Kitchen Smoke Alarm

Which room is full of high-power electrical appliances, often running unattended, that might start a fire? The kitchen. And if your cooking skills are like mine, in which room do you regularly make clouds of smoke that annoyingly trigger any smoke alarm? The kitchen.

So the problem is that the room in which you are most likely (perhaps) to have a fire start is also the last room you want a smoke alarm in, because of false alarms.

My low-tech (and therefore very cheap) solution is simply to have a smoke alarm that can work out when it is night-time, by having a light sensor. Smoke alarms are only really important when you are asleep. So when night comes and the kitchen lights go out, it should arm itself; by day, it should keep quiet and so ignore cooking fumes.

This needs some refinement: a few minutes of bright flames should not allow it to decide it is daytime and switch off, as this would rather defeat the object. And this scheme is not perfect: a fire in the early morning, when daylight may have come several hours before the house occupants wake up, could be missed. But given a choice between no smoke alarm at all in the kitchen, and one that at least gives a good measure of protection, that's not bad.

Better protection could be had using timers or manual overrides, but these would be more complex (i.e. expensive) and need user interaction. People want cheap smoke alarms that they can fit and forget.

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