How to Stop a Blaring Smoke Alarm When Cooking

Smoke AlarmIt is the most annoying thing. You have four pans on the hob, steaming merrily away. Everything is under control and, thanks to your planning, will be ready at the same time. But oh, the smoke alarm goes off. You reset it, it’s ok, it’s just doing its job, and there is a lot of steam in your kitchen. You close the door to the hall and open a window. Five minutes later, the alarm goes off again, and again, and again. Eighteen times later, your carefully planned dinner is ruined. So what can you do about it? Find your answers below:

Check the Batteries
Smoke alarms can be prone to hissy fits if the batteries are old and in need of replacement. As a guideline, batteries should be changed twice a year, and the alarms themselves once every ten years. The danger of taking the batteries out while cooking is that you may forget to put them back in, so it’s always worth checking the batteries are still there on your way past.

Give it a Clean
Our easiest and most cost-effective advice for you: clean the alarm regularly. Smoke detectors are very sensitive to getting clogged with dust, meaning they can go off for absolutely no reason. Get on a chair, take the thing down, and clean it. You can do it at the same time as checking the batteries, and clean the coving free of cobwebs too!

Get a New Smoke Detector
The stereotypical piercing, shrieking white box is no longer the only option on the market. Nowadays, you can buy ones which can be temporarily disabled for half an hour while you make your meal, or be desensitized before moving back to full sensitivity after your selected time period. Other models can detect the difference between smoke and steam (from a too-hot shower or over-enthusiastic pan), and even have light sensors to tell if it’s a real fire.

Rethink Your Ventilation
Opening a window once the smoke alarm has sounded doesn’t always solve the problem immediately. If your kitchen is small, and your window is small, ventilation issues are always going to occur. Some ovens have extractor fans which keep the air moving nicely, but if yours doesn’t it might be an idea to plug in a fan if you’re cooking a large meal and don’t want to be disturbed by a pesky smoke alarm. Electric window openers, operated by remote control, are a simple way of ensuring through ventilation, without having to move away from your cooking. Check out Teal window products for an idea of the different ventilation options.

So there you are; some free and easy, some more expensive, ways to keep your smoke alarm happy. Although smoke alarms seem to be sent from the devil, they do their job very well, and let’s face it, you wouldn’t want to be without one. So check them regularly – they are the most important thing in your home!