Smoke alarms are sensitive devices that are designed to respond to small particles of combustion (smoke). However, since smoke alarms do respond to particles in the air, they are susceptible to triggering an alarm when encountering particles in the air other than smoke.
Typically, a build up of dust or debris in a smoke alarm may eventually result in a false alarm.
Additionally, if small insects enter or nest in the internal detection chamber, the smoke alarm will sound its alarm horn. This is mostly prevalent in the late night hours when insects are most active.
To help keep dust, debris and nesting insects out of the smoke alarm it is recommended to clean the alarm at least a couple times a year with a powerful vacuum cleaner or a small can of compressed air.
You should also avoid installation in areas where these types of particles are commonly present such as garages