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  • E K Fire Protection

Seven Reasons Why Your Smoke Alarm is Malfunctioning

While you may believe your smoke alarm is consistently going off for no reason, there are many factors that could be behind the issue.

Read on to find out why your smoke alarm might be malfunctioning.

Smoke detector placement 

It doesn't take a lot of smoke to trigger the alarm and if your smoke detector is too close to a cooking appliance such as your stove, toaster, or toaster oven, then this may be the cause of your false alarms. Installing your smoke detectors beside a window or door can also cause issues, as drafts can set them off too. 

Overcooked food 

If your smoke detector goes off every time you slightly overcook your food, you could have problems with your smoke detector sensitivity. It’s a good idea to make sure your smoke alarm is optimally placed, such as in the hallway leading to the kitchen, not in the kitchen itself.

Humidity and steam

High humidity carries dense moisture particles that your smoke detector may confuse for smoke particles. The same concept applies to steam. If you take a hot shower, the steam from the hot shower can, in some cases, cause false positives. The steam from the shower can block the flow of the current, just as smoke does. So, it may be wise to move your smoke detector away from a steamy bathroom. 

A buildup of dust 

A buildup of dust and dirt can also affect your smoke alarm. Try cleaning it more regularly to avoid malfunction

Nearby chemicals

Organic compounds in paints or other chemical treatments in the house can also set off alarms. You should ventilate areas where you paint or use chemicals to avoid the startling noise of your smoke alarm.


Insects can set off the alarm by interfering with the sensors from the inside. You may want to open up your smoke detector to see if there’s any bugs crawling around inside - this might be a time where pest control sprays come in handy.

The batteries need to be changed

If your smoke alarm is emitting a harsh, prolonged scream or a repetitive high-pitch beep, then this may be a warning sign that you should check your device. If your smoke detector is beeping, it’s informing you that the batteries need to be changed. Unless you’ve chosen an alarm that runs on a lifelong battery, you’ll need to replace the batteries at least once a year.

If you’re looking for reliable fire safety solutions for your business, look no further than the reliable services at EK Fire Protection. Whether you’re after smoke alarm installation or fire extinguisher rental, our experienced fire safety business is on hand to meet your every need. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

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