Three Ways to Fix a Too Sensitive Smoke Detector

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Everyone gets stuck with a temperamental smoke detector at some point. Nobody wants to deal with constant beeping and false alarms from an overly sensitive smoke detector. There is a way to deal with this common problem without risking a fire by going without a smoke detector.

Fixing an Overly Sensitive Smoke Detector

Press the Smoke Detector Mute Button

Most smoke detectors have a button that will give you 8 to 15 minutes before it starts going off again. Make sure that if you do this, you take the appropriate measures to make sure it wasn’t a false alarm. Even if you don’t see a fire, there could be a different problem that is triggering the alarm.

Consider Replacing Your Smoke Alarms

Older smoke alarms that have accumulated a lot of dust and dirt in and around the sensor will usually become less sensitive. However, sometimes the reverse is true, and they can become overly sensitive. This is rare, but it may signal that it’s time to replace or upgrade your smoke alarms. Also, you might consider a photoelectric smoke detector. These smoke alarms detect smoke in a different way and can reduce the amount of annoying false alarms.

Ensure You Don’t Have an Ionization Type Alarm

If you’re using an ionization-type smoke alarm, it might be more sensitive than you need it to be. You can try to clean it by blowing air through the sensor vent. You may have to look up the model number in order to do this correctly.

Moving Your Smoke Detector to Prevent False Alarms

If your smoke detection device is too sensitive, try moving it five feet away from the kitchen or bathroom. Before you make a new nail hole in your wall, however, first tape it up with duct tape. See how it performs. Move it again if it’s still hyperactive. When you’re happy with its performance, go ahead and hang it permanently. But keep in mind, if it ends up on a tree down the road before it stops going off every time you cook - the smoke alarm might not be the problem. If your smoke detectors are smart devices hooked into your home security system, contact your security provider before you move a smoke alarm in this manner.

Remember, fire alarms save lives. So, before you pull that battery out, consider working through these steps before completely removing/disconnecting the battery.

Possible Causes for a Sensitive Smoke Alarm

False alarms can happen with any life safety device. It’s important to identify what is causing it in order to not become desensitized in the event of the real emergency. As you know, a smoke alarm is there to save your life, your family, and possibly your home in the event of a fire. Here are some possible causes your smoke alarm may be sensitive:

  • Humidity – Too much humidity can cause your smoke alarm to go off. This can also present a mold hazard over time. Give your smoke detector some credit and deal with the humidity problem before dangerous mold blooms develop in your home.

  • Fireplace smoke/soot – Your fireplace may need to be professionally cleaned or repaired if it is causing your detector problem.

  • Other pollutants – An excess of dust or other air pollutants may be present in your home. You should address any such problem to prevent illness or injury. Keeping your home clean and well-dusted can help with this.

How to Stop Your Smoke Detector from Beeping

Another reason your smoke detector could be sounding off is because it needs some adjusting. Adjusting its sensitivity to smoke will reduce those pesky false alarms. However, you don’t want to over-adjust your detector, so that it stops responding to potential danger in your home. We would suggest seeking assistance from a professional when adjusting your detector. If you feel comfortable adjusting your sensor on your own, you will need to remove the data card from your smoke detector. Once you have the data card out of the device, you can use a screwdriver to adjust the card. The necessary adjustments depend on what your specific smoke detector’s manual suggests.

Find the Right Smoke Detector at Brinks Home™

The best way to protect your home from dangerous flames is with a smoke detector—the right smoke detector. A detector that won’t send false alarms each time you turn on the stove and start cooking. Keep your search for the right smoke detector short with Brinks Home. Our life safety technology includes smoke detectors that have a rapid response time when every moment matters. What sets our smoke detectors apart from the rest is ours are professionally monitored 24 /7, so you have peace of mind all the time.

Make sure your family is properly protected and check out our selection of Life Safety Devices to replace, upgrade or install items like smoke detectors in your home.

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