Holy No Smoke: Why Is the Smoke Detector Going Off?

I am used to the smoke detector going off while I am cooking, particularly if I am frying something… even though nothing is burning.  I automatically grab the broom handle, hit the “silence” button and open a window.

Yesterday morning though it went off for NO detectable reason.  I was just sitting at the computer when it began blaring.  “FIRE! FIRE!” Chauncy, my Havanese, awoke from his snooze and began his panicked, “I am upset!  I am excited! I don’t know why! Help me!” keening, adding to the din.  I grabbed the handle and silenced the confused instrument; picked up Chauncy and began to check every room in the house just to make sure all was well.  It was.

As soon as I sat back down, the smoke alarm went off again.  I quickly silenced it again. Then I began searching the internet for a smoke-free reason, it could be going off. Dust!  Turns out, if dust happens to collect on your smoke detector’s sensor, it can cause it to go off.  The solution was to vacuum it gently with a brush attachment.  It was too early to find the brush attachment and I was feeling anything but gentle toward the smoke alarm at that point but I did vacuum it.  It appears to have worked.

I wanted to share this bit of info. for you to tuck away, just in case your smoke alarm goes off at 6AM, or an even ungodlier hour for no apparent reason. … You’re welcome!

Many blessings to all,


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8 thoughts on “Holy No Smoke: Why Is the Smoke Detector Going Off?

  1. Jennifer Puente

    Good to know, Cynthia…..used to happen to me…I finally removed the offending smoke detector but that’s ok cause I have two in my room for some reason. ??

  2. Jodi

    Wow, good to know. Brings to mind a time when I didn’t know much about them & the battery was low – it made that beep noise. But every time I went to check it out, nothing! It took me a whole day to catch it in the act of beeping!

    1. Cynthia Lenz Post author

      I think someone needs to make a smoke detector that makes less annoying sounds when there is no actual danger. Some actor with a really great voice like Michael York could record phrases like, “pardon me but my battery is low. Would you be ever so kind and install a new one?” or “terribly sorry to trouble you but there appears to be dust on my sensors.”

  3. Andrea

    I had one that would go off from the steam in my shower. I ended up ripping it out of the ceiling! Love the idea of some beautifully accented man pardoning the intrusion!! 🙂

  4. sylvia

    I had my gas detector going off one time. I got so nervous i called fire dept. They came over and nothing but it scared me. I have admit he said because it was old. Ok so i went out and got a new and it did it too. It was easier to just remove it completely. Lol that solved that. Lets pray no gas issues.


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