How to Cover a Smoke Detector? 4 Ways to Cover Smoke Detector

As much as the sound from a smoke detector can save your life during an impending danger, it can also be so annoying or cause panic, especially when they are false.

Imagine grilling your steak then boom, the smoke detector goes off for detecting the “meaty smoke”. I bet you don’t want to experience that. So, here’s how to cover a smoke detector to prevent false alarms!

The first thing to do is locate the sensor chamber of your unit. Technically, all smoke detectors come with a small inner chamber that sucks in the air and checks for the presence of smoke. 

If there’s smoke in the sucked air, the device will trigger the alarm to warn you. A good number of the newer models come with open casing design, with a “windows” like opening at the bottom section of the unit’s housing. On older models, these openings are located at the top where it attaches to the ceiling.

Alter locating the chamber, cover it with painter’s tape until you finish your cooking or the activity that would possibly trigger the smoke detector.

Once you are through with your cooking or the ongoing task, ensure that you uncover the smoke detector so that it can be back to its best working condition. 

In this post, I’ll walk you through the steps you need to undertake to successfully cover your smoke detector. Keep reading for more….

What Is a Smoke Detector

How to Cover a Smoke Detector?
A Smoke Detector

A smoke detector refers to a device that senses smoke typically to indicate the possibility of fire. Most smoke detectors have a plastic casing with a disk-like shape. 

Even so, the shapes and sizes will vary from one company to the next. The smoke detector has two ways of detecting smoke, it could be optically (photoelectric) or physical process (ionization). 

Smoke detectors may use one or both sensing mechanisms again based on different manufacturers.

Advantages of Smoke Detectors

Smoke Detector Keeps You Safe: The main reason you have a smoke detector is to keep you safe,, your family, and your pets.

 Considering that fire breakouts can catch you by surprise, it is always important that you have a smoke detector for the purposes of early warnings in the event of a fire.

Whenever a smoke detector sounds an alarm, it is always important that you don’t take it for granted. Go check and call 911 as soon as possible. 

Ensure that you take the first step to keep yourself and others safe in the event of a fire.

Minimized Risk Of Fire Damage: Fire damage at home and even places of work like factories can be very costly and can even be life-changing in the event that you lose everything. 

So, having smoke detectors installed on your property will help fire response departments of the government to come to your rescue with the earliest warnings from these devices.

Early reaction to fire incidents helps with putting off the fire before it gets out of hand.

Some Models of Smoke Detectors Can Detect Carbon Monoxide: There are certain brands of smoke detectors, especially the smart one that comes with alarms for carbon monoxide. 

Considering that Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and dangerous, having a smoke detector that can detect is is a plus.

Can Be Connected to Other Alarms: Smart smoke detectors in particular can be connected to other alarms and in turn communicate instantaneously.

How to Cover a Smoke Detector

There are different methods of covering a smoke detector. I’ll show you all the different methods, so keep reading.

Method 1. Use a Shower Cap to Cover the Smoke Detector

Most people probably out of ignorance or not knowing fail to use one of the most available items to cover smoke detectors, shower caps.

You can always use a shower cap to cover your smoke detector especially when you are not using it on your head.

Covering your smoke alarm with a shower cap when cooking will prevent the detector from picking up smoke and triggering an alarm when not necessary.

So, here’s how you can use a shower cap to cover your smoke detector.

  • Inspect for Holes in Your Shower Cap

Well, you must first ensure that you are using an item that will not let air reach your smoke detector and that’s why you must ensure that the shower cap does not have any holes in it.

In the event that your shower cap has holes in it, then you can fold it to create a double layer which will prevent the air from accessing your device.

  • Cover the Detector With the Shower Cap

At this point, you need to fit in to see if the shower cap will properly fit your smoke detector.

If the fit is perfect, it’s time to cover it in a way with enough space to detect the area around it. So that it looks not entirely covered.

  • Hold the Shower Cap In Place

The last step when covering your smoke detector with a shower cap is to hold it or secure it in place using rubber bands or tape. You will figure out how to go about this based on the design of your smoke detector.

It should be a pretty straightforward way to cover your smoke detector, it is very important that you remove the shower cap from the smoke detector as soon as you are done with 

Method 2. Wrapping the Smoke Detector With Thin Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foils are not just meant for wrapping foodstuff, they have many uses, and perhaps the one you didn’t know is that you can use it to cover your smoke detector.

So, here’s how to go about covering your smoke detector with aluminum foil.

  • Cut the Aluminum Foil to the Size of the Detector

You need to cut the aluminum foil to almost a perfect fit with the smoke detector. It is important that the foil is not too big or too small for the detector.

It’s important to ensure that the cut is as accurate as it can be.

  • Place a Fan Directly on the Detector

Here, you need to position a fan that points directly toward your smoke detector. The fan will help disperse the smoke that is directed toward the smoke alarm so that it is thinner and less detectable.

  • Tape the Two (2) Ends of the Foil

In this section, all you need to do is to secure position the aluminum foil covering the detector. You can choose to use tape or rubber bands to hold it in place.

Once you are through with whatever task made you cover your smoke detector, ensure that you take out the aluminum foil from the detector.

Method 3. Use Painter’ Tape to Cover the Sensors of the Smoke Detector

When you do not have aluminum foil, you can instead use painter’s tape to cover the sensors of your smoke detector. Here’s what you need to do to achieve this.

  • Identify the location of the Sensor

There is always a sensor somewhere in a smoke detector as it is the one used to detect the presence of smoke. So the first thing you would want to do is to locate the sensor.

  • Cover with the Tape

The location of the sensor on your smoke detector should not be the toughest thing to do here. 

As soon as you have located it,  put up to three (3) layers of tape over it to ensure proper coverage with less or no chances of smoke sneaking in.

NOTE: As it should be a routine, ensure you remove the tape after you are through with your activities. It is advisable that you use bright-colored tape so that you won’t forget to remove it.

Remember, there could be far worse damage when you forget to remove it and there’s real fire.

Method 4. Covering the Smoke Detector Using a Plastic Bag

Of our many methods of covering your smoke detector, the one that should be easily achievable is where you cover the sensor using a plastic bag. It is more or less similar to the case where we used a shower cap.

Here are the steps that you should follow!

  • Cut the Plastic Bag to the Size of the Sensor

For you to cut the plastic bag to fit the detector simply means that you will have to physically take the measurements.

Even as you cut, it must not be under or oversized

Additionally, as you did with the shower cap, it is important to inspect for possible holes that would otherwise allow smoke to get into the detector’s sensor.

If there are holes, you can fold them like in the case of a shower cap with holes.

  • Hold In Place the Plastic Bag to Cover  the Smoke Detector Band

At this point, I’m assuming that you have inspected and taken care of possible holes in your plastic bag.

Once that’s done, seal the plastic bag over the sensor using the bands.

Normally, the tapes would not properly hold the plastic bag which is why I encourage you to use a rubber band or any other type of adhesive within your reach.

I’ll keep on stressing the importance of removing the covers from the smoke detectors as soon as you have completed the task for which you decided to cover it.

Also, the methods I have discussed are not necessarily everything you can do to cover the smoke detectors, there are plenty of other things that you can do to have your smoke detector covered.

You can do further research or consult with your local experts for tips on covering smoke detectors to avoid false alarms when doing activities that would likely trigger the alarm.

Does Putting a Sock Over a Smoke Detector Work?

Well, newer smoke detectors are very sensitive and regardless of the threat count on your socks, the tiniest particles of smoke that filter through the socks can still be detected by these modern smoke detectors.

Therefore, I do not advise that you cover your smoke detectors with socks when looking to temporarily desensitize your detectors. Instead, you could apply any of the steps I’ve discussed above as they are based on personal experience.

How Do You Smoke In a Hotel With a Smoke Detector?

This is a serious question that can easily be overlooked but can lead you into trouble especially in hotels where you are not supposed to smoke anywhere but in the designated smoking area.

Even so, we all know how sweet it can be to break rules but how do you smoke in a hotel with a smoke detector without triggering the smoke alarm?

It’s pretty much simple, 

You can employ the methods like covering the smoke detector with a plastic bag, shower cap, and many more. Most of these methods are discussed above.

Alternatively, you could do the simplest thing possible, stand next to the window and smoke. Closer to the window, there’s proper air circulation which will prevent the smoke from concentrating in the room and triggering the alarm as a result.

At this point, I hope you have learned enough to help you navigate yourself around smoke alarms especially if you are a smoker.

Why You Should Never Cover A Smoke Detector

Well, as much as I have discussed ways in which you can cover a smoke detector it is always not a good idea to cover it especially if you are not going to uncover it soon as you are done with your tasks.

  • Covering The Smoke Detector Is Dangerous

If you are in a hotel room for example, it would be very dangerous and reckless to cover your smoke detector because you will be directly subjecting other people’s lives to danger.

Covering the smoke detector impairs its ability to detect a possible fire outbreak and in turn would jeopardize people’s ability to vacate the building in the event of a real fire.

Failure to evacuate people in time could lead to loss of life and other serious fire burns. So, if you are going to smoke in a hotel room, it would be wise to smoke closer to a window so that there are no false alarms that can cause panic.

  • Covering The Smoke Detector Is Illegal In Some States

In hotels for example, the law requires that there are fully functional smoke detectors so that all the visiting guests can always be alerted in the event of a possible fire outbreak inside the building.

Therefore, a move to disable these detectors can land you in a hot soup as you will subject the life of several individuals to dangers associated with fire and if convicted of the offense, could land you several years behind bars.

You would want to know laws governing smoke detectors in a particular state before you can go about disabling them, especially in places like hotels.

  • It is Irresponsible to Cover The Smoke Detector

There are some things that when you do can only be considered selfish. So as much as disabling a smoke detector in a room can help you achieve your tasks, it is also morally upright to care for others.

It would be very irresponsible for example to cover a smoke detector to smoke in a room and then forget to uncover it. In such times, when there is a fire outbreak, there will not be a prior warning which could result in serious property or even life loss.

We all know that covering your smoke detector prevents it from operating effectively, and this is an incredibly irresponsible and short-sighted thing to do.

You should therefore consider smoking in a designated smoking area in places like hotels or even outside in the case of your home.

Final Thoughts

It can be very tempting to cover your smoke detector just so you can smoke or prepare a meal that would otherwise likely to produce smoke. A lot of people do it as much as it is irresponsible.

If you could, then avoid covering your smoke detector at all costs. However, if you still find it fit to cover it then ensure that uncover it once you are done with your business so as to allow the sensors to work appropriately.

How to Cover a Smoke Detector

There are many ways in which you can cover your smoke detector, normally, materials needed for this role are easily available.

You can use a shower cap to cover your smoke detector, first, inspect the shower cap to ensure it has no holes in it. If there are holes then you can fold the cap into two so that the holes are covered by the second layer.

Ensure that you size the shower cap to your smoke detector then use a rubber band to hold the shower cap over the sensor of your smoke detector.

As soon as you are through with your business for which you covered the smoke detector, ensure that you uncover it so it can continue functioning the right way.

I hope you have learned a great deal about how to handle your smoke detector. If you found this post helpful and you would like to add one or two things to it, you can always reach out to me through the comment section below.

Thank you for reading and stay safe!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.