Smoke detectors and cold

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Smoke detectors face special challenges when the weather becomes cold. Although the risk of household fires increases in the winter, so too does the risk of false alarms.


Most smoke detectors use either a photoelectric sensor, which reacts when light smoke blocks, or a sensor of ionization that detects changes in the power of the air. Alarms can operate on battery or electric power.

Firefighters advise to change smoke detector batteries when daylight-saving time ends. Residential fires increase during the winter months due to the use of heaters or furnaces together with the increase of holiday cooking and entertaining.

Some alarms can be turned off when the cold weather or extreme temperature changes create condensation on the sensor of the unit, according to the web site fire.

The heat detectors, which respond to sudden changes of temperature instead of smoke, can be more accurate and useful in cold places such as garages.

Smoke detectors do not work correctly without new batteries. More screech smoke alarms to warn of a low battery. Cleaning the unit with a vacuum hose all debris that might affect proper operation can be eliminated.

Smoke Alarms Going off with no Smoke

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