Is your smoke alarm constantly going off for seemingly no reason? There are many reasons why this could be happening. The most common cause is a low battery. Something that is easily remedied. In this article, we answer the question: why does my smoke alarm keep going off? We discuss six of the most common causes for smoke alarms to go off without the presence of smoke from a fire.
How do smoke detectors work?
We use smoke detectors at home, in the office, at shopping centres, in aeroplanes and more. They are an important protection tool for us to have. It is important to check your smoke detectors every six months to make sure they are still functioning. There are two types of smoke detectors:
- Ionisation smoke alarm: typically, more responsive to an open flame fire.
- Photoelectric smoke alarm: typically, more responsive to a smouldering fire.
Fires can start for several reasons, in many different ways. A flaming fire is a roaring fire that contains a lot of flames. A smouldering fire is more smoke heavy and begins with a long period of smouldering. House fires are unpredictable, they can be either type. For the best protection, it is recommended you use both types of detectors.
Why does my smoke alarm keep going off?
Let’s answer the question: why does my smoke alarm keep going off? Below we explore six of the most common reasons:
1. Low battery
This is the most common cause. Smoke detectors are designed to go off when their electrical current goes down. This is because smoke in the air will reduce the electrical current. If your battery is low, the current will be low, meaning you get a false alarm. Remember to change your batteries every six months.
Steam from a hot shower can cause a smoke alarm to go off. You should think about this when considering where you install your smoke alarms. Just like smoke, steam can block the electrical flow in your alarm. Anything heavy in the air can also cause this. If your smoke alarm is next to your bathroom and it keeps going off, try opening a few windows when you shower. If this doesn’t work, then you may consider changing the location.
3. Strong chemicals
Volatile organic compounds, which are found in paint, can cause false alarms. These compounds are needed to keep the paint wet in the pot and dry on your walls. If your alarm is particularly sensitive, it may be going off because of this. If you suspect this is the case, you can call a professional to retune your sensor or replace the unit.
4. Dirt or dust accumulation
Dirt and dust can interrupt your device and cause it to go off randomly. It can disrupt both the external and internal sensors. The best way to avoid this is by regularly cleaning your devices. You can do this with a duster or vacuum cleaner. Be careful not to damage your smoke alarms when cleaning them.
Smoke caused by burnt food is a common cause of an alarm going off. I’m sure we’ve all done it and had to frantically wave a magazine in front of it to shut it off. But when an alarm is overly sensitive, even the tiniest thing can set it off. It may go off from just regular cooking. This could get annoying and may mean you have to return or replace it.
Little obstructions inside a smoke alarm can cause it to go off. You can open up the device to check for such things. It may be tiny little insects or a spider. It may even be that you’ve forgotten to remove the battery pull tab. These obstructions stop the batteries from working properly resulting in false alarms.
Update your smoke detection system
Hopefully, we’ve answered your question: why does my smoke alarm keep going off? If you’re still unsure, then we can help you! At Glenco, we don’t take shortcuts when it comes to fire safety. We offer a wide range of fire protection services in Sydney. So, give us a call to install or update your system.