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Old 17th September 2010, 09:50 AM   #1
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Default False fire alarm: what can cause it?

I woke up due to false alarm. A first, started some remote (presumably, in my office) device, then few seconds later the device in bedroom started beeping.
No smell, no dust, nothing. Just a warm and a little bit humid Californian night...

Any ideas?
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Old 17th September 2010, 10:10 AM   #2
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Humidity plays a very important role in the triggering of false alarms.
If water vapors enter the detection chamber, they will refract the IR light and cause the photodiode to trigger an alarm.
It is best to keep the smoke detectors away from sources of heat or cold.

Pay attention to dust also, as it will have the exact same effect.
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Old 17th September 2010, 10:41 AM   #3
SY is offline SY  United States
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"Humid" is a relative term. In California, that would correspond to a bone dry night in Louisiana.

I suspect poltergeists.
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Old 17th September 2010, 06:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SY View Post
I suspect poltergeists.
Never registered in out house before.

If I change all batteries today and blow the dust from them, will it be considered a clean experiment?

Also, could some EMI trigger them?
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Old 17th September 2010, 08:47 PM   #5
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Might be a false fire.

w
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Old 17th September 2010, 08:55 PM   #6
SY is offline SY  United States
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It's a communist plot!

Our alarms start false triggering when the batteries begin to decline, so that could well be the answer.
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Old 17th September 2010, 11:50 PM   #7
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The detector might have aged enough that it triggers on its own. Just make sure the new one is compatible with the system when you replace it.

On a side note, the radioactive elements in old smoke detectors make great random number generators.
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Old 17th September 2010, 11:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SY View Post
It's a communist plot!
I knew they will find me some day!

Nope, let it be better Poltergeist!

I will replace the batteries however, but why it is so sudden and rare if they are already semi-deal? And why when we are asleep?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by star882 View Post

On a side note, the radioactive elements in old smoke detectors make great random number generators.
Ah-hah! And I knew from that lection that concentrated thoughts affect that damn random generators!
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Last edited by Wavebourn; 17th September 2010 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 19th September 2010, 12:31 AM   #9
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Did you check to see if there was any dust in the detector part? How about spiders, bed bugs, silver finches (fishes?), etc.
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Old 19th September 2010, 12:40 AM   #10
sandyK is offline sandyK  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrrremus View Post
Humidity plays a very important role in the triggering of false alarms.
If water vapors enter the detection chamber, they will refract the IR light and cause the photodiode to trigger an alarm.
It is best to keep the smoke detectors away from sources of heat or cold.

Pay attention to dust also, as it will have the exact same effect.
I have had a smoke detector in the hallway trigger early in the morning , and DEFINITELY due to my daughter in law having a very steamy shower after studying late.The bathroom was not very far away from the ceiling mounted hallway detector.
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