can steam from shower set off smoke detector

Can steam from shower set off Smoke Detector? Well, it’s not excluded.

The Smoke Detector devices have a high alarm threshold, which prevents the alarm from sounding each time cigarette smoke or some water vapor reaches the device.

However, in some cases a false alarm is possible and in this guide, we’ll learn when and how to prevent this.

Dense water vapor and shower steam are just like high humidity, which has proven to be able to trigger false alarms on a Smoke Detector. The alarm of your Smoke Detector can sound when the bathroom is not well-ventilated, especially when someone is showering.

Let’s next learn more about the Smoke Detectors threshold and when the alarm sounds:

About Smoke Detectors Sensors!

about the smoke detectors

There are two general types of smoke detectors: Ionization and Photoelectric.

With the Ionization Smoke Detectors, there are two plates with electric charge between them, keeping the device in its normal operational state.

When something like smoke such as shower vapor or cooking smoke enters between the two places, the eclectic charge is interrupted.

This is what makes the alarm sound.

In contrast, Photoelectric Smoke Detectors have little light inside.

When the smoke enters the detector and reflects the light into the sensor, the alarm is triggered.

In turn, the detector sounds as an indication of something burning. Well, not always!

Let’s next learn more about the false Smoke Detectors Alarms and what’s causing them!

Can Shower Steam Trigger Smoke Alarm?

can shower smoke trigger alarm

The Smoke Detectors can’t always make a difference between a burning smoke particle and moisture vaporization.

The high humidity and shower steam are one of the most frequent reasons for false alarms, especially when the device is installed in the bathroom.

The moisture particles’ density can trigger the Smoke Detector especially when they come from water.

This means Yes, shower steam can easily trigger a Smoke Detector alarm.

However, having a smoke detector in our bathroom is a bit counterintuitive since a wet environment rarely, if never, catches on fire.

In other words, we don’t need a Smoke Alarm where we shower or where water steam is frequently released. 

Note: Good ventilation is an answer to false Smoke Detector alarms!

When Can Steam From Shower Set OFF Smoke Detector?

when steam from shower set off

As we’ve already clarified, the shower steam can easily trigger a Smoke Detector especially if the device is in close proximity to the source (shower).

We assume that the Smoke Alarm is not installed in the bathroom but in close proximity, which allows the steam to reach the device.

In some cases, it’s enough to leave the door open after showering for the water vapor to trigger the Smoke Detector’s alarm, which is a frequently reported problem.

In addition, it’s not excluded for the wet shower steam to humidify the ceiling, therefore triggering the alarm.

This can be prevented, and next, we’ll learn what we can do to stop the false alarms!

Shower Steam Triggers Smoke Alarm – Solution!

shower steam trigger alarm

In case you’ve seen your Smoke Detector sound the alarm while you’re showering, you can expect this to happen again.

As we’ve already discussed, the water vapor can easily trigger a false alarm when the steam reaches the Smoke Detector.

There are easy ways to prevent this from happening so let’s learn how!

1. Use Fans

Even when the smoke detector is near the bathroom or where water vapor from cooking appliances is released, the use of fans is always the key.

Creating some ventilation might just be enough for the false alarms to stop sounding so it’s best to take some measures.

The Fan should be positioned to exhale air toward the source of the water vapor to prevent the steam from reaching the Smoke Detector.

This should be enough to stop the alarms.

2. Open Windows (Ventilate)

Another and most recommended approach against shower steam or water vapor is to open the windows and create some ventilation in the Smoke Detector’s environment.

This will allow some fresh air to get inside and provide an exit for the water steam.

3. Relocate The Smoke Detector

The best possible way to deal with false alarms on a Smoke Detector caused by shower steam is to relocate the device.

The Smoke Detector should not be positioned above cooking appliances and inside or near the bathroom where a lot of shower steam is released.

relocate your smoke detector

The best position for the Smoke Detector would be in the corridor or near the bedroom, where the air is expected to be cleared without any sort of environmental smoke, steam, or vapor.

4. Use a Dehumidifier

Another great way to prevent Smoke Detector false alarms is to use a Dehumidifier which is a device that removes water from the air in your home.

You can command the level of humidity you want to reach, and prevent the Smoke Detector’s false alarms caused by shower steam.

5. Replace Batteries

Even if that sounds counterintuitive, when the batteries of a Smoke Detector get low, the chances of a false-positive increase.

The device might even alert that the batteries are low with a constant chirping sound which should not be ignored.

The high humidity in combination with a low battery can cause a lot of false positives!

Tip: Find the best Dehumidifier for your Smoke Detector at the end of this guide.

Is There A Steam-Resistant Smoke Detector?

is there steam resistant detector

The short answer is Yes, there are more advanced smoke detectors that you can use in areas with higher humidity.

Keep in mind that a Dehumidifier Device solves the problem easily but if you still haven’t got a Smoke Detector and you’re wondering what to do, keep reading!

Photoelectric Smoke Detectors work better in humidity than Ionization detectors!

There are more than a few Photoelectric Smoke Detectors on the market that offer up to 90% humidity tolerance when installed in well-ventilated areas.

However, the chances of a false alarm due to shower steam are never zero but minimized when you’re using the correct device!

Here are some of the best high-humidity Smoke Detectors available:

  • BRK 7010BFirst Alert Photoelectric Detector
  • Alert Smoke Pro & Monoxide Detector
  • Google Nest S3003LWES Protect
  • X-sense Detector Smoke Alarm
  • BQQZHZ Combination Smoke & Monoxide Detection

The Google Nest Smoke Detector appears to be the best overall choice for areas with high humidity.

The most affordable option remains the BQQZHZ, which is a combination of a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detector.

These devices can be installed near the bathroom.

Note: It’s never recommended to install a Smoke Detector inside a bathroom!

Last Minute Advice!

the last advice

When your Smoke Detector is located on the highway, in close proximity to the bathroom or the kitchen, keep the doors closed while cooking or showering.

According to the Smoke Alarm owner’s discussion, the best place for a smoke detector is away from any sources of smoke.

In the case that the Smoke Detector is wireless, that makes relocating the device a lot easier than hardwired units which are hard to disassemble and move.

The best possible place to install your Smoke Detector is near the bedroom to alarm you when something is burning!

Sometimes it’s also good to clean the Smoke Detector out of dust and debris for the device to be able to function properly.

It’s always good to maintain our devices to get the most out of them and especially for a Smoke Detector, to keep us secure. Good Luck!

Alert: The constant Smoke Detector false alarms are not good and not secure!

Quick Recap:

Thus, the Smoke Detector false alarm can be activated when shower steam reaches the device and this can be prevented by relocating the device away from the bathroom. The humidity in the air is another reason for reaching the alarm’s threshold so users need to take measures!

Final Thoughts:

Now we know whether can steam from shower set off Smoke Detector and how to prevent this from happening.

The most important thing to remember from this guide is the steps you need to undertake to prevent shower steam from reaching the Smoke Detector Sensors!

When users experience false alarms on a Smoke Detector because of shower vapor, we strongly suggest purchasing a Dehumidifier Device, to keep the environment dry and prevent false alarms.

These devices are cheap and perfect for this occasion so it’s worth the investment!

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Nicole B