Hi all, I like to heat only the rooms we spend time in during the winter
with space heaters. Now that it's getting colder I have the problem of
the household smoke detecters going off at night. It only happens in
the colder months. Anyone know why this is?
I 2nd that advice. Batteries get weaker as they get colder.
Your batteries might be on the margin, and when they get colder,
they get right on the line where the detector sends a low battery
warning once in a while.
John A. Weeks III 952-432-2708 firstname.lastname@example.org
If Batteries don't solve the problem consider this:
I've found that insects which come indoors when it starts to get cold
(like Box eEder beetles and Ladybugs) can crawl into some smoke
detectors and set them off.
A few shots of RAID around the outside of the smoke detectors usually
gets rid of them for quite a while.
The new battery advice is good.
You don't say if the alarms go off in the rooms where and when the
space heaters are on, or where they are off, or where there aren't
Or what kinds of space heater you use.
I have wire coil space heaters that are at least as old as 1947. They
work fine. But I can imagine that if dust from the summer, or any
other dust, landed on the coil, as some of it must, it could be heated
to the burning point, maybe, when the heater was on.
If this we were a common problem, I think it would say so in the smoke
alarm instructions, but maybve your heaters are especially dusty or
dirty, maybe because they haven't been used for a long time.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let
me know if you have posted also.
Usually a low battery makes it blip once in a while not false alarm, it
could be a battery but it shouldn't be.
I get false alarms on cool mornings when the shower is used (30 ft away in
MBR with bathroom door closed). Seems the detector cools to room temp
overnight which is typically cool and the steam makes its way (not much
either as it is not noticeable) to the photoelectric detector and condenses
where it sets off the alarm. I either need to pull out the battery or hold
it over an electric space heater to warm it up to make it stop (pressing the
button only works for a minute).
My detector is only a few months old and has 3 way detector (ionization,
photoelectric and CO) which is supposed to cut down on false alarms but it
Is there a source of water vapor near the detector like a coffee maker,
unvented gas space heater (!) or do you have steam radiators and the
thermostat turns them on just before the false alarm.
If you think it might be this, use a detector with an ionization detector
instead of photoelectric.
Also, smoke detectors have a 5-10 year life. Yours might just be too old.
This what I was TOLD to prevent such a problem you are having.
If you have ionizing types:
1. Check batteries. Voltage drops with temperature.
2. Check age on smoke detectors(as they get older they ionize less
and less, so the sensing chamber drops faster with any type of
dust/smoke/humidity). NFPA recommends replace every 10 years, but I
was told replace at end of warranty period(some 5 years) under harsh
conditions, since the company only guarantees it's function in the
3. Check for improper installation, if they are in colder rooms the
air gets denser than the smoke detectors were 'designed' for. Meaning
air at normal room temperature(68-75F) is less dense than air at 40F.
Dense air can appear like less-dense air with smoke in it. So this
creates for a false alarms.
Solutions I was given.....change over to photo-electric if I want to
use a POC (Products of Combustion) detector, or change over to a heat
based detector(fixed/rate of rise, depending on your installation
VERY IMPORTANT: Do not disable your current detectors, till you are
ready to install replacements. Better to have an over sensitive
detector than none.
I highly recommend you contact your fire company, they usually do a
free fire safety audit, and might have someone on staff(or could
recommend one) that is qualified to help you plan out your home's fire
tom @ www.FindMeShelter.com
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