Sometimes smoke from a toaster, an open oven door or even steam from a shower can cause a smoke alarm to activate. This is referred to as a nuisance alarm. To stop the annoying sound, people often remove the battery or disconnect the power source and forget to reconnect it. Disabling the smoke alarm means if a fire were to occur at a later date, the smoke alarm would not sound and the occupants may not have the time they need to safely escape. Every year, people die in fires in homes without working smoke alarms.
There is a good reason why the sound of the alarm is loud and persistent: it is intended to get your attention when there is a fire. It can’t do this without power. Do not take the battery out or disconnect the power if you experience nuisance alarms. There are alternatives that can help you solve the problem for good.
Here are a few simple steps you can take that could eliminate some nuisance alarms caused by cooking activities:
- Keep ovens and stovetop burners clean;
- Clean out accumulations of crumbs in the bottom of toasters and try turning down the timer setting; and
- Use the fan on the range hood when cooking to help remove steam and combustion particles from the air.
If this doesn’t solve your nuisance alarm problem, check out the topics on the left. They describe practical options to deal with nuisance alarms so your smoke alarms are working and ready to warn you of a real fire emergency.