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MEDIA ADVISORY                                                                                                                      


Nuisance alarm is the term used to describe the activation of a smoke alarm due to activities such as cooking, making toast or using the shower. People often remove or disconnect the batteries to solve the problem, leaving themselves vulnerable in a real fire emergency. New Fire Marshal of Ontario, Pat Burke, will launch a unique provincial campaign to combat nuisance alarms and to increase the number of working smoke alarms in Ontario homes. Only working smoke alarms save lives.

Managing Nuisance Alarms

Unfortunately, people often respond to nuisance alarms by removing the battery from the alarm or shutting off the circuit breaker. This is a very bad idea. Not only is it against the law, it may leave your home and your family at serious risk if a fire occurs. Only working smoke alarms save lives!

Fortunately, there are some very effective ways to address the problem of nuisance alarms. Follow the suggestions below until you find the ones that work for you.

Tips to combat the problem

The most common cause of nuisance alarms is cooking. Therefore, the first step is to minimize the problem at the source by keeping ovens and burners clean, and by turning down the timer setting on toasters. Using the fan on the range hood when cooking can also help to remove combustion particles from the air. If this fails to produce the desired results, there are other solutions to consider.

Install smoke alarms with a pause feature

For anyone experiencing nuisance alarms, a smoke alarm with a “pause” or “hush” feature is a must. These alarms have a button which, when pressed, silences the unit for several minutes. The alarm will then re-set itself automatically. It is highly recommended that any new smoke alarms purchased include this feature.

Move the alarm

Sometimes the solution to frequent nuisance alarms is as simple as moving the alarm to a different location. If at all possible, avoid having a smoke alarm in the cooking area. Moving an alarm from the kitchen to the hallway could solve your problem. Another option is to move the alarm from the ceiling to the wall. The alarm should be installed no less than 10 cm and no more than 30 cm from the ceiling and should be located away from corners.

Try Alternative Technology

Smoke alarms commonly use one of two technologies to detect smoke: ionization or photoelectric. By understanding how each works you can make a more informed decision as to what suits your needs.

  • Ionization-type smoke alarms have a small amount of radioactive material that ionizes the air between two electrically charged plates, causing a measurable current to flow between the plates. When smoke enters the chamber, it disrupts the flow of current, which activates the alarm. Ionization alarms respond slightly faster to flaming-type fires.
  • Photoelectric-type alarms work by aiming a light source into a sensing chamber at an angle away from the sensor. Smoke entering the chamber reflects light onto the sensor which triggers the alarm. Photoelectric alarms respond slightly faster to smoldering type fires.

Note: It is generally recommended that any alarms installed near the kitchen be of the photoelectric-type.

Shop smart:     Find out what type of alarms suit your needs and the best areas of your home to install them

                               to conquer nuisance alarms forever.



Call today for real estate advice!


Doug Grbic, Sales Representative

Direct Line: 905-664-3333

Fax: 905-664-3344

Email: doug @century21miller.com