home security systems to decrease burglaries

Reducing False Alarms

by Sandra Gallardo

Smoke and fire detectors are essential to protecting you and your family, but they have to be connected to work. Unfortunately, some fire alarm systems sound in the absence of fire and smoke. You may find them so annoying that you "temporarily" disconnect them and forget to hook them back up. To stay safe, you need to reduce or eliminate false alarms and keep your units connected. 


Your alarms can easily get dusty and dirty. When this happens, it can cause the sensor to detect smoke or fire that does not exist. You need to clean your units several times a month. Be sure to clean the inside of the cover as well as the outside. If you are remodeling or engaging in any activity that stirs up dust, you should cover the detectors before you begin your task. 

Different Alarm Types

You can reduce false alarms if you exchange your ionization units with photoelectric alarms. Ionization models sense smaller particles in the air, and that sensitivity can cause false alarms. Photoelectric alarms detect larger particles, which actually makes them better at detecting smoldering fires before they do severe harm. They also produce fewer false alarms, so they are definitely a good choice to protect your home. 


You can keep your home safe while still avoiding false alarms by placing the units properly. Experts recommend that you keep smoke detectors a minimum of ten feet away from stoves, showers, and fireplaces. You should also avoid ever putting detectors in kitchens and bathrooms; otherwise, a bit of smoke from the oven or the steam from the shower or sink can set them off, sometimes on a daily basis. Also, avoid putting detectors too close to doors, windows, or other areas where moving air can cause them to get an incorrect reading. If your models continually sound false alarms, you will stop taking them seriously and possibly put yourself in danger. 

Fire and smoke alarms are essential to a home security plan. They are also usually required by law. If you do not place them correctly or maintain them properly, you may experience frequent false alarms. Fight the urge to disconnect them because you may forget to connect them once again. You can easily remove the battery and leave it on a counter for days before you remember to put it back in. Keep your alarms in working order and take steps to reduce the number of false alarms.