False Fire Alarm: Common Causes and Solutions

We all know that there a few things in life that are more bothersome and disturbing than a fire alarm going off for no reason at all.

Not only does this instill panic in you as your run to the alarm trying quickly to shut it off, but it also makes you feel fear, which can be exhausting. Especially when you find out shortly after that the fear was all for not. This course of events, in turn, makes you less likely to believe a real emergency when it does happen.

There are so many circumstances that set of alarms, even something as small as an insect crawling into the device, especially in conjunction with an older model. So how can we make sure that false alarms are minimized?

We have created a list below for you to address some of the most common items that relate to setting off false fire alarms, and the steps you can take to prevent these.

False Fire Alarm: Common Causes and Solutions

Aging and Expired

It is very common to forget that you have a fire alarm in your home. Unless your toaster seems to burn your bread on a regular basis, you’re only alerted of the alarms existence when the battery runs out and it gives you those finally few beeps. But did you know that fire alarms are supposed to be replaced every 10 years from the manufacturing, not purchase or installation, date?

It is definitely worth replacing yours today if it is older, especially since it is such an inexpensive investment. For example, like the amazing Fire Alert BRK or this amazing add-on for Alexa, First Alert OneLink.

Once you do have a fire alarm installed, you will want to run regular tests, that way you can guarantee that any problems, such as a faulty detector head, is caught early on.

Steam and Humidity

While we know all to well that smoke, such as from burning dinner, can set off the fire alarm. You may, however, be less aware that other elements can set them off as well. Steam and humidity from such items as showers, kettles, microwaves, dishwashers, hot running taps, and boiling water, can all set off your fire alarm. This is due to the fire alarm sensing a change in the environment.

Make sure that when you place your fire alarms, they are not near, or directly above any of the aforementioned items.

Dust and Bugs 

You have probably looked up at your lights from time to time and noticed the number of bugs and dust that has collected in the lights fixture. But did you know, that bugs and dust also love small crevices like your fire alarms casing?

Regular maintenance and cleaning can prevent your fire alarm from triggering unexpectedly, and save you in future events if there ever happens to actually be an emergency. Just add it to your monthly cleaning list and you’ll be good to go.

Manual Call Points (MCP)

If you are living in an apartment complex, or you find your business’ fire alarms are faulty we have the following tips for you.

Some of the most common fire alarms you see in businesses and apartment building hallways are the Manual Call Points, MCP for short. The most common issues we see with these in regards to false fire alarms are people mistaking them for door releases, practical jokes, and accidental breaking of the glass points.

When you have MCP’s such as the Edwards model, you may want to consider upgrading to something more reliable to prevent accidental breakage. Such as the UHPPOTE, which offers an enclosed casing for the glass point.

Keep in mind when installing them, to keep them away from doors and light switches. This will help prevent some of those accidental mishaps.

Home Maintenance

There are many hidden factors within the walls of our homes and buildings that can also contribute to a false fire alarm. Since all the electricals hide behind the walls, we tend to forget about them and assume they are okay.

However, you may have cases such as small water leaks, corrosion, and/or faulty wires in the panels that all can trigger a false alarm. We highly recommend checking your wires at least a couple times a year, you can do this easily with tools such as the AstroAl Digital Multimeter.

With a few of these small tricks, you can minimize the chances of a false fire alarm, and regain trust in the device.