The Dreaded Kitchen False-Alarm
In this day and age, everyone should know about the value of a good fire alarm and smoke detector for the home. With proper maintenance and battery changes it can save lives. (Seriously, folks. Check your batteries. Now.)
But what do you do when your fire alarm works a little TOO well?
You all know what I’m talking about. You’re cooking breakfast, minding your own business, when suddenly your smoke detector starts screaming “FIRE, FIRE!” when all you did was get the bacon a little too well-done. Everybody’s a critic, right?
Come to find out, that’s not such a strange, uncommon problem, and many great chefs (both professional and amateur) deal with it in their own homes, even when they’re NOT burning the pot-roast. Well, that just comes with the territory of fire protection. Right?
Modern smoke detectors are far more sophisticated and may check for different things depending on the model and brand. Some specifically check for smoke, some for heat, and some for the flickering light patterns that occur during a fire. Some even check for all three, maybe more. That can be pretty ambiguous, causing false alarms from things as innocuous as steam and aerosols. That’s why optical detectors (detectors that check for light patterns) are the best for kitchens, even if they’re not perfect.
Some budding chefs stand behind temperature-activated fire alarms, but the jury is still out on their accuracy as its effectiveness depends highly on region, location and various other environmental factors.
If your smoke detector still derides your cooking despite your efforts, you might just be tempted to remove the batteries during cooking, but if you forget to put them back in (and trust me, you eventually will) there goes your fire protection. A much better option is a delay timer. Most new smoke detectors come equipped with a delay trigger that can be set during cooking and will automatically kick back in after a set period of time.
Other creative solutions involve stove hoods, cooking with the windows open, blinding the optical detector lens when cooking Flambé, and even rigging up a tiny battery-operated and a wire coat hanger with hot glue. Really!
Do what you have to do to get the job done, I guess.
However you get creative in cooking or keeping a quiet home while doing so, the most important thing is to make peace with your noisy smoke detector. It is designed to save your life in the event of a fire, and it’s difficult to do so when it’s associated so often with false alarms.
May your homes be safe and your kitchen quiet!
First Baldwin Insurance