Did you know ionisation smoke alarms – the most common type of smoke alarm in Australia – are triggered when smoke reacts with a small amount of radioactive material? And that the newer and even better photoelectric smoke alarms use extremely responsive photosensitive sensors to detect even the merest particle of smoke? If it’s all working perfectly, you won’t hear that almost deafening high-pitched tone until you really need to be alerted from a deep slumber – in order to save your life and your property. But what if your smoke alarm keeps going off for no great reason? Let’s take a deep dive:

We all know that normal, everyday activities sometimes trigger that smoke alarm. You burn a piece of toast; your smoke alarm mistakes some cigarette smoke for a deadly house fire; your smoke alarm is simply malfunctioning.

But what if you have a smoke alarm going off for no reason at all? Chances are, there is actually a reason for that false alarm – and it’s probably one of these:

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1. Cooking

We all know that a smoke alarm can’t really tell the difference between a burning home and a burning toast. But any smoke from cooking – or even steam – can trigger the odd false smoke alarm.

2. Humidity

Just a run-of-the-mill muggy day isn’t likely to set off your smoke alarm. But if an alarm is located too close to a shower and a significant burst of dense steam comes rushing past the device, or condensation is able to form, the moisture can trick the smoke alarm into thinking it’s sensing smoke.

3. Dust & insects

How long was it since you gave that smoke alarm a close look – and a decent wipe? If it’s been a while, that build-up of dust and grime can interfere with the device’s sensitivity and trigger false alarms. Another common issue is bugs that wiggle into the detection mechanisms or toy with the sensors.

4. Battery problems

Normally, our smoke alarms will politely ask to have a low battery replaced – so it won’t be the usual high-pitched squeal of an actual fire emergency. However, battery problems or other issues with internal components can mess with your alarm’s ability to function properly, and that can manifest in the form of false alarms.

5. Weather

If there’s a strong draft in your house, wild weather outside, or the temperature suddenly goes from cold to hot, the normal functioning of a smoke alarm can be thrown off – triggering a false alarm.

6. Bad installation

It’s also possible that the smoke alarm was poorly or incorrectly wired – or it was put too close to cooking locations or sources of steam. The alarm manufacturer, a fully-licensed installer, and local smoke alarm legislation and guidelines should be strictly followed for correct smoke alarm installation.

Let’s get that smoke alarm working again

Smoke alarm goes off for no reason? Before stressing any more than you already are, try the following:

  • Clean the smoke alarm
  • Check the alarm placement is optimal
  • Check the wiring was done correctly
  • Consider a smoke alarm upgrade.

Just need a great local tradie to deal with your misbehaving smoke alarms for you? Tradie Near Me can connect you with fully-licensed local electricians and other tradespeople and businesses who can help you out with:

  • Installation
  • Compliance
  • Maintenance & repairs
  • Testing
  • Upgrades & replacements
  • System integration and much more.

Need help with your misbehaving smoke alarms?

Every licensed tradie who is a part of the Tradie Near Me network is insured, offers upfront pricing, fully-guaranteed workmanship for life and much, much more. Dealing with your mischievous smoke alarms is as easy as entering your details and hitting ‘submit’ – so why not give Tradie Near Me a try today?

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