Smoke detector just goes off for no reason

Old 12-10-06, 07:36 PM
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Smoke detector just goes off for no reason

We live in a townhouse with 3 smoke detectors, one at each level. Yesterday when we were out of town, the smoke detector just went off and wouldn't stop. My neighbor heard it and she called the fire department. The firefighters came into the house through a back window and somehow set the alarm off. According the our neighbor, the firefighters just opened the garage door and the alarm just turned off.

Tonight when I was taking a shower, the smoke detectors went off again. This time, all 3 of them were on and they just stopped in a few minutes. I really don't know why they went off all of a sudden for no reason. I am guessing making one of them is malfunctioning, but I have no idea which one it could be. I am just afraid that the alarm will go off again when we sleep or when we are not home.

Any idea what we should do at this point? Any help or suggestion will really be appreicated! thanks in advance!!
Old 12-11-06, 04:01 AM
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If these smoke detectors are the standard 110v interconnected smokes used in residential construction, then there's no real mystery.

Changes in humidity, and the burn-off of dust from heating systems are enough to trip these detectors.

Your statement that the alarm went into alarm during a shower is telling. The damp in the air condenses in the sensing system, and away you go. This is more common during cooler months when heating systems typically dry out the air.

You can try simply cleaning the detector heads with the canned air used for computer keyboards, or, especially if they are more than 5 years old, simply replace the detectors.

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