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Every Smoke Detector Alarm Should Have an off Switch

I'm an aspiring writer, but overall, I am an American who seeks a better America.

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PublicDomainPictures created this image.

It happened again. I was cooking sausage on my kitchen stove early this morning, and the smoke detector alarms in my residence started going berserk on me. Don't you just hate that? If your smoke detector alarms don't have an off switch on them, which is the situation with me, it can be frustrating and infuriating insofar as you may even feel like taking a baseball bat and smashing them into pieces. Of course, nobody is going to do something like that, because they know that it's not cheap to replace those things.

If you've ever been in my situation, you will constantly find yourself asking the million-dollar question. Whose bright idea was it to manufacture smoke detector alarms that have no off switch on them? As you continue to read on herein, you will realize that my concerns about the noise that these smoke detector alarms make in situations where they go off needlessly go way beyond a mere pet peeve.

Now, I completely get it. These smoke detector alarms have to be working at their best in the event that there is an actual fire in your residence. Their loud, obnoxious alarm could be the very thing that saves your life. However, I am mature enough to know that if I had an easy way of turning these smoke detector alarms off whenever they started making noise needlessly, I would turn them back on afterwards. Nobody can seem to figure out what could have been going through the minds of the manufacturers of these devices back when they decided that they were not going to include off switches on them.

Whenever your smoke detector alarms go berserk on you because of a modest amount of smoke coming from your frying pan and they have no off switch on them, there appears to be virtually nothing that you can do about it. If you open up your backdoor to vent out the smoke from your frying pan, you will likely be letting every insect in the universe, including hornets and wasps, into your residence. That is, unless, of course, it is the dead of winter.

After my smoke detector alarms had gone berserk on me while I was cooking something, I once went to my circuit breaker box and tried shutting off the power to them. However, I forgot that each of them had a battery inside of them that kept them going in the event that there was a power outage. It is simply a no-win situation.

You could try disconnecting your smoke detector alarms whenever they go berserk on you needlessly because of a modest amount of smoke from your frying pan. Good luck with that. They will then blast out your eardrums while you are trying to disconnect them, even if you wear earplugs. There simply needs to be a better way.

Running your stove fan will alleviate the situation. However, it will not stop your smoke detector alarms from going off if enough smoke gets into the air when you're frying bacon or sausage. It can get mind-boggling at times, because you seldom ever see it coming. Then when it does happen, you feel like yelling at the buffoon who came up with the idea of manufacturing smoke detector alarms without off switches.

Kalhh is the creator of this image.

Kalhh is the creator of this image.

Smoke Detector Alarms Can Be Harmful To The Ears

The first time that I ever had a problem with smoke detector alarms going off needlessly from one small cloud of smoke from a frying pan, I was living in New York City. I had a studio apartment in a medium-sized building that housed up to four families. My apartment only had one smoke detector alarm; and one day when I was cooking something on my kitchen stove, this extremely loud, obnoxious noise filled my apartment. It was the first time that I had ever heard the smoke detector alarm in that apartment, but, unfortunately, it was not going to be the last time.

Sometimes when the smoke detector alarm would go off in my apartment, the neighbors above me would get angry and either yell or stomp on the floor. I was waiting for one of them to confront me, because I wanted to tell them that I would be more than happy to take any suggestions from them on how to stop this smoke detector alarm from going off needlessly. Somehow neighbors like these always seem to believe that you have some kind of magical wand that will fix everything to their desired perfection, but life simply does not work that way. My upstairs neighbors were somewhat flaky, but, of course, that is another article for another time.

I complained to my landlord about this problem with my smoke detector alarm. He told me that he understood that the noise that the smoke detector alarm made was annoying, but he had to leave it as it was inasmuch as it was the only way that he felt that I would be completely safe from a fire. Afterwards, I taped a whole bunch of plastic wrap over the smoke detector alarm so that nothing could get in it to set it off while I was cooking. My studio apartment was small enough that if there had been a fire, I would have known about it immediately inasmuch as I was a light sleeper back then.

Luckily, after I moved to Los Angeles, I had no problems with the smoke detector alarm in my apartment out there. Occasionally, the battery in it had to be changed, because it would start chirping once the battery got low. However, I was able to fry eggs, bacon, sausage and anything else on the stove, and I never had to worry about the smoke detector alarm going berserk on me. After I moved back to the East Coast, I was confronted with the same problem again, however.

According to Kathryn Walsh's article titled "What Is the Decibel Level of a Smoke Detector?," a smoke detector alarm can eventually harm someone's hearing if they are exposed to the noise that it makes for a substantial period of time. For that reason, I feel that there should be some kind of law or regulatory standard in place that would obligate manufacturers to include an off switch on each and every smoke detector alarm that they put on the market. When the smoke detector alarms go off needlessly in my residence while I'm cooking something on the stove, I will put makeshift earplugs in my ears to block out the noise; but it would still be so much better if there was a way that I could switch these devices off until after I finished cooking.

It is important that people be protected from a household fire. However, nobody should have to sacrifice their hearing for personal safety in that respect. If there were laws passed to get our manufacturers to step up to the plate and include off switches on each and every smoke detector alarm, nobody would have to worry about hearing loss from the noise that they make. Manufacturers could also produce some kind of remote control that consumers could use to turn off a smoke detector alarm so that they don't have to get up on a ladder to reach its off switch. Manufacturers should also be made to offer to replace old smoke detector alarms with new ones that have an off switch, if the old ones don't have an off switch.

One of these days one of these manufacturers of smoke detector alarms is going to get slapped with a product liability lawsuit after so many people lose their hearing because of false alarms from their smoke detector alarms. Replacing them is not cheap. Therefore, that is the reason why I feel that our Federal regulatory agencies should step in and force these manufacturers to replace such smoke detector alarms with ones that have off switches.

I would even settle for a manufacturer replacing my current smoke detector alarms with ones that have a hush button on them. If you are curious to know how a hush button works on a smoke detector alarm, here is a YouTube video below that illustrates it.

One Type Of Smoke Detector Alarm Allows You To Silence It Temporarily

There Are A Few Inventive Ways To Stop False Alarms From Smoke Detector Alarms

Replacing a smoke detector alarm with a new one that actually has an off switch is costly and involving. It also takes a long time for bureaucrats to jump on the backs of the manufacturers of these devices to get them to replace old ones with new ones that actually have an off switch on them free of charge. Therefore, it can never hurt to explore some of the inventions and techniques out there that are used to silence smoke detector alarms whenever they are merely being noise nuisances.

This one gentleman has invented what is called a Smoke Deflector. In the video below, he provides an illustration on how this device of his works.

An Invention Offers A Way To Silence Smoke Detector Alarms Whenever They Go Off Needlessly

The good part about getting one of these Smoke Deflectors is that you don't have to go through all the expense and aggravation of removing your current smoke detector alarm from your ceiling. This invention simply allows you to put it over the smoke detector alarm to fan the smoke away from it so that it will not continue to go off while you are cooking. The only concern is that you do have to have a type of ceiling that would allow a magnet in this invention to stay in place over the smoke detector alarm. That is, there has to be enough metallic material in your ceiling so that this invention does work.

YouTube The Handyman gives good advice on how to deal with smoke detector alarms that go berserk when there is supposedly no smoke in your residence at all in his video below. In this situation, the homeowner was away on vacation.

YouTuber The Handyman Stops A False Alarm Among A Group Of Smoke Detector Alarms

YouTuber The Handyman managed to find a solution to the problem. It is interesting that he stated that smoke detector alarms start to act awry usually after five years and should be replaced. My response to it is that manufacturers of smoke detector alarms should still be obligated to replace any smoke detector alarm that does not have an off switch on it free of charge.

ArtisticOperations is the creator of this image.

ArtisticOperations is the creator of this image.

Conclusion

My complaint is not against smoke detector alarms themselves. I realize that smoke detector alarms do save lives, and household fires are no laughing manner. My problem is with smoke detector alarms that go off needlessly whenever you try to cook something on your stovetop or even when your oven is on.

It makes no sense that smoke detector alarms without off switches exist. Aside from being a noise nuisance, they can cause hearing loss if they constantly go off needlessly as described herein. Manufacturers of smoke detector alarms should be obligated to make this situation right and replace all old smoke detector alarms with new ones that have off switches free of charge.

A Poll For Anyone Who Has At Least One Smoke Detector Alarm In Their Residence

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Jason B Truth

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