Every house needs smoke detectors in each room. It really is that simple, and failing to install smoke detectors throughout the home can lead to a serious risk of tragedy. Far too often, the news feed is home to reports of deaths that would have been avoided had a smoke detector been installed and in operation.
Random Alerts, Random Frustration
But for some, smoke detectors aren’t just going to sound out an alert because there is a fire. There are occasions when a smoke alarm goes off seemingly at random. This can cause significant frustration, especially when you aren’t entirely sure just what is causing the issue.
Finding the different causes for these random smoke alarms is important for ensuring that you don’t just decide you need to take the batteries out of a smoke detector and leave your home unprotected.
The Main Smoke Alarm Triggers
Aside from the obvious – fires – there are several different potential causes for a smoke alarm to go off. Take a look at the following list and you may be able to spot triggers that you weren’t aware of – and be able to eliminate the issue while still keeping your smoke detector up and working.
- Burnt Food – This is an obvious one, but still deserves mentioning. You may not even notice smoke – just a bit of burnt food can be all it takes to trigger the sensitive smoke detector. Even cooking food normally may trigger the alarm. To avoid this, move your smoke detector the hallway leading into the kitchen instead of right inside the kitchen.
- Fireplaces – Smoke can puff out of the fireplace or a wood stove and into the home, often without you even realizing it. Making sure that your dampers are open and your chimney is clean can avoid this.
- Humidity – Sometimes, smoke detectors are triggered by moisture content. Homes with high humidity may end up with their smoke alarms being triggered on occasion.
- Steam – Steam from the shower may sometimes trigger a smoke alarm, especially after a hot shower and with a detector right outside the bathroom.
- Insects – Believe it or not, bugs can sometimes crawl into smoke detectors and set off the alarm. Using basic pest control measures can usually help with this, but not always.
- Dust – No, the average home’s dust levels aren’t usually enough to set off a smoke alarm. But if you’re doing a major remodel project, the dust and dirt in the air may be enough to trigger it.
- Low Batteries – Finally, some smoke alarms may go off sporadically as the batteries die in them. Change batteries regularly to avoid this problem.
Solving The Issue
Some of the points above are obvious, and can be avoided simply by not letting food burn or keeping humidity down. In other cases, just relocating your smoke detector to a different part of the room or taking a couple of steps to eliminate outside issues can be enough to help you solve the problem.
No matter what, don’t just switch off your smoke alarms. Instead, take the time to figure out what is causing false alarms and fix it. Your safety depends on it.