Smoke alarms are a valuable asset (and a legal requirement) to have in any home. However, they can cause a lot of annoyance if they go off too frequently without need.
A smoke alarm that regularly sets off a false alarm can be caused by several things. As such, there are a few steps you can take to help reduce the number of false alarms your device causes.
In today’s article, we explore some of the reasons why smoke alarms can go off when they don’t need to, and look at ways to prevent that from happening.
Causes of False Alarms in Smoke Alarms
There are several different reasons why your smoke alarm may begin to broadcast an unwanted alarm. These can include:
Dust & Insects
One of the most common culprits of false alarms is dust. Dust can easily build up on the sensors in your smoke alarm and cause it to become sensitive. This is especially true if you live in an area with a lot of dust or construction going on. Other things that can make their way inside your smoke alarm are insects. Insects can crawl into the intricate parts of your device and cause a false alarm, so be sure to regularly check your alarm for any insects or spider webs.
When smoke alarms aren’t maintained properly, they can begin to beep or start giving off false alarms. It is important to regularly clean your smoke alarms with a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and insects.
Having your alarm installed on a circuit shared by other electrical items may cause it to go off due to added electrical noise. It’s imperative to ensure your smoke alarm is the only thing plugged into the circuit to ensure it’s clear of additional noise. If you think this may be the cause of your false alarms, call Coast Smoke Alarms and we can assess this for you.
Moisture absorbed by the alarm may be interpreted as a fault by the internal circuitry, causing the alarm to sound. This is because the smoke alarm confuses the dense air particles for smoke particles.
Causes of moisture in the alarm are:
- High humidity levels.
- Prolonged rainfall – when it rains, the relative humidity increases because of evaporation. The longer it rains, the more the humidity will increase as the air constantly draws in the water. Try to keep some windows open to increase airflow or run the dry mode on your air conditioning.
- Rapid temperature changes, particularly temperature drops overnight in the cooler months.
- Alarms positioned too close to locations that cause steam, such as bathrooms or laundries. If possible, always use extractor fans to reduce moisture in the property.
Why Try to Prevent False Alarms?
The sound of a smoke alarm can be jarring, especially if it goes off in the middle of the night. Not to mention that it can cause a lot of inconvenience if you have to constantly reset it. False alarms may also upset pets and bring them undue stress.
A false alarm isn’t just a frustrating sound, it can also be dangerous if left malfunctioning. If your alarm is regularly going off, you or your family may begin to ignore it, which can be a problem if and when it does go off for real. This could have disastrous consequences and potentially result in loss of life if ignored.
Unwanted alarm activation is an issue that should be addressed as soon as possible. The team at Coast Smoke Alarms are available, as needed, for your smoke alarm testing and device replacement.
How to Prevent False Alarms
Preventing false alarms in your smoke alarm is relatively easy once you know what causes them.
Here are a couple of tips on how to prevent false alarms:
Tip 1: Clean Out Dust and Insects Regularly
Dust and dead insects may get stuck in your smoke alarm, setting off the sensors and causing false alarms to occur. To help prevent this, regularly clean your alarm with a vacuum cleaner and small attachment to remove any unwanted debris from the device. You should also check for insects and spider webs around your alarm and remove them so as to prevent critters getting stuck within the fire alarm system.
Tip 2: Use an Experienced Smoke Alarm Installer
An experienced smoke alarm installer will be able to choose the right position for your smoke alarm, away from elements that could cause it to have repeated false alarms. Bringing in an experienced installer will also mean your smoke alarm is attached to the right electrical circuit. Sharing a circuit with other devices is an easy way to get added electrical noise that can trigger an alarm.
Bonus Tip: Have Your Smoke Alarms Regularly Checked
Having your fire alarm systems checked and serviced by a professional smoke alarm business will help ensure your alarms are in top working order.
A professional will also be able to test your alarm system and make sure it’s still working as intended. This is important, as you don’t want to find out that your alarm is broken in the event of an actual fire.
Our Smoke Alarm Check Services
At Coast Smoke Alarms, we provide smoke alarm compliance checks for landlords, home sellers, property managers, and homeowners. These can be either one-off checks or regular monitoring with our subscription services.
Our services include:
Contact us today for more information by either sending our team an email at email@example.com or giving us a call on 1300 722 552. Alternatively, you can complete our Quote Request Form and we’ll be in touch to organise a free quote for your job.