Smoke alarms are one of the most useful and helpful inventions. However, just like every other gadget, sometimes they malfunction. Unlike with other devices and home appliances, when a smoke alarm goes off, people start to panic. It’s not the most pleasant sound you can hear, because everyone instantly associates it with fire and danger.
Smoke alarms are not the cheapest thing you can purchase. Especially not if you have the ones that start spraying water to put the fire off in case something is burning. So, when a person ends up paying for them, they expect it to work properly.
If this ends up happening during the night, it can be a real panic situation amongst your family members. It’s especially stressful if you have children. The most frustrating thing is waking up in the middle of the night just to find out that it’s a malfunction and a false alarm, not a real fire. Well, in order to understand why these things happen, you should know these five reasons why the alarm is beeping when there’s no actual smoke coming out of anywhere. Let’s take a look.
1. Wrong placement, close to kitchen appliances
It’s really important to place your smoke alarm properly, and the best way to do so is by placing it somewhere “common steam” isn’t really present. This means far from the kitchen, if possible. When you’re cooking meals, the smoke from the meals or the kitchen appliances will trigger a false alarm. Most people are already aware of this so even when the alarm starts beeping they know what the deal is. But, sometimes you can forget about it and it can put you through a lot of stress, especially if you fall asleep after eating lunch or something similar.
Right next to doors is a bad idea as well. After all, the sensors inside can register a false alarm due to the wind or the dust particles sent into it caused by the door opening. As a conclusion, it’s best to set it somewhere on a “neutral” location. If there’s a fire, the smoke will one way or another find its path to the sensor, and then you’ll know it’s a real emergency.
2. Burned or overcooked meals
Burning your meal happens often, and it happens to the best of cooks. There’s nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. But, this is definitely something that your smoke alarm will pick up as a possible danger, and it will go off because of it. This is why we suggest you don’t place your alarms in the kitchen or close to it. A piece of steak that you cooked a bit too much shouldn’t be the cause of a stressful situation.
The bad thing about false alarms is not just the stress, but the waste of battery. Nobody really wants to waste their precious time changing the battery of a sensor because it ended up beeping the entire night. A great solution for this is to grab yourself a sensor that has ten years of battery life, such as the ones x-sense have.
3. Steamy bathroom or high amounts of water in the air
Coming out of the bathroom after a steamy shower can easily set your alarm off and it’s a really frustrating thing. This is why we recommend you don’t place your sensors right outside of the bathroom door. During winter, the steam from the hot bath will build up and when you open the door everything will come out. As we all know, hot air particles always go above the colder ones, which means that all that will easily reach your alarm, and you’ll hear a lot of beeping.
4. Insects small enough to fit in the gaps and fiddle around with the sensors
Insects. Nobody really likes them, but they play a huge role in nature’s food chain. However, their place is outside our home, somewhere in the wilderness, so we don’t appreciate their company in our comfort zones. Unfortunately, they can show up even in the most urban areas. If you have a few insects in your home, they can get inside your smoke around and fiddle around with the sensors, given if they’re small enough to do so.
Once again, this is why we don’t recommend putting your alarms right next to doors and windows, because insects can easily get inside them. Everybody keeps an open window, especially during the summer when it’s hot, and that’s when something like this can happen quite easily.
5. Long time without maintenance, dust particles buildup
Last but not least, if you are not maintaining your smoke alarms, dust particles can build up on the sensors and when a small gust of wind moves them around, whether be it from you walking around in your home or anything else really, the alarm will go off. Smoke alarms don’t take much effort when it comes to maintenance. Just grab any item that can give you easy access in tighter areas and remove those particles. You can use a needle or an ear-cleaning stick for the job. A little alcohol wouldn’t hurt as well if you are really trying to clean things in there.
If you know these five common reasons why smoke alarms go off when there isn’t an actual danger, you won’t have to go through all the stress when it happens. We did all the homework for you so you don’t have to waste any time researching the topic yourself. In case you hear beeping in the middle of the night, and there isn’t a fire, some of the things we mention in the article above may be the cause for it.
Please note that sometimes the reasons for this may be a bit different and it can be a technical issue or something with the computer sensors, which is difficult to identify and as a solution you’ll probably have to contact the manufacturer. If it’s under warranty, you may get a replacement.