Smoke detector false alarms are one of the most annoying things to deal with. It’s not only scary and startling, but it also interrupts everything and drives household pets crazy.
If you have smoke detectors, it’s likely happened to you. Sometimes it’s after blowing out the candles on a birthday cake, while other times it’s while you’re cooking dinner. If you have especially pesky smoke detectors, false alarms can happen for no reason at all. So how can you prevent these false alarms?
Regularly replace the batteries.
Old batteries are one of the most common causes for smoke detector false alarms. This is also the easiest issue to fix. Maintain a regular schedule for replacing batteries before they are too old. If you have a hard time remembering when it’s the right time, set a reminder in your phone or online calendar.
Not only do new batteries prevent annoying false alarms, but they also keep you safe in case of an actual fire. Old batteries can cause delayed reactions, which is very dangerous in a real fire. You wouldn’t want to put yourself in danger, when battery replacement is so simple to do.
Keep your house clean!
A lot of false alarms are caused by dust floating around in a home. While most people regularly clean easily reachable areas of their homes, it’s common to skip dusting ceiling fans, chandeliers, and hard-to-reach shelves and ledges.
Unfortunately, those hard-to-reach places are often closer to smoke detectors. As dust collects and moves around, the detectors can mistake the particles for smoke. If you’ve had a lot of false alarms recently, this could be the culprit.
The best way to avoid this issue is to stick to a regular cleaning schedule. Vacuum hoses will help you reach high-up places. If you have really high ceilings, you’ll need to break out the ladder. It might seem like a hassle, but it’s better than smoke detector false alarms in the middle of the night or during a dinner party.
It’s also a good idea to have your heating and air conditioning vents cleaned by a professional every 1-2 years. Debris gets inside of these vents and then moves into the house as soon as the heat or A.C. is turned on, undoing any dusting and cleaning you have done.
Be sure to include the detector itself in your cleaning process. Smoke detectors can collect dust just like any other piece of furniture. If you clean everything around the detector, but skip this step, you’ll most likely continue having problems.
Proper ventilation is key.
Even with a sparklingly clean house and newly replaced smoke alarm batteries, people experience unwanted smoke alarm alerts. Smoke detectors alert us of any smoke in the house, but this can be annoying if the smoke is caused by cooking on the stovetop or lighting birthday candles.
To prevent your smoke alarm from going off while cooking or using candles, it’s important to be sure you have good ventilation in your home. If you frequently cook meat, you should have a vent above your stove. This vent will whisk away the smoke before it reaches the detectors.
If you don’t have a vent above your stove, be sure to open any windows and doors as possible before cooking smoky foods. You can also try bringing in a portable fan to clear out the smoke.
Similarly, if lighting candles whether for a birthday or for the fragrance, light them near a window or vent. This will keep the smoke from causing a startling false alarm.