What triggers a fire alarm system?Mayara
Have you ever been in a situation where you have no idea why your fire alarm is going off? Of course, your first instinct tells you to look around for any possible fire, but once you realize it’s completely safe, you might want to know what triggered the alarm in the first place.
In fact, smoke detectors and smoke alarms can be triggered not only by fire, but also by other elements outside of a fire. To know exactly what triggers a fire alarm system and how to avoid false alarms, check the article below.
The smoking indoors prohibition laws allowed smoke detectors to be much more sensitive. Therefore, cigarette smoke can trigger a smoke detector depending on the distance you are from it and, of course, the amount of smoke.
On the other hand, modern smoke detectors are also more intelligent. Technologies like the ASA developed by Siemens, enable smoke detectors to “interpret” different types of smoke. In this case, the equipment will only be triggered in real dangerous situations.
The general rule here is: don’t smoke indoors. According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoking materials ignited an estimated 17,200 homes in 2014. Accidents can happen and fires develop very quickly. Don’t put your safety to test.
This one goes to the amateur Master Chefs: burning food can definitely trigger a smoke alarm. To avoid these situations, never leave food cooking unattended. If your smoke alarm doesn’t stop, opening the windows and aiming a fan at the equipment might help.
When these circumstances happen too often, though, it might be a sign that your smoke detector is too close to your cooking appliance (or you need to work on your cooking skills). By a general rule, smoke alarms should be installed at least 10 feet away from any cooking devices.
Accumulated dust and lack of maintenance can lead to false alarms, but that’s not the only problem when we talk about dust. Installing your smoke detector beside a window, for example, will probably be a problem because particles coming from outside might interfere in the smoke detector performance.
Photoelectric smoke detectors, especially, can mistake dust as smoke particles because they can also reflect light. Therefore, keep your smoke detectors away from any external interferences and always clean.
High humidity ambients carry dense particles that a smoke detector can interpret as smoke. In some cases, the air might be so dense that it is capable of scattering the light beam of a photoelectric sensor or activating an ionization detector.
The same applies for steam. So it’s not a good idea to place smoke detectors near bathroom doors, for example.
In the same way that smoke alarms are sensitive to dust or steam, they are also sensitive to particles released by strong-smelling chemicals. In this case, if you are painting or remodeling your house you should either turn your smoke detectors off or cover them. Cleaning agents and paint fumes, especially oil-based ones, might be able to trigger your device.
Overly sensitive smoke detectors
Have you checked all the situations above and none of them seem to fit your scenario? Well, in this case your smoke detector might be overly sensitive. NFPA suggests you test the sensitivity of your smoke alarm at least once a year. After all, a quick inspection can save you a lot of worry and headaches.
If you realize it’s time to change your smoke detector, you can count on The Fire Alarm Supplier to help you find the best solution. We carry different types of devices, designed for different scenarios. All you have to do is to choose the best one.