SEM Security Systems
a division of Southeast Mobility Inc
Your smoke detectors have gone off and now it keeps going off repeatedly even though you've silenced it. If you know what set off the smoke detector, probably the husbands cooking, then continue reading and reset it but if you're not sure what caused the alarm, then you need to find the offending detector before resetting it. Some systems will separate the smoke detectors onto individual zones, if this is the case then the smoke detector that caused the alarm will probably be indicated on your keypad. If the individual smoke detector is not indicated on the keypad then go through all areas of the home and visually inspect the smoke detectors. Each smoke detector will have an LED on it. The one that caused the alarm will be blinking red. Now, reset your smoke detectors by pressing *72 (star then seven then two), after you get the noise stopped come back here and read the rest of this page for some very important information.

If there is still smoke in the home, then you can expect the alarm to sound again even though you've reset the smoke detectors. All smoke must be cleared to get the alarms to stop repeatedly going off.

What caused your smokes to sound? It's very important that you know the source of the issue. If it was someone burning the bacon, that's no big deal. If it just went into alarm for no apparent reason, then that issue should be addressed immediately.

First, check your whole home for sources of smoke. This includes the basement, crawl space, and attic. Smoke detectors are very sensitive and a very small amount of smoke will activate them. A wire could be getting hot. Of course now while you're looking for the problem, the air conditioner, water heater, or other appliance that is creating the high amp draw has turned off, the wire has cooled back down and no smoke can be found. We once had a smoke detector set off by a belt slipping on a washing machine. Sometimes these sources can be hard to locate. You should also note that bug bombs can, and often do, set off your smoke detectors. If you are going to bug bomb your home then it is important that you contact us to put your system on test while this is being done.

Another frequent issue is dust collecting inside the smoke detectors. You should clean your smoke detectors periodically but if you haven't cleaned them lately and you have no other explanation for the alarm sounding, you should clean them now. Don't just clean the one that caused the alarm, take the time to clean all of them.

You're going to need a stable ladder or step stool and a can of compressed air. You can find them both at your local Wal-Mart or similar store. The ladder or step stool should be just tall enough to allow you reach your ceiling mounted smoke detectors comfortably. You'll find the compressed air in the computer department. It is generally used to blow the dust out of computer key boards and such.

Now cleaning the smoke is as simple as blowing the dust out of it with the can of compressed air. If, after cleaning your smoke detectors, you have a repeated apparent false alarm then you need to contact us to schedule a service call. Hopefully the problem is a faulty component on the alarm system rather than an intermediate source of smoke.