Can The Weather Affect Your Smoke Alarm?

Smoke alarms save lives by detecting fires in your home early. However, it can be frustrating when they trigger for no apparent reason. While dust and/or bugs are often the main culprits, the weather – specifically moisture and humidity – is also a key factor in triggering these false alarms.

Humidity and Your Smoke Alarm

Smoke alarms can be sensitive to humidity, which is a concern in coastal Australia, where the climate fluctuates between wet and warm conditions. This issue is particularly severe from the wet season of November to March, which is when humidity levels are at their peak.

This happens because when humid air in your home isn’t properly ventilated, it cools down, achieves dew point and condenses on cooler surfaces. This moisture can stick to the inside of your smoke alarm, confusing the sensor into thinking there’s smoke when there isn’t.

Dealing with Weather-Related False Alarms

If your PSA smoke alarm falsely triggers due to weather-related issues, here’s what to do:

  1. Silence the Alarm: Use the hush button on the wireless smoke alarm to temporarily stop it. In some installations, this button might be hard to reach, so keep a stool or small ladder handy.
  2. Dry the Interior: Use a hair dryer to gently dry the inside of the alarm and evaporate the troublesome moisture. Make sure the setting is on low heat to prevent overheating damage.
  3. Seek Professional Advice: If false alarms persist, contact the manufacturer or supplier for further assistance and potential solutions.

Maintaining Your Smoke Alarm for Weather Reliability

It is important to keep your wireless smoke alarm clean to prevent dust accumulation, which can trap moisture and increase the occurrence of false alarms – especially during humid weather. Here’s a simple guide to help:

1. Regular Cleaning

Every month, use a soft brush or a vacuum with a brush attachment to clean your smoke alarm, removing potentially problematic dust and spiderwebs.

2. Smart Installation

Install your smoke alarm in areas with stable airflow, away from high humidity spots like bathrooms and kitchens, to avoid false triggers.

3. Battery Maintenance

To maintain reliability, test your smoke alarm monthly and replace the battery yearly – or sooner if you notice weak beeping.

4. Stay Updated:

Regularly check your smoke alarm model for any specific maintenance guidelines or updates in the user manual or the manufacturer’s website.

Preventing Humidity-Induced False Alarms

Besides consistent alarm maintenance, there are several other ways to prevent humidity from affecting your wireless smoke alarms or smoke detectors. Here are some handy tips to lower humidity in your home to reduce the chance of false alarms (and mould growth, too!):

1. Circulate The Air In Your Home 

Use fans effectively to create better airflow in your home. This reduces overall humidity by helping to mix the more humid air near the ceiling with the drier air at lower levels.
Proper air circulation through your house is especially important if you have any wireless interlinked smoke alarms. As they collectively cover a larger area, the chances of humidity triggering a false alarm also increase exponentially.

2. Keep Windows Closed During High Humidity

Be strategic with your windows. Keep them closed during humid days (over 85% humidity) to prevent moist outside air from getting in and increasing indoor humidity levels.

3. Ventilate When Cooking Or Showering

Areas like the kitchen and bathroom are prone to creating humidity. Ensure these spaces are well-ventilated to prevent the spread of moist air through your house.

4. Reduce The Number Of Houseplants In Your Home

While indoor plants beautify your space, they can also increase humidity. If you have many plants, ensure your room has adequate airflow to compensate.

5. Use Air Conditioner

Air conditioners are excellent for reducing indoor humidity. Remember to maintain them by cleaning the filters and keeping windows shut when they’re in use.

6. Dry Your Laundry Outside

Instead of drying clothes indoors, which adds to the humidity, try drying them outside. This simple shift can significantly reduce indoor moisture levels.

7. Deploy A Dehumidifier

In areas with severe humidity problems, a dehumidifier can be a more cost-effective and efficient solution than constantly having the air conditioning on.
These tips can help you significantly reduce the chances of weather-related false alarms and ensure your PSA smoke alarm functions effectively when needed. For more information, visit our smoke alarm FAQ page below:-

Frequently Asked Smoke Alarm Questions

Enhanced Safety with Lifesaver 6800 Series

For top-notch safety and reliability, consider the Lifesaver 6800 series of smoke alarms from PSA Products – now with the new Advance Sensor chamber.

Designed specifically for Australia’s environment, the Advance Sensor helps the Lifesaver alarms minimise false alarm triggers. It is resistant to moisture-related triggers from high-humidity events, features an anti-static chamber that repels dust, and has minimal fine bug mesh.

Additionally, these alarms have been tested and approved to Australian Standards, yielding zero failures in an 18-month test over 40 false alarm-prone sites in Australia.

Click below to learn more about the Advance Sensor and the Lifesaver 6800 Series:

Discover the Lifesaver 6800 Series

Get Quality Smoke Alarms From PSA Products

As one of Australia’s leading smoke alarm suppliers, PSA Products offers a wide range of smoke alarm systems, from battery-powered and mains-powered to wired and wireless smoke alarmswireless smoke detectors, and wireless smoke alarm systems.

Our smoke alarm models use photoelectric sensing technology, have a ten-year warranty, and comply with the latest Australian Standard AS/NZS3786:2014. Get in touch today to learn more about our home fire safety products.