Smoke alarm with hanging on/off button or remote turn on/off capabilities

IT Guy
IT Guy used Ask the Experts™
Lots of times when I use the oven in my kitchen to cook it sets off the smoke alarm in a nearby hallway.

I would like to purchase a smoke alarm that has a remote way of turning it on and off (with either a remote control or an app installed on my iPhone X) or a hanging on/off switch (that will hang down from the ceiling and allow me to turn the alarm off whenever I am cooking and then turn it back on afterwards).

What type of smoke alarms have these capabilities and where can I buy such smoke alarms from?
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Top Expert 2013

i would not use an alarm that can be turned off. (if you forget to turn it on, you have NO alarm)
but cooking should not set off the smoke alarm, so i would buy one that does not do that
IT GuyNetwork Engineer


I have several other smoke alarms in the same house that will not ever be turned off so this won't be a problem.

There has to be a smoke alarm made like this somewhere that is already being made without me having to modify a smoke alarm myself or manually remove the battery every time which is what I am looking for.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

I've only ever seen a smoke detector that had a "mute" function via a button at a trade show I once attended, but have never needed to use one myself. Most of the cheap battery units that are being sold all over the place in department stores etc don't even have a mute button, let alone an "off" feature, nor should they in my opinion. Or if they did, they would need to be able to revert back to an armed state after a given period of minutes so as to defeat the chances of people just forgetting to turn them back on again.

Tried looking on Amazon? I see a few units with a mute (or hush) function there. Never heard of one that could be turned off though.
Become a CompTIA Certified Healthcare IT Tech

This course will help prep you to earn the CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician certification showing that you have the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in installing, managing, and troubleshooting IT systems in medical and clinical settings.

Is the existing smoke alarm in the hallway hard-wired to the mains circuit or is it battery powered?

If it is mains powered I have an idea, but that's all it is because I don't know how these switches work.  Extractor fans often have a run-on timer switch (built-in or standalone box) so that the fan keeps running and extracting air for a set number of minutes after the fan is turned off by a pull switch or light switch.  Somebody with more knowledge of electrics than me would have to say whether the idea would work or not.  I wonder whether, by switching the wiring around in a standalone run-on timer control, the principle could work in reverse to turn something back on again after a preset interval after it as been turned off?

I don't know how these controls work though.  It probably won't work the opposite way because of the way the timer has to be triggered.  From the description of one such control is says:
"The timing period is started when the live (trigger) is applied and removed from the ‘t’ input."

Any electricians out there to give a "possible" or "impossible" answer to my idea?

If the smoke alarm works from an internal battery only, then it should be easy enough to divert the wires and connect them to a simple pull or push switch.  There seem to be a massive range of timer controls for automotive and home automation uses, but the ones I am seeing work from 12 volts.  Most battery powered smoke alarms use a 9 volt rectangular "PP3" batteries.
I did some research on smoke alarms that are described as being "toast proof", for example:
<brand and model> Smoke alarm 'Toast-Proof  Smoke alarm'.
The <brand and model> has a thermal optical smoke sensor, making it less prone to false alarms from common cooking fumes, which leads to fewer unnecessary interruptions and false alarms.

I assume that "thermal optical smoke sensor" means that it is a heat sensor combined with a standard smoke detector.  I found numerous bad reviews by consumer groups that resulted in product recalls for non-compliance when these failed to trigger during a standard test of smouldering wood chippings.  In other words, desensitising a smoke alarm so that it doesn't trigger when making toast or grilling bacon may leave it ineffective while something else is smouldering and is about to cause a full-blown fire.

Here is a good resource that describes the 4 different kinds of smoke/fire detectors along with the pros and cons:

"Some people find their alarms are frequently set off when they are cooking or when the toast burns. An alarm installed inside the kitchen must be a heat alarm rather than a smoke alarm. Just outside a kitchen (eg in hall or dining room) an optical smoke alarm or, even better, a combined smoke and heat alarm should be installed, as these are less sensitive to false alarm."
Top Expert 2016
get a smoke detector with a mute button and use a dowel or other type of prod to press the button. This is what I do.
Martin NguyenHelpDesk Technician
Distinguished Expert 2018
Nest Protect 2nd generation models can be silenced when they've gone off through an app on your phone. I used this page as a reference They do say they it cannot be silenced if the smoke levels are higher than allowed by law. Most e-commerce sites and large electronics hardware stores carry them.

Is the alarm in the nearby hallway overly sensitive? Could you open some windows between your kitchen and the hallway to help vent some of the smoke outside? Another option that might work is if your oven is connected to a range or stove-top, and that has a ventilation fan, you can try to run that fan to cycle and filter some of the smoke coming out of your oven.

Hope this helps,
Thank you IT Guy

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial