Is Your Smoke Detector a Nuisance?

Were you ever tempted to take the batteries out of your smoke detector because it irritated you by going off when you were cooking? If so, you're not alone. About 50% of all people with smoke detectors report they occasionally experience these "nuisance" alarms.

But before you disable your smoke detector, remember this: two-thirds of all fire deaths occur in households that have no working smoke detectors . Disabling your smoke detector will leave your household without the life-saving early warning that smoke detectors provide.

The following are some things you can do to minimize the occurrence of "nuisance" alarms:

  • Move your detector away from the path of cooking vapors. Quite often, moving a detector a short distance away form the cooking area is enough to reduce the occurrence of "nuisance" alarms.
  • Using an exhaust fan while you cook can prevent cooking vapors from reaching the alarm and setting it off.
  • If your detector annoys you by "chirping" or "beeping", the batteries may be exhausted. Install new batteries.
  • Sometimes changing from an ionization type detector to a photoelectric detector can minimize nuisance alarms. The price of detectors, even the more expensive photoelectric ones, is relatively low.
  • If the alarm on your smoke detector ever sounds when it shouldn't, don't place your family's safety in jeopardy by disarming the detector. The simple measures listed above should be sufficient to maintain your family's safety WITHOUT experiencing annoying "nuisance" alarms.