Smoke alarm sounding; for no reason. (Humidity?)

Within the last year or so there were postings here about smoke alarms that had sounded for apparently no reason. Batteries were good etc. Somebody mentioned a smoke alarm in close proximity to a shower that had triggered and we mentioned our own experience a few years ago where a smoke alarm in the passageway outside bedrooms in my daughters house had sounded, for no apparent reason, on a warm/humid day.
Recently we finally had what are, for here (North Eastern tip of North America), a couple of much warmer and humid days. I mean around 78-80 F and sorta sticky! Now I know that's nothing to even mention, having just come back from the Middle East where it hit +43 Celsius or approximately 118 Fahrenheit! But around 80 is,-for here, warm; phew!!!!
I had front door screen open and other windows open letting the breeze blow through. Suddenly the smoke alarm mounted at the bottom of our basement stairs started sounding on a regular 30 second to one minute basis. But this was not how these smoke alarms normally sound if triggered by smoke. Two other both very ordinary battery models, on the main floor did not sound.
After a quick check to make sure a pan or kettle had not been left on and/or overheated on the stove etc. removed the smoke alarm from above the workshop door way in the basement and brought it up to main floor. Its been on the kitchen counter for week or so and has been quiet since! Battery tests good, as it should; only replaced a few months ago.
Supposition: Some of the seasonally warmer humid air coming in through front door had drifted down the stairwell, had cooled to the basement temperature probably around 60 degrees F and thereby acquired an apparently higher percentage of humidity.
This seems to confirm that some smoke alarms can be triggered by higher than normal humidity?
Thought I'd post this for information and/or possible discussion. Terry.
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terry wrote:

Spiders, dust and old age can cause it. If they are over 5 years old replace them. If they are over 10 years old replace them even if they appear good.
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Joseph Meehan

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Oh my goodness, mine just did that to me a couple of weeks ago at about 4am. My old programmer's habit kicked in and I was halfway down the hall in 3 steps before I realized it wasn't my beeper.
Since my detector is new and the batteries were changed, I'm going with spider. Makes sense to me.
nancy
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Bugs is the most likely cause, not humidity.
wrote:

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wrote:

Smoke Detectors DO NOT sound without smoke. It's not possible. There is a fire somewhere in your house, but its a small fire. You must find it before it gets big. Get off the computer and go look NOW. In minutes you may be experiencing an inferno.
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snipped-for-privacy@lights.com wrote:

...
Yea sure ....
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On Tue, 12 Jun 2007 23:25:52 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@lights.com wrote:

Or in weeks. A neighbor had an analog clock that was setting off the smoke alarm. They concluded the smoke alarm was broken, but it wasn't.
It burned out the whole kitchen, with smoke damage upstairs, and probalby water damage in the basement after the fire deparatment came.
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From experience: also check for spiders in the alarm

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snipped-for-privacy@lights.com wrote:

Sure they can - at least in commercial applications most smoke detectors now are photoelectric, which simply measure obscuration. They don't care whether the light transmission is obscured by smoke, dust, or steam - if it's x percent obscured, the detector signals an alarm.
I suspect that some (most?) residential detectors may still be ionization type which have advantages and disadvantages - they respond quicker to a real fire than photos, but they also contain a small amount of radioactive material and work well over a narrower range of air velocities.
nate
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Tests show photo-detectors respond faster. It is best to have the dual- type in your home.
I remember, some 40 yrs ago, a door-to-door salesman wanting $250 for one.(ionization-type) Claiming rodents cause the majority of fires with their appetite for insulation. If you gave him 10 leads (and they were sales) we could have one free! 8^)
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I've had lots of experience with ordinary smoke alarms (name brands purchased in the USA). They are some of the most accurate devices I know of. They are dirt cheap and can easily save your life.
In my opinion, they're one of the best inventions of modern times. They might not make the evening news since preventing charred bodies doesn't make the news.
Smoke alarms will detect particles you cannot see (that includes particles from burning things). You just need quick access or a way to provide fresh air.
Mine work perfectly.

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