There is always some risk when using appliances that have a heating element. Such appliances need to be used as recommended and handled with caution.
An electric kettle is one of the most common appliances used in the household with a heating element. While electric kettles are generally safe and quite simple to use, they can still set off smoke and fire alarms.
Here’s Why Electric Kettles Can Set Off Fire Alarms:
Electric kettles can set off fire alarms because of their interior heating element. When not used as prescribed, an electric kettle can get too hot and create steam. The steam emitted by the kettle can set off a fire alarm, especially if the steam is too hot and close to the detector.
Do All Electric Kettles Set Off Fire Alarms?
One of the best things about having an electric kettle is that it is very convenient for something so simple.
Just fill it up with water at recommended levels and turn it on. You don’t even have to watch it.
All electric kettles nowadays turn off on their own because they have a thermostat that triggers the power to shut off once a certain temperature is detected.
An electric kettle running with very little water will eventually boil dry. This, in turn, would cause the kettle to overheat, and it can set off a fire alarm.
An electric kettle with too much water can cause an overflow of hot water. It can also create too much steam, and once emitted, this can set off a fire alarm.
If you use your electric kettle as recommended by the manufacturer, it will not set off a fire alarm. So, fill it up with water at least to the minimum water level line, and never fill it over the maximum water level line.
If your electric kettle is too close to the smoke detector, it can also easily trigger a fire alarm. Even the smallest steam from the spot set can create a false fire alarm.
If the electric kettle is used properly and not too close to a smoke detector, it will not set off fire alarms.
How Hot Does Steam Have To Be To Set Off A Fire Alarm?
Steam is one of the most common causes of false alarms. Because changes in temperature trigger smoke detectors, even a small amount of hot steam can set off a fire alarm.
Smoke detectors are very sensitive to temperature changes; even steam from a shower or cooking can be detected and set off a fire alarm.
Generally, when steam reaches 135 degrees F or 57 degrees C, it is already considered hot enough to trigger an alarm.
Once this temperature is detected from the emitted steam, the smoke detector will send a signal to the fire alarm panel and set it off.
At What Distance From The Smoke Detector Should Electric Kettles Be Placed?
A big factor to consider when setting up your kitchen is the distance of the smoke detector from your appliances.
Smoke detectors are sensitive enough to detect even the slightest temperature changes. So your fire alarm may go off even if you are cooking or boiling water, and it gets too hot.
When placing your electric kettle, ensure it is at least 10 feet or 3 meters from the smoke detector.
Anything closer than that and your smoke detector will be easily triggered, causing your fire alarm to set off. This goes for all kitchen appliances with a heating element.
This means that all appliances you use for cooking, such as the stove, the oven, and the microwave, should also be at least 10 feet away from the smoke detector.
How Can You Prevent An Electric Kettle From Setting Off A Smoke Alarm?
No one likes annoying alarms, especially when they are accidentally set off. These fire alarms are noisy and can be a hassle to turn off.
Here are ways that you can prevent your electric kettle from setting off a fire alarm:
Use Your Electric Kettle as Recommended
When handling appliances with a heating element such as electric kettles, always use them as the manufacturer prescribers.
Misusing your electric kettle or letting it boil dry can cause it to overheat, which can set off a fire alarm.
Do Not Under-Fill or Overfill Your Electric Kettle
Filling the kettle below the minimum or over the maximum can set off fire alarms.
Always follow the prescribed water levels when filling up your electric kettle.
Place Your Kettle Far from the Smoke Detector
There should always be a good distance between the smoke detector and kitchen appliances, including the electric kettle. This is to prevent these appliances from triggering a false fire alarm.
Make sure that there is at least 10 feet or 3 meters distance between your electric kettle and the smoke detector, so the steam from the kettle does not set off any alarms.
Change the Batteries of Your Smoke Detector Regularly
Smoke detectors may not function as expected if you do not change the batteries regularly.
If your smoke detector is not functioning properly, even a tiny temperature change can trigger a false alarm, which can be annoying.
Install an Exhaust Fan & Maintain it Regularly
Exhaust fans primarily function to remove stale, dirty, or muggy air. They can also remove moisture, unpleasant odors, smoke, and other pollutants in the air.
Most kitchens have an exhaust fan, but if your kitchen does not have one, installing one is always a good idea. An exhaust fan can remove air steam, potentially setting off a false fire alarm.
If you already have an exhaust fan in your kitchen, clean and maintain it regularly. Exhaust fans can gather a lot of dust which can affect their functionality.
Make Sure Your Kitchen Is Well-Ventilated
Ventilation is very important, especially in the kitchen, where steam may be commonly present because of the heating appliances placed in these areas of the house.
When setting up your kitchen, ensure that the area has proper ventilation. Get an expert to check and inspect your kitchen to prevent false fire alarms.
Get Your House Inspected Annually
Having your house inspected at least once a year is a great way to ensure that all your smoke detectors and fire alarms are working properly.
Regular inspections can also help you find out if there is anything in your house that can cause potential false fire alarms so that you can fix it.
While it is not very common for electric kettles to set off fire alarms, it does happen.
If you use your electric kettle properly, keep it at a good distance from your smoke detectors, and ensure that your smoke detectors and alarms are working well, then you can avoid setting off false fire alarms.