Smoke detectors are an important part of keeping your family and home safe. Ideally, the detector should sound when it detects the presence of high levels of heat or smoke. However, the detector can experience false alarms. If your detector is connected to your home's security system, the fire department could show up. To avoid false alarms, here are some steps you can take now.
- Check the batteries. When the smoke detector's batteries are weak or improperly installed, it can sometimes trigger an alarm. Take the time each month to ensure the batteries are not loose and still functioning.
- Reset the detector. Electrical disturbances with the smoke detector could cause a false alarm. By removing and replacing the battery, the detector is forced to reset. If the detector is hardwired, flip off and on the circuit breaker to reset it.
- Clean the detector. Dust accumulations in the detector can impact the sensor's ability to detect smoke and cause it to sound the alarm. Each month, use a lint-free cloth and compressed air to clean the detector.
- Switch to a new smoke detector. If your smoke detector is more than 10 years old, consider switching to a new one. At that point, the detector could have trouble with accurately sensing smoke.
- Skip the chemicals. Strong chemicals, such as paint fumes and ammonia, can trigger your smoke detector. If your cleaning products are triggering the alarm, look for green cleaning alternatives.
- Move the detector. It is important to have detectors throughout your home, but if they are too near the kitchen or bathroom, steam and heat can trigger them.
- Call an electrician. If your smoke detector is hardwired, the false alarms could be triggered by a loose electrical connection. When the circuit is interrupted due to the bad connection, the alarm could be triggered when power is restored to it.
- Turn on the air conditioner. When there is a high level of humidity in your home, the alarm could misidentify it as smoke. Turning on the air conditioner or using fans to circulate the air in your home can help with reducing the humidity.
One of the most important things to remember is that you should not disconnect your fire alarm. If you continue to have problems with the smoke detector, have it professionally inspected. The pro can checks its placement and help determine whether or not you should switch to a different type of smoke detector. For more tips, talk to a company like GMW Fire Protection.