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Yes I am that angry

So we have vaulted ceilings in our 900 sq foot NYC apt and the area where the smoke detector is has a height of probably 12-14 feet- its basically a pocket that the detector sits in.
It goes off CONSTANTLY. And when it goes off, it doesnt want to stop.

We start the vent van (which does vent to the outside) and open all the windows and turn on our HVAC fan every time we're even THINKING of cooking something that might spit and still. IT GOES OFF EVERY TIME. My husband, who is 6'3, can barely shut it off by pushing the button with a broom handle but sometimes it just keeps going for 5+ minutes.

WE ARE NOT BURNING THINGS. WE ARE NOT IN DANGER. We are doing such things as:
Caramelizing the crust on a pork shoulder
Cooking chicken thighs
Searing a steak

The list goes on. This thing is hyper sensitive and annoying. I am thisclose to just removing it completely, but obv that is not a great idea.

We've looked up detectors that have a remote, but google says they all suck.

This is causing marital discord (also, our dogs run and hide and one was actually LOST IN A SNOW DRIFT on our porch for 10 minutes during one such recent incident.)

PLEASE someone tell me what you do in this situation. I have NEVER encountered such an annoying/sensitive smoke alarm (although it may just be the placement of it, which we cant really change.) Does anyone have a remote alarm that they like?

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  1. I want to further re-iterate that we are NOT BURNING THINGS. I have been cooking these same things for the better part of a decade with NO ISSUE. This alarm is seriously going to drive me insane.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CarmenR

      Move it farther from the stove, to an accessible location. If it's wired in place, disconnect it and buy a battery-op one that you locate in a better spot.

    2. Oh my God!!!
      You must be my new neighbor!!!!!
      Take the batteries out, the relocate it to above your front door.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ttrockwood

        Lol we are not new but trust me we are sensitive to how annoying this must be to neighbors

      2. Relocate the smoke detector. As you yourself state, it is in a pocket where smoke rises to. I am sure you can find a better spot where real dangers will be detected but regular cooking won't cause the thing to go off. It must be extremely annoying!

        1. Why can't you change the position of the alarm? Ours is located just outside our bedroom, on the supposition that we would most want to hear it when we're asleep. Even then, sometimes we aim a fan at it when we're cooking. (We have a small home.) Putting a spatter screen over an open pan also cuts down on stuff getting into the air, which is what gets the alarm excited. Good luck!!

          1. Holy shit. Welcome to my world. Small, unrenovated NYC apartment. NO EFFING HOOD OR FAN. Alarm goes off if I deign to glance at the stove/oven. I also am not burning things. It is called COOKING. I am roasting vegetables, browning meat, sauteing garlic to begin any dish. I am certain my neighbors loathe me.

            I rent so I can't move the alarm. And taking the battery out causes it to chirp. Incessantly. KILL ME NOW.

            So other than threadjacking you and venting, I'm afraid all I can contribute is that my "solution" has been to position a fan directly underneath it, pointing upwards, on its highest setting. The constant air flow seems to sufficiently "dilute" whatever it is that it keeps detecting.

            My sympathies.

            1. Can you get rid of it and get one of those heat sensitive detectors? I think that's what we have.


              1. The building code within our jurisdiction requires a carbon monoxide and smoke dectector. Smoke dectectors are required in all hallways adjacent to sleeping areas and in each bedroom.They save lives.Disable this one. First Alert makes a combo carbon monoxide and smoke detector that plugs into a electrical outlet.Easy to get at for $30.00.

                1. Same thing happens in my apartment (same size). Cheap solution- we put a shower cap over the detector. It helps, though not totally

                  1. Shower cap sounds like a great idea!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: texanfrench

                      Or maybe snug aluminum foil around it, covered with a plastic bag, or duct tape. Yes, it will look bad but from the way the OP describes its location, I'll bet the OP is the only one who'll even notice it. The average person isn't all that observant.

                      Don't put your battery-op detector(s) far from the kitchen. In the event of a fire, you want the detector close enough to the source to be triggered immediately, not when smoke from the engulfed kitchen finally wafts its way to the other end of your home. Put a piece of bread or a pan of raw rice in the oven or in a frying pan and turn the heat on high. Carrying the smoke detector and starting at the far end of your home, walk toward the kitchen and take note when the alarm sounds. Decide where to mount the detector accordingly, and make sure it's placed close to the ceiling but within reach so you can shut it off easily.

                      1. re: greygarious

                        We use the ziplock and painters tape solution when we use the self-cleaning cycle of the oven. The heat sets it off ever time..grrrrr.

                    2. Some smoke alarms are heat sensitive, so if it detects a rapid change in the temperature of the room (very possible with vaulted ceilings where heat rises), it will go off. I had one like that in an apartment before. I suggest taking it down and relocating it to somewhere a bit furthur away from the kitchen, and in a location that's easier to reach to turn it off.

                      1. I moved mine three feet south and it does not go off impulsively anymore.

                        1. You could replace the current alarm with one that has a remote control to turn off nuisance alarms. For example http://www.kiddecanada.com/utcfs/Temp...

                          1. Thanks everyone for the comments. The one we have now is actually hardwired into the ceiling so removing it is gonna look like crap but I guess we can replace it with a battery operated one somewhere else in the house. I'll have to start googling, they're so expensive. I wish there was a better option- the placement of it just sucks

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: CarmenR

                              Two years ago we disabled all our hard wired smoke detectors and installed new battery operated models. The hard wired ones were approaching 20 years old and were prone to false alarms.

                              Like yours, we had some up high in cathedral ceilings. We found that they trapped dust inside the covers and this set off the alarms. being mounted so high they never really got cleaned properly.

                              I bought contractors' packs (6 to the case) at Home Depot or Lowes for about $6 per detector for the basic battery operated models and mounted them just above the doorway outside kitchens, bedrooms, etc.

                              Twice a year I get out my two step and open the detectors to change batteries and at the same time vacuum the inside of the detectors. This has eliminated the false alarms.

                              We have two cats and 4 dogs and with a forced air heat and a/c system, you'd be amazed what got trapped in the detectors.

                              As word of warning: your OP says you have an apartment. You must make sure that your detectors are not wired into your buildings master fire locator panel BEFORE you disable them. Otherwise the fire department may be showing up at your door. Talk to your super, he may be able to disconnect your wiring at the panel (and it could be reconnected in the future for a new tenant/owner). You may not have the right to remove the actual hard wired detectors, as they may not actually be your property.

                              1. re: bagelman01

                                And yes - vacuuming the detectors when you replace the batteries is a good idea. My home inspector told me to do so at least once a year.

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  An easier and better way to clean the insides of the alarm (where spiders like to nest!): use the compressed air cans that you use on your computer keyboard. No more 2AM false alarms with our lives flashing before our eyes.

                            2. As others have said - it's in a location where smoke rises to, which will set it off. Also know that they can be sensitive to heat. And heat rises.

                              Relocation, Relocation, Relocation. :-)

                              1. All of these suggestions are great- I am now concerned that it is actually attached to something important in the building (we live in a reasonably newly constructed building with all kinds of weird things like that.)

                                Our friend has a smoke alarm that actually speaks instead of making that horrible beeping noise- it says, calmly, something along the lines of "there is a fire, gtfo" I'm wondering if maybe getting one of those is a good solution if we can't move it/disable it in that spot.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: CarmenR

                                  Saw something about those on some TV investigative report recently. Teenagers were sleeping right through the warning. If you can sleep with the TV or radio on, you probably wouldn't wake up to a spoken alert.

                                  1. re: greygarious

                                    Im a pretty light sleeper and I'm SURE our dogs would bark if they heard a voice in the dead of night (they bark if one of us snores too loud!) Theyre cheaper than the ones with the remote at least...

                                    1. re: CarmenR

                                      The folks that make the Nest thermostat have a new smoke detector. It speaks to you warning that there is an increase in the heat or it detects smoke before sounding the alarm, if you have more than one it tells you what room. I believe there is a remote and a phone app so if you are cooking you can tell it so and it will not sound the alarm.

                                  2. re: CarmenR

                                    Mine is hardwired into the building; the battery is just a back up. That's why it'll still chirp even when I remove the battery (and, of course, go off at the first whiff of cooking fumes).

                                    I discovered this, of course, when I tried to take it down my first month dealing with this issue, and the thing went completely insane with the sirens.

                                  3. Had a similar problem, smoke alarm by the kitchen constantly going off, even when just making toast! Wrapping a shower cap around it prior to cooking was a life saver, but inconvenient. I recently had to replace my smoke detectors and was advised to install a photoelectric model near the kitchen as it was less likely to trigger nuisance alarms (vs ionization models). Did it, and no problems ever since!