What to Do About Sensitive Smoke Detectors

What to Do About Sensitive Smoke Detectors

July 25, 2019

Does your smoke alarm go off every time you turn on the oven or fry an egg on the stove? Many people solve the issue of an overly sensitive smoke detector by turning it off. Unfortunately, this can be a very dangerous solution, because it puts your household at risk. At Mr. Electric of Dallas, we enjoy providing North Texas home and business owners with safe and efficient electrical systems. We want you to enjoy the same benefits, free of the dangers of fires, property damage and personal injuries. Here are some of the reasons why your alarm is so sensitive, and how you can fix the problem.

Determine Which Kind of Smoke Detector You Have

It can help to understand which variety of smoke detector is installed in your home. Knowing how the sensors work can help you determine why they are going off so often. Photoelectric detectors utilize a beam of light. When particles enter the stream of light, the beam is scattered, which triggers the alarm. Ionization detectors contain electrons and ions surrounding electrodes. If smoke or particles find its way into the ionization chamber, they attach to the ions, which will trigger the alarm. In either case, the sensors can become confused, mistaking certain particles with smoke, which sounds a false alarm. 

Ensure the Alarm Isn’t Warning About Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Many modern detectors include a feature that will sound an alarm when exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide. Inhaling carbon monoxide can cause many health problems, including dizziness, nausea, confusion, loss of consciousness and even death. Therefore, it’s very important to make sure your alarm isn’t trying to warn you. 

Adjust the Sensitivity Level

A lot of brands will include a settings feature, where you can adjust the sensitivity level of the detector. Check to see if yours has this. If so, then it may simply be on the lowest setting, and needs to be moved to a more appropriate level. 

Swap Out the Batteries

Sometimes, a smoke detector will become unpredictable when their batteries are running low. Simply changing out the old batteries with new ones could solve your problem. Replace the current batteries and test to be certain. 

Clean the Unit 

If the detector has new batteries, and it is still overly sensitive, you may have dust forming near the sensors. Often, cleaning the unit can remove these particles and restore your detector to its normal sensitivity. 

Move the Detector 

There’s a chance your detector is in the wrong area. Units that are too close to the kitchen, near an open window or above a humid bathroom can encourage false alarms. Consider moving the device a little further away from its current location. 

Install a New Device

If you’ve tried all the above steps and it still won’t work, there’s a chance it was manufactured incorrectly or that it is old and outdated. In either case, replacing the unit is the best solution. Modern smoke detectors come with great features, and some even have Smart technology that allows you to control settings and monitor the safety of your home from a distance using a smart phone or mobile device. 

Need a New Smoke Detector? Call Mr. Electric of Dallas

Are you ready for a new smoke detector? Then get the help you need by calling Mr. Electric of Dallas. Our certified, licensed and insured electricians are ready to put their tools and talent to work for your home or business. Contact our office to learn more or to schedule an appointment in Dallas, University Park, Farmers Branch, Highland Park, North Dallas, Arlington, Lakewood, Oak Lawn, Lake Highlands, Inwood, Texas and surrounding DFW communities.