Has your fire alarm been activating for no apparent cause? Not only can a false fire alarm be the result of numerous surprising scenarios, but it can become downright annoying if not corrected. Let’s look at some common reasons why this could be occurring as well as why understanding the proper maintenance techniques is crucial.  


You might be surprised to learn that some fire alarms do not have the ability to differentiate between particles of smoke and humidity in the air. This is particularly the case with older models. High water content within the air can result in a fire alarm going off for no reason.  

Insects in the Air  

Smaller flying insects such as flies, mosquitoes and gnats can sometimes enter into the internal workings of a fire alarm. Much in the same way as the moisture mentioned in the previous section, they can cause an alarm to sound. Open up the unit and inspect it to make certain that no small bugs are present.  

Fumes and Chemical Odours  

This next situation can be dangerous on occasion. There are times when specific chemicals such as ammonia or bleach can result in a false fire alarm; especially if the fumes are concentrated and there is little ventilation. This is obviously a serious event, as some airborne substances can be damaging to your health. If you notice that your fire alarm tends to activate when cleaning, it is a good idea to open the windows in order to increase the ambient ventilation.  

Low Batteries  

Most alarms will alert you when their batteries are running low. This is actually a safety mechanism, as it is meant to inform the user that the power supply needs to be replaced. It is wise to check the batteries at least once every few months by holding down the “test” button that is found on the majority of detectors. Keep in mind that some batteries are associated with longer lifespans than others.  

Steam from a Kitchen or Bathroom  

If a fire alarm is located near any of these rooms, it could be activated if a significant amount f steam enters into the air (such as after a hot shower). This is quite normal and no cause for concern. The detector will deactivate once the steam has evaporated.  

What Steps Can You Take in the Event of a False Alarm?  

First and foremost, check to make absolutely certain that no smoke or fire is present. You can then refer back to this article a guide when determining the cause of the issue. However, we should make it clear to never disconnect or otherwise disable the alarm; it was alerting you for a reason. If all of the suggestions mentioned above have no effect, it is wise to call a professional for further assistance.  

If the problem is unable to be diagnosed, you might simply need to upgrade the unit itself. A fire alarm going off for no reason could be an indicator of faulty wiring or a defective circuit. Many newer alarms also offer additional options such as strobe lights (for low-visibility situations) and built-in carbon monoxide detectors. The fact of the matter is that fire alarms are your first line of defence. Detection is the best and most effective way to avoid a dangerous (or even deadly) situation.  

EFL Fire & Security can provide you with a wide range of devices based upon your needs. If you would like to know more about our products and services, please contact a representative directly. 


Due to these unprecedented circumstances, we have adopted measures to ensure EFL Fire & Security can still provide essential services in line with government guidelines to new and existing customers.

We recognise that fire, life safety and the security of property and assets is important to you. Please contact us on 01903 830664 for assistance or email advice@eflfire.co.uk with any fire and security requirements