Three Ways To Safely Avoid A False Alarm From Your Smoke Detector

Having an alarm go off when you're cooking or when there's dust in the air for some reason, such as construction or other home improvement projects, can be annoying and distracting. Sometimes smoke detectors even raise an alarm when they get dusty and need cleaning! But disabling the alarm is a dangerous habit. It assumes you're going to turn the unit back on when conditions are back to normal, but with construction that could be months (and besides, it's so easy to forget). And if you have no functional alarms, you're much more likely to die if a fire should occur. Here are three ways you can minimize or prevent false alarms while still allowing for legitimate alarm events should the need arise.

1. Photoelectric fire alarms

This type of detector can tell the difference between a smoke particle and other small particles in the air, such as dust. Installing this technology allows you to protect yourself from a fire while still carrying on with your home improvements. The detector in the kitchen will still go off if you have a smoky cooking incident, though. (Hopefully you'll be able to open some windows before the smoke reaches the rest of the house.) So it solves the problem for most rooms of the house but not necessarily the kitchen. 

2. Cover the unit

Another option that's quick, easy, and less dangerous is to isolate the unit's air supply before doing something that you know might set it off otherwise. So if you're intending to carbonize some toast, you can simply secure the mouth of a plastic bag around the unit using a rubber band. This cover takes less than a second to remove, making it much more convenient than putting the battery back in the unit. It also looks obviously out of place, so it's easy to remember to remove the cover when you've finished your cooking experiment. 

3. Keep up with maintenance

Because so many false alarms occur when the detector is old and worn out, the battery is low, or dust has gotten into the sensor, ignoring your unit is like asking for a false alarm. You'll need to replace the detector every ten years, replace the nine-volt battery annually, dust occasionally, and test the unit monthly to keep false alarms out of your hair.

These three tips can help you manage your smoke detectors in a way that will allow them to keep you safe but also allow you to avoid annoyance from false alarms. Contact a company like GMW Fire Protection for more information.