why does my hardwired smoke detector keep going off
Do you have a that sounds an alarm when there s no smoke or fire? We re sure that creates a few scary heart-pumping midnight false alarms. You could change the battery, but that usually stops a fire detector from chirping (signalling that the battery needs to be changed). In fact, the City of Phoenix fire code requires that Where smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery operated they shall be replaced with a UL listed smoke alarm with sealed 10-year lithium battery. Smoke alarm shall not remain in service longer than 10 years from the date of manufacture. So what s the real issue? Ionization smoke detectors can mistake dust for smoke. So if your ionization smoke detector is covered in dust, that s why it sets off the alarm even if there s no smoke. You ll know if you have an ionization smoke detector if the letter I is in the model number or there s any mention of radioactive material, like Americum-241. You ll find this information on the back of your smoke detector. to see what we re talking about. Use an air spray can or a vacuum cleaner s extension to blow or suck off the dust.
Warning : Doing this will move the dust and can cause the smoke detector to go off again. So be careful if you re on a ladder and doing this. Your smoke detector may just be old so chuck it and upgrade to newer better smoke detectors. They ve come a long way since the last time you bought them. You can either change it yourself or schedule one of our
to come out and change one or all of them for you. We suggest getting a detector that is a combination of a heat detector and a photoelectric smoke detector. A heat detector sensor detects quick flames like an ionization detector would but without causing false alarms from dust particles. The photoelectric smoke detector sensor detects smoldering flames that give off lots of smoke, but very few flames. Learn more about the dangers of ionization-only smoke detectors in NBC s story Was this helpful? Check out our about money-saving tips and how-tos for electrical and plumbing issues. Q. My neighborsв smoke alarm went off at 3 a. m. Fortunately, it was a false alarm, but they didnвt know how to turn it off.
What do I do if my smoke alarm does the same? A. In 2014, 33 percent of false alarms that fire departments responded to were caused by malfunctioning smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Those noisy mistakes can be caused by dust, humidity, electrical malfunctions, and even spiders crawling inside, says Bernie Deitrick, a senior engineer in our testing department. To know how to resolve a false alarm quickly, you need to understand your homeвs smoke alarms and how they operate. There are three types of smoke alarm power sources: Replaceable batteries, long-life lithium batteries, and 120-volt hardwiring (with batteries as backup power sources). Always assume a sounding smoke alarm means thereвs a fire and get to safety if need be. But once youвre sure itвs a false alarm, your approach should vary based on the type of power your smoke alarm uses. Your first step is to find the device thatвs going off and reset it by pressing and holding the reset button. If that doesnвt work, take the smoke alarm down.
If you can, remove the batteries. If your smoke alarm has a lithium battery you canвt take out, muffle it in a blanket, under a sofa cushion, or in your freezer until it stops. As for hardwired smoke alarms, theyвre interconnected through the electrical wires, so if one smoke alarm sounds, theyвll all sound and it can be difficult to figure out whatвs going on, Deitrick says. First, try the reset button on each smoke alarm. If that doesnвt work, flipping the circuit breaker off and back on might stop the noise. If all of that fails, your ultimate solution may be to disconnect the smoke alarms and remove their batteries one by one. A small connector at the back of each alarm can be unclipped to let you safely remove it from the network. Then it may be time for new smoke alarms. Our top recommended model is the, an interconnectable hardwired smoke alarm with dual sensors and battery backup. For more, check our (available to subscribers) and. Plus you can send your questions to. Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the.
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