Introduction: Stopping a Smoke Alarm When You Burn Food

A quick easy and non destructive way of stopping a smoke alarm from beeeeeeeping when you burn food.

Step 1: Grab a Chair

Go get a chair so you can reach the smoke alarm

Step 2: Get a Plastic Grocery Bag, and Perhaps a Rubberband

Go find a plastic bag..and if you have one handy, a rubber band

Step 3: Wrap the Bag Around the Alarm

Wrap it so that it's pretty much air tight and tie off the bag so it's snug. If you got the rubberband, then stretch it around the bag and the alarm to secure it. The alarm will stop hassling you since the smoke can't reach the sensor. You can then continue to burn your food in peace.

Step 4: Remove Bag When Smoke Clears!

Be sure to remove the bag when the smoke clears. It will be dangling from the smoke alarm so it isn't easy to forget to do.

When adding the final step to this, I got a bit confused and clicked the "Done" button rather than "add step". So that's why this final but crucial step was missing.
Thanks for the comments and the heads up on this missing step!


bristlenose52 (author)2008-04-04

your method definitely sounds better than mine. I stand under the smoke detector waving the broom around.

A plate works better

benjaminbummler (author)2013-06-28

if i were to modify a smoke alarm, which is probably illegal, i would just get a switch and wire it, so i can disconnect the battery. if disconnected, the battery would power a bright blinking led, so i would not forget to switch it back on. but i guess a sock or a rubberglove will do for me. ;)

bingo112 (author)2008-07-05

You can then continue to burn your food in peace. thats funny

qpmarl (author)2008-01-16

awesome idea. make me wonder if temporarily covering a detector in such a way legally constitutes "tampering".

TheChemist (author)qpmarl2008-06-30

I think so. If you did this on an airplane bathroom so you could smoke, I'm sure they would be pretty angry.

maker12 (author)2007-12-06

worse kidda alarms say "fire fire fire protect your children" or somthing like that! lol

superjames (author)2006-04-15

Thanks for the heads up guys! I agree, investing in a new smoke alarm is the better choice, but my house is old. The smoke alarm gets its power from the 120v wires from the ceiling!! So removing the battery isn't an option, there is no silence button on this old unit, and removing it is dangerous because there are live wires routed through the ceiling that connect to it to power it up! Oh yeah, well, my roomates are the ones burning the food! I came up with this idea when that damn thing was blaring and there was company was unbearable. The idea just popped in my head under pressure and it worked great!

Danny (author)superjames2006-12-14

james i have a question

what if the bag gets smoke in int as your putting it over the alarm will that mean it wont go silent until you move the bag

because there is someone in my family who works nights and he sleeps in the day and when my bro burns food he wakes up

answer asap please =)

pengyduck (author)Danny2007-11-30

you put it on BEFORE you burn stuff,

Danny (author)pengyduck2007-12-01

how do u know your gonna burn it

pengyduck (author)Danny2007-12-03

you don't, but if whether or not you are or not, you can put it on to stop it from happening if you DO burn.

roadieflip (author)2007-08-18

i used to live in a hotel where i worked, and we just put a sock over the smokehead when we had a smoke... worked a treat... the air was blue smoke, and no fire brigade. (don't even need a rubber band)

lemonie (author)2007-01-14

I've lived in smoking-accomodation where the fire-detectors were heat-activated. But anyway, an instructable on "how not to burn food" would be more useful. I might post one if it wouldn't seem so patronising.

steel$ (author)2006-12-23

that is way easyer than putin the bag &rubber; band on

CanDo (author)2006-10-30

Some people have their smoke detectors hardwired (*slowly* This means that taking out the battery, if there is one as a backup, will not stop the alarm).

Try thinking for half a second before posting next time....

Danny (author)CanDo2006-12-14

thats what i have when we got the house rewired they had to put it in by law or so they say (thinks they may hev scammed me)

leevonk (author)CanDo2006-10-30

(*slowly* you're a friggen genius)

CanDo (author)leevonk2006-10-30

Well then, do you suppose that I am wrong?

leevonk (author)CanDo2006-10-30

heheh, no, I said your a genius, I'm praising you :) I forgot that that's what I had at home as a kid. I have a battery one now.

frank26080115 (author)2006-11-23

my smoke alarms all have a silence button that silence it for a minute, get one of those

rakimfan (author)2006-08-29

i found using a cordless hairdryer efective and you dont have to worry about taking out battery

markryder1988 (author)2006-06-03

you could just wave a towel near it that works and at least if you dont forget to remove the bag as there aint one!

Prometheus (author)2006-05-22

did you ever try adding your own hush button to it with a simple timer circuit?

Coffee bean (author)2006-04-15

So you burn alot of food?(-:

wrique (author)2006-04-15

I agree with Paul on how important it is to make sure you only temporarily silence any smoke detector. Granted for hushing a false alarm, this seems to be a better than pulling the battery. Most people forget to put the battery back after, with possibly fatal consequences. At least, having a bag over the device would be more noticeable/unsightly and therefore more likely to dealt with. Frankly it probably a good idea just to replace your smoke detectors with a new unit that has a built-in hush button. It silences the device for ten minutes or so, but then brings it back on-line automatically. You can get one for about $15 - $20. For a little more money and a lot more protection, I'd recommend dropping the fifty or so dollars it costs for a combination carbon monoxide/smoke detector with - of course - the built-in hush feature.

paulgeering (author)2006-04-15

On a really serious note. This is a good way to shut your fire alarm up whilst sorting out burnt food but you MUST remove the bag after the smoke has cleared otherwise theres no point having the alarm in the first place. Maybe this could be added as a final step.

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