How to Cover a Smoke Detector?

A smoke detector, as the name suggests, is a device that detects smoke that may cause a fire. A smoke detector goes off even when there is the slightest smoke, this might be annoying, but the instant notification at the beginning of fire is life-saving. There are various triggers of fire, it could be something as small as a plugged-in electric device or a kitchen mishap, either way, having a smoke detector installed is crucial for safety. 

As helpful as it is, smoke detectors can sometimes become a nuisance. Imagine sizzling your veggies and steak for a date night, and the smoke detector goes off! It is instances like these when you wish to turn the device off temporarily. 

What better way to prevent your smoke detector from going off than covering it?

If you are seeking helpful and quick methods of covering your smoke detector, you are in the right place. We will give you quick tips on covering your smoke detector that will make your day so much easier. 

Do Smoke Detectors Ever Cause Inconvenience?

Although smoke detectors are an important safety feature in houses, there are times when they may cause an inconvenience. One example could be how different cooking techniques like the flame could potentially trigger the alarm whilst one is cooking. 

As annoying as the beeping sound of the alarm is, smoke detectors connected to sprinklers could cause an even bigger problem. Similar issues arise when people decide to have an indoor barbeque, without proper ventilation for the smoke, there is a high probability that your smoke detector would go off, ruining the whole mood.

Now you might want to simply turn off the detector but it can be dangerous, what if you forget to turn it on. Having it covered will make it visible to you and you will eventually uncover it. 

3 Ways Of Covering A Smoke Detector

Here are the top three foolproof tips on covering your smoke detectors. 

Method 1: Hiding the sensor chamber via tape

This is how you can hide the sensor chamber using tape.

Find Your Smoke Detector’s Sensor Chamber

Each smoke detector comes with a tiny inner chamber that consumes small quantities of air to see if there is smoke. This sensor triggers the alarm when it picks up on smoke. Many latest units display the open case design featuring narrow windows that surround the bottom of the detector’s structure.

Finding this chamber on older models of smoke detectors can be quite a handful. This is because they’re usually on the top where the device is fixed into the ceiling but still easy to find. However, we advise caution when locating the chamber on a unit already fixed since you could lose your balance while searching the device.

Cover the Sensor

To cover the chamber, using adhesive tape is the best option. Duct tape and electrical tape are good choices as they cling well and are usually bright in color.  It should be long enough to cover the whole passage. Fix the tape in place and check to see if it has been properly pressed.

It is advisable to select a tape with bright colors so that you remember to remove it later. Even if you have prized memory, still it is always advised to exercise caution, since leaving it on and forgetting about it could be very dangerous. 

Warning: A covered smoke detector will not alert you in case of a fire. Always discuss the decision with someone who can remind you to take the tape off or use tape that catches the eye and reminds you.

Removing the Tape

When removing the tape from the detector, make sure the air in the room is smoke-free. Since the sensor chamber has been covered for some time it could be more sensitive. Ensure proper ventilation to clear the air out before doing this.

Method 2: Sealing the detector inside a plastic bag

Covering the smoke detector with a plastic bag can be a quick fix. Although it isn’t stylish, it gets the job done.  Sealed quarter bags are perfect for most smoke detectors but a grocery bag is suitable too if it’s absent of holes. It is still advised to have some sort of colored indicator on the bag to draw your attention towards it so you don’t forget it’s there.

Secure It With a Rubber Band

To fix the plastic bag on the smoke detector you would need a rubber band to secure it in place. Open the bag and position it on the unit. Stretch the rubber band on the upper part of the bag where its mouth joins the ceiling. 

In case you don’t have a rubber band, wrap the upper part of the bag with tape. Make sure that the bag is tightly wrapped around the detector and no air can get inside. If this is not done right, the smoke will trigger the alarm. 

Reactivate the Detector

Pull off the rubber band when you are ready to reactivate your smoke detector. You should wait until the air is clean before doing this. 

While removing the material, keep the bag where it is and unwrap the tape or rubber band. It is advised to not use the bag for any other purposes later. 

Method 3: Covering the detector with a shower cap

To cover your smoke detector with this method, you would need a shower cap. Make sure to buy an affordable shower cap that has no holes in it. We advise buying a new shower cap since used ones are stretched out and harder to seal. 

It is important to use a cap without holes in it. Smoke could potentially enter through these holes and trigger a false alarm. 

Covering the Detector

Stretch the shower cap on the whole unit and make sure you cover the thing properly. Shower caps come with elastic bands at the bottom. These bands expand or contract to fit numerous head sizes. Hence shower caps are perfect to slip on and off all objects including the smoke detector.


Uncover the detector when the air is clear. Take off the shower cap and throw it in the trash or keep it for future use. You can keep the shower cap in the drawer or cabinet to find it easily.

However, if you continue to use one shower cap for a long time there are chances that mold will grow inside it. If this happens, discard the cap immediately.

But generally speaking, a shower cap is a better and safer choice as compared to tape. This is because you may forget about applying tape on the detector but a shower cap is very visible.

To avoid the shower cap from falling off, make sure that the elastic band is placed on the top of the smoke detector between the ceiling and housing.

Warning: This method is not helpful if your smoke detector is smaller than the elastic band of the shower cap when it is in a relaxed position.

If you do not want your smoke detector to go off during cooking, painting, or any other task, it is better to learn how to cover it. But for any other reason, it is advised not to do anything as it is a safety device.


What can I utilize for covering my smoke detector?

Take a piece of aluminum foil to fit on the unit and also on the sides. Wrap the piece of aluminum foil around the detector. This is enough to make it fixed in place but if it doesn’t, use a big rubber band around it.

How can I make my smoke detector stop chirping?

A smoke detector can chirp due to various reasons related to an improperly installed battery, electricity, or environment. The solution varies depending on the reason for chirping but in the case of an improperly installed battery, check if the recommended battery is properly installed, if the battery has a use-by date by at least 4 years, and if the battery is securely fixed. If the detector has a front-load battery, make sure that the battery compartment door is properly closed.
When it comes to environmental reasons, excess airflow, humidity, condensation, unsuitable temperature, and steam are why your detector might be chirping. In case of these situations, you should reset or move the alarm to another place.

Will my smoke detector go off if I cover it?

Covering the detector with a dishcloth is suitable. For temporarily disabling the smoke detector, you can utilize a rubber band, shower cap, or plastic wrap too. However, no matter what material you use, remember to uncover it later.

Is a battery smoke detector better or a hardwired one?

Hardwired smoke detectors are more reliable because they are linked to a power supply. After the smoke detector goes off, it won’t stop until you turn it off. When it comes to power disturbances, hardwired smoke detectors are equipped with battery backup to offer continuous performance. However, the smoke detectors operating on batteries depend solely on the battery for power.

Can hardwired smoke detectors work without any battery?

Smoke detectors gain power in two ways only. Some are powered by batteries having either a 10-year lithium battery or a 9-watt battery. Without these batteries, the units cannot go off. Hardwired smoke detectors usually come with a battery backup in case the electricity runs out.

How are smoke detectors capable of detecting smoke?

Smoke detectors detect fire via tiny particles in the atmosphere. This is sensed by different types of technologies. After the detection of these particles in the air that have exceeded a particular limit, they send a signal for the detector to go off. The warning sound allows you to prepare for your safety and call 911.