, you might have a false alarm on your hands. Once again, an easy solution to this problem is to move your smoke or fire detector away from the kitchen (and away from the bathroom). In addition, any areas that create a lot of steam should be avoided.
Chemicals From Aerosol Sprays
Bug sprays and other aerosol sprays can cause damage to your smoke detectors when sprayed too close. In some instances, this damage leads to false alarms. It's always a good idea to do your research about the kind of chemicals you spray around your home. If you notice that your smoke detector has been damaged, you should replace it as soon as possible.
If you have a fireplace, you probably love cozying up next to it during the winter. But unfortunately, fireplaces sometimes blow smoke particles into your house, and that smoke can trigger your smoke detectors.
- Don't get rid of your smoke detectors, though. Instead, you can do a few things to prevent your fireplace from triggering false alarms.
- Make sure your chimney is swept and is not clogged. When chimneys get clogged, more smoke is redirected down into your house.
- Place the smoke detector a little further away from your fireplace.
Make sure you are constantly practicing good fire safety around your fireplace.
Low Battery or Faulty Sensor
If your smoke detector keeps beeping at you, the battery could be getting low, or the sensor could be nearing the end of its life. You should check the batteries in your smoke detector every few months. Most smoke detectors will beep when the batteries get low, and if your detector stops beeping, that may mean that the batteries are completely dead.
Don't Give Up on Your Smoke Detector
Your life is worth a few false alarms, but if you're getting too many false fire alarms, don't give up on your smoke detectors. They are life-saving devices that only cost a few dollars. If your smoke detector is particularly prone to false alarms, you might consider upgrading to a nicer sensor. When your house is on fire, you want a fire alarm system that will call the fire department for you. Cove's combination smoke/CO detector comes with 24/7 monitored protection. So even when you aren't at home, you'll be able to get help for your home.
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