Moved into a "new to us" home a few months ago. Made a small renovation (halved the kitchen and created a spare room). Four usable rooms total and a furnace/hot water heater utility room on 1st floor - and we have FOUR hardwired smoke/CO alarms in close proximity just down here alone. There is also one hardwired smoke detector on the 2nd floor, and one separate smoke/CO installed by ADT serviced though the security system on the first floor. We think there are TOO MANY detectors on the first floor, but we went by local code. We hate them. They are going off ALL THE TIME when we cook. I'm scared each time I cook. Today, husband cooked bacon, with the windows open and a useless exhaust fan (just sucks up and back into the kitchen) and the fire alarm went off several times - loud as can be - just about gives us heart attacks and scares the bejeebers out of the dog. Can we simply unplug, and leave unplugged, ONE of the hard wired alarms, and leave the rest? Will unplugging the one (they are 3 in very close proximity) allow the other 4 to work interconnectedly? These are plug in type, sealed batteries. Help. We're losing our minds over here.
You need to find out:
- What type of detectors you have
- Are the detectors appropriate for the locations and are they installed properly
- What alarm conditions are occurring
Anecdotally, this sounds like (a) more detectors than needed and/or (b) wrong type/location. But there are too many unknowns to start simply disconnecting things. A few things to consider (all related to the above facts, once determined):
- Smoke detectors can work a couple of different ways (ionization vs. photoelectric) and are sensitive to different types of fires to different degrees. They are not "one size fits all", though due to short-sighted regulations (IMNSHO), some places may not give you options.
- Almost certainly CO (carbon monoxide - deadly at low levels and shouldn't be present in your home at all) detector, not CO2 (carbon dioxide - deadly at high levels but produced naturally by people & pets). If you are getting CO alarms (as opposed to smoke or heat), that is a real, serious, do something about it concern.
- There are guidelines from detector manufacturers about how/where to place detectors relative to cooking appliances to minimize false alarms. I have had smoke detectors go off due to cooking, but not due to normal cooking.
Your exhaust vent issue is a major factor.
A kitchen exhaust fan has two separate purposes:
- Remove cooking smells, smoke and particulate from the air.
A well-designed, filtered, properly functioning recirculating fan can do that. It pulls the dirty air in through a filter and sends out (mostly, hopefully) clean air. A simple exhaust fan will often do a better job, but a recirculating fan can take care of this.
- Remove CO and CO2 from the kitchen.
The only practical way to do this, unless you are on a submarine or spacecraft where the expense of special equipment is warranted, is to exhaust the air to the outside. This is not a concern for electric cooktops. It is a must for natural gas/propane cooktops.
If your cooktop is on an outside wall then generally this is straightforward - mainly a matter of figuring out how to cut an appropriate size hole through the wall behind the fan.
If your cooktop is on an inside wall then you have to go up to the roof (often that means going up through cabinets, taking away some cabinet space) or up to the ceiling and across to the nearest outside wall.
If your cooktop is on an island then you have to have an exhaust hood hanging down from the ceiling.