castewa88's profile

Tue, Jun 22, 2021 1:05 PM

false fire alarm

We have 1 SimpliSafe smoke detector in our home, and last night it triggered an alarm for no obvious reason.  The smoke detector is only 6-9 months old.  Following this alarm I'll probably get some compressed air to spray around the alarm to be certain it is clean, but the room it is in is a very clean room and I can't imagine that dust or anything such as that would have contributed to the alarm.  We've never had any false alarms from the approximately 10 other smoke detectors that have been installed in this house for 11+ years, so I'm a bit disappointed in this event.

When the alarm sounded, it only sounded for a few seconds.  I'm not sure what made it stop sounding.  My daughter says she swiped to dismiss the alert she received from the SimpliSafe app on her iPhone when the alarm sounded, but should that have stopped the audible alarm?  If not, why would the alarm have stopped?

The monitoring center did call promptly.  It was nice to see that process in action since this was the first alarm to occur since installing SimpliSafe.

Several minutes after all of this occurred, when I opened the app on my Android phone, rather than seeing the usual Off/Home/Away buttons, I saw Off/Alarm.  The Alarm button was orange.  I touched Off and then the dashboard reset with Off/Home/Away buttons.  What would have happened if I'd touched Alarm?  Would it have sounded the audible alarm again?

Following all of this, later last night when I armed our system in home mode from the app, my timeline simultaneously shows the system being armed (and it was), but also included an entry and associated recordings saying that the system was disarmed from keypad using the master PIN.  That disarm event did not occur... certainly not from the keypad and certainly not using the master PIN.  The only thing that should have happened was the system being armed based on my action in the Android app.

As all of this was going on my sweet wife reminded me how much she hates false alarms.  Thankfully this was the first.  Hopefully it will be the last.  I've wondered about replacing all of the smoke detectors in our house with SimpliSafe ones in a few years when it's time to replace them, but this experience makes me much less eager to make such a move.

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

1 y ago

Hi castewa88,

I can offer a couple of answers for the easier questions. First, the Smoke Detector is supposed to continue generating an alarm for as long as it detects particles in the chamber - or until you send a disarm signal from the Keypad. If particles are detected again, it can trigger another alarm.

As for the Timeline events - you should know that when a Smoke Detector is triggered, that also arms the system. That way, if there was a real fire, our monitoring agents can report the location where possible humans were last detected. And when you disabled the alarm, that should have disarmed the whole system as well.

Hopefully you're right and the original false alarm was caused by environmental dust (or maybe steam - is it placed near any bathroom doors by chance?). But if you get another mysterious false alarm, we'll need to do a bit more troubleshooting. We may even want to replace the unit altogether.

- Johnny M.
SimpliSafe Home Security

22 Messages

1 y ago

Not near any bathroom doors.  Really at a loss as to why the alarm sounded, but per your explanation perhaps the reason it only sounded for a short while is that the "particles in the chamber" were only very briefly present.  That part of your answer does help.

Something still doesn't seem right about the timeline events, though.  There is a timeline event showing where the system was disarmed 13 minutes after the alarm.  That would be expected as that was when I disarmed the system.  But, the system was never armed again after that, so I don't understand why there is a timeline event claiming the system was disarmed from the keypad with the master PIN at the time when I actually armed the system from a phone for the night.  The system was not armed at that point, and no one was at the keypad.

180 Messages

1 y ago

If I remember correctly, SS recommends cleaning your smoke/CO detectors monthly.  I also have a can of compressed air I use that seems to work well.

Advocate

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108 Messages

1 y ago

@Johnny M
This is in regard to: "As for the Timeline events - you should know that when a Smoke Detector is triggered, that also arms the system. That way, if there was a real fire, our monitoring agents can report the location where possible humans were last detected."

Does that apply to 100% of SS3 systems?  I have SS2 and do not have the interactive monitoring and do not have my sensors named in the system.  Therefore, should my system go off due to a smoke detector and the subsequent alarm (does that also apply to SS2?), neither the monitoring company nor the fire department would be able to use the sensor serial number to identify location of occupants.

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

1 y ago

hondaman88,

Yes, this is specifically a Gen3 feature. If a Gen2 Smoke Detector goes off, the rest of the system will stay dormant.

castewa88,

We're now getting into territory where we'd have to discuss your specific Timeline events in detail. I think it's best if we put you in touch with one of our higher-tier specialists. We'll have them reach out for a good time to call!

- Johnny M.
SimpliSafe Home Security