View Full Version : Smoke detector too sensitive?


Knuckle Dragger
11-26-2011, 12:00:13 PM
My smoke detectors seem to be going off at the slightest thing. I've been in the house for three years and recently the smoke detectors go off every time we cook (not burning stuff every time either smart azz). The just seem way too sensitive. Am I supposed to do some sort of maintenance on these things besides batteries?

If one goes off the all go off so it's hard to pinpoint which one it is.

wookie
11-26-2011, 12:09:39 PM
My kitchen one used to go off a lot. Then I figured out she just couldn't cook...

THOMAS81Z
11-26-2011, 12:15:39 PM
My kitchen one used to go off a lot. Then I figured out she just couldn't cook...
wait for it ....

wait for it ......

THOMAS81Z
11-26-2011, 12:16:28 PM
naa i cant do that to katie :p

Marks71BB
11-26-2011, 12:18:19 PM
Are you cooking with gas or electric? Could be yer o2 sensor and I'm not kidding ;)

Todd80Z28
11-26-2011, 12:20:38 PM
They're supposed to be replaced every 7-10 years. The detector cal can shift quite a bit with age.
I learned this when I replaced all mine a year or two ago.

Knuckle Dragger
11-26-2011, 12:21:03 PM
Are you cooking with gas or electric? Could be yer o2 sensor and I'm not kidding ;)

Gas range but it does it on the electric grill too.

They're supposed to be replaced every 7-10 years. The detector cal can shift quite a bit with age.
I learned this when I replaced all mine a year or two ago.

These are only three years old. They are hard wired into the house with a red and black wire (ground and power??), but they still take a 9V battery. I'm not sure how one knows the other one went off because all five of them will go off one right after the other. I got up there and used some of that canned air stuff to blow them out. As soon as I hit them they sounded off for a little bit. I'm not really sure how these things work but there was a good bit of dust in them.

wookie
11-26-2011, 12:33:47 PM
naa i cant do that to katie :p

Naw it was the "X"....Katie is a jam-up cook!:bowtie:

Marks71BB
11-26-2011, 12:41:11 PM
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/379501_293981963968792_143791405654516_930602_1404359256_n.jpg

Twisted_Metal
11-26-2011, 12:45:19 PM
http://i39.tinypic.com/jq5mqd.jpg

;)

muscl car
11-26-2011, 01:18:31 PM
dave........ miy smoke detector is the same way in my apt and they're hard wired not batt operated .they go off everytime i use the toaster or cook anything on the stove/oven even when the windows are opened

what i do is put a garbage bag over the smoke detectors and secure it with a rubber band ea time i cook then remove after that

K5JMP
11-26-2011, 02:51:49 PM
dust settles in a smoke detector just like everywhere else... added grease etc doesn't help.
try blowing the little tin can out with a can of air (1st) or brake cleaner (2nd if air don't work).... should help with the falsing.

73Camaro383
11-26-2011, 02:54:59 PM
I'd just buy a new one. For the price, why chance it?

sweetsoul
11-26-2011, 03:00:23 PM
if it is a photoelectric(most are) it needs to be cleaned every 5 or 6 months.they have a photo eye in them , when it cant see across it thinks there is smoke , so they go in alarm.clean them , all of them and you will be fine.clean the area between the photo eye and the little mirror.

oh and in case you were wondering , i work for ADTand install fire alarms for a living.Terry T

K5JMP
11-26-2011, 03:03:14 PM
I'd just buy a new one. For the price, why chance it?

you can always test it with a cigarette after cleaning...
really, it's no big deal, almost any building maint man will tell ya the same thing... it's actually normal PM.

sweetsoul
11-26-2011, 03:07:15 PM
you can always test it with a cigarette after cleaning...
really, it's no big deal, almost any building maint man will tell ya the same thing... it's actually normal PM.

well......us fire alarm guys prefer to test with canned smoke.it is a little pricey though.......but the fire marshall wont pass you if you try to do a fire inspection with him using a cigarette...LOL

K5JMP
11-26-2011, 03:08:22 PM
well......us fire alarm guys prefer to test with canned smoke.it is a little pricey though.......but the fire marshall wont pass you if you try to do a fire inspection with him using a cigarette...LOL

true enough.. he'd prolly write ya for smoking in a building.
but I think you get my drift..

sweetsoul
11-26-2011, 03:14:43 PM
yes , i was just throwin some humor back!i have talked to a fire marshall who started a fire in a trash can in a new building to prove a point.the customer wanted smoke beams mounted high in an atrium.he said no they would not work , the smoke would stratificate(cool to the air temp and stop rising)the customer told him he was crazy. hedrug a trash barrell inside , lit it and guess what happened? the fire marshall was right and wrote them a great big fine and made them fix it!LOL

Marks71BB
11-26-2011, 03:19:16 PM
First alert web site (http://www.firstalert.com/faqs/smoke-alarms)

That's the first faq on their site:

I get a false alarm from my smoke detector. Why does my smoke alarm sound when I can't see smoke?

Any of the following situations can cause a false alarm from your smoke detector:
The cover or sensor chamber may be covered by dust or dirt. Alarms may look clean, but dust can accumulate inside the cover, even in newly built homes. Gently vacuum your smoke alarm regularly using the soft brush attachment.
Insects may have clogged the sensor chamber. Clean the smoke detector with the soft brush attachment on your vacuum. To prevent repeat problems, clean and treat the surrounding area with insect repellent (DO NOT SPRAY THE SMOKE DETECTOR ITSELF).
You may have experienced a power interruption. Hardwired smoke detectors may sound briefly when power is interrupted then restored.
If you have hard wired smoke detectors, you may have a loose electrical connection on your AC or AC/DC smoke alarm. In AC or AC/DC smoke alarms, loose connections can intermittently disconnect power to the smoke alarm. The effect is the same as a power failure. When power is restored, the units may sound briefly.

kenny77
11-26-2011, 04:19:51 PM
You don't have a photoelectric style detector. They are really made for kitchens. I have both styles in our house and the photoelectric one in the kitchen is what you need.

Get one and all will be fine.

http://www.firexsafety.com/homedir/en/ProductsServices/Firex/Products/Smokealarms/Photoelectric/index.html

Knuckle Dragger
11-26-2011, 04:30:34 PM
I blew them out this morning just after I posted this. She just grilled a couple of chicken breasts for lunch without a problem. I'm hoping it was a quick easy fix.

rscamaro73
11-26-2011, 05:28:12 PM
Canned air usually works unless.you do sensitivity testing on every smoke head in the system. Canned smoke for testing rocks.

Most detectors are good for at least 10 years unless sensetivity tested every year and they pass.

CamaroMan79
11-26-2011, 05:30:00 PM
I'm glad some one posted this because I had trouble with my brand new one the last couple days.

It's a battery powered one that I installed last week. It went off for no reason in the middle of the night one night (that was fun(this SOB is LOUD)) then it went off when I was cooking the turkey in my new gas stove on Thanksgiving morning.

My detector isn't even in the kitchen its in a hallway above my bathroom door about 20ft from the kitchen. I know its not dirty because its brand new.

I don't know wtf is wrong with it.

Phil G
11-26-2011, 05:36:09 PM
We have three but not the hard wired ones. The one in the kitchen would go nuts whenever we made toast. Duh, it was right over the toaster...

Moved it over the stove and no problem. Have CO detectors next to each bed too.

I'm not a pro but I did build my own home security system. I have an old laptop in my bedroom (on a UPS) that runs all the cameras and motion sensors.

I have to dial them down a bit though. The neighbor's cat sets them off...

:rolleyes:

jdove
11-26-2011, 06:15:27 PM
Good thread Dave. I've had mine unplugged for two months because everytime I cook it goes off...

Gonna go do some cleaning on it now.