Toaster with a burned toast

Will a Toaster Set off a Fire Alarm? (And how to prevent it)

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Ever get up in the morning feeling super exhausted and not wanting to make breakfast? That’s a train we board daily. But things have been jolly and my stomach’s been well-fed since I purchased a toaster. But there’s one thing I have to face every morning. And that’s to deal with the smoke alarm. So, if you’re wondering will a toaster set off a fire alarm, it will.

Toasters setting off fire alarms is not an isolated incident. It happens in almost all households and it’s a drag for all of us. Most of the time it’s because you are burning the toast. But it can also be that the toaster hasn’t been cleaned properly.

Whatever the reason may be, there are several ways to tackle this problem. But initially, you must know why your toaster is setting off fire alarms. And whether you should get one in the first place. But what’s most important is the fact that once you understand what’s causing the fire alarms, you will be able to identify an actual fire hazard in the future.

Why Does the Toaster Set Off the Fire Alarm?

The most common reason for toasters setting off fire alarms is simply burnt toast. Burnt toast can produce smoke that can trigger the alarms and cause them to set off. Not cleaning your toaster regularly can also cause smoke. The dried residue left from the previous toasting can burn quickly.  

I remember the very first time I purchased my toaster. Having to finally move out and own a place was a dream come true. Minus the adulting part, I enjoyed my newfound independence. Then I realized that I no longer had the energy to make myself a proper meal 3 times a day. To make things easier for myself, I invested in numerous pieces of equipment. A toaster being one.

Now it was so much easier to just wake up in the morning, make myself toast, and venture out for another day filled with excitement. But that only lasted for so long until my fire alarm started acting like my 10-year-old sister. Nagging and crying while screaming at the top of her lungs. At first, I thought it was a one-time thing. But slowly, it got unbearable.

Afterward, I needed to find out whether it was an isolated incident. If not, I had to attend to the matter at all costs. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one facing the problem. It turns out that you didn’t always have to own a faulty toaster for your fire alarm to go off. In some cases, it had more to do with my fire alarm than my toaster. 

The fire alarm at my place was quite sensitive, to say the least. Even a small dust particle was enough to set it off. Whereas a toaster is a whole another story. 

Thus, when I was toasting my bread, the fire alarm detected the slight smoke and vapor and decided to go rogue. It was also due to the proximity of the alarm. The kitchen was too close to the fire alarm. And so was the toaster. In such cases, the instances of the alarm going off became repetitive.

At the end of the day, I realized that the instances of the smoke alarm going off relied on two factors:

  • The proximity or how far the toaster is from the fire alarm
  • How much smoke is coming out from the toaster? More smoke was inevitable if the toaster was dated. Either way, smoke was heavily responsible for setting off the alarm.
  • Poor ventilated area. If your toaster vapor or smoke has nowhere else to go, it will directly come in contact with the fire alarm and set it off. It is better to have a few windows open so that mishaps like these don’t happen regularly.

It is always a good idea to keep both your toaster and your fire alarm in check to see if they have any problems.

How To Stop A Toaster from Setting Off Alarm?

It all comes down to properly managing and taking care of your smoke alarm as well as your toaster. But there are also other ways to refrain from setting off the smoke alarm. I already listed the reasons so let’s talk about some of the solutions that I tried for myself.

  1. Cleaning the toaster 

Once I moved out, I realized I could no longer force my younger siblings to clean my stuff. Now that I have new appliances to take care of, it was overwhelming to do so much cleaning. As a result, I wasn’t able to clean my toaster regularly. And this added to the increase in the number of times the smoke alarm went off.

Now I didn’t throw the toaster in the dishwasher after that. But I did start taking good care of it. Regular maintenance was crucial for it to function properly. When I wasn’t taking good care of it, I saw a lot of dust and crumbs collecting in it. And due to these particles, I didn’t even have to burn my toast to set the alarm off. 

The accumulated dust and particles generated more smoke and set off the alarm right off the bat. So, I made sure to always clean the crumbs from the tray so that it didn’t get more toasted and charred causing the toaster to set off the alarm

  1. Moving the toaster

My fire alarm is very close to the kitchen. While this was a fault in the design in the first place, it did make it more difficult for me to move my toaster. If I didn’t keep it in my kitchen then where else was I supposed to put it? In the bedroom? But I did end up shifting it next to my study room. Grab a toast right after an assignment. That was the intention.

But I didn’t have to make such a drastic shift. Afterward, I made sure that my toaster was not directly underneath the smoke detector or even next to it. But I was only able to do it because I could find another outlet to plug my toaster in.

  1. Ventilate the kitchen

If an area does not have good ventilation, air will not be able to escape. The trapped air and smoke will find a way toward the smoke alarm and set it off. But I was able to eliminate this issue by just opening a few doors and windows. There are also kitchen ventilations that I also looked into.

For further help, I even installed a fan to assist the air out of the kitchen. And I could see that the chances of my fire alarm being set off slowly decreased.

  1. Claim warranty or get it fixed

If you’ve been using the toaster for a while and it suddenly started to cause your fire alarm to go off, then it could be an issue with the toaster itself. If none of the fixers above solved your issue, then there is certainly some electrical fault. 

If the toaster still has its warranty then try making a warranty claim. Or not, take it to your nearest repair store to get it diagnosed and fixed. 

  1. Getting a new toaster

If nothing else works, changing the toaster is the best bet. There’s no use in continuously working with a burnt-out toaster that will set the fire alarm off with every use. If your toaster is malfunctioning, it will not only be toasting the bread but the insides of it as well. And that right there is a fire hazard.

So, if you experience more smoke than usual coming out of your toaster, or smell burning plastic, it’s time that you go and buy yourself a new and properly functioning toaster.

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