It's probably one of the last things on your mind especially if you're doing renovations on your home, but fire departments are having to respond to false fire alarms.

Information from the Lafayette Fire Department indicates that the removal of sheetrock in flood damaged homes has lead to an increase in the number of false alarms being sent to fire stations in the parish.

Hundreds of people across Lafayette Parish have been removing sheetrock from their homes so their homes can dry out, paving the way for reconstruction of the interiors of their homes.

The dust from sheetrock is getting into fire alarms and sending false alerts to fire stations from homes that are connected to an alarm response center. Many people have their fire alarms hooked into their home security system so that when a fire is detected, their alarm company can have the fire department respond immediately.

Here are two pieces of advice from the Lafayette Fire Department:

" 1. During the demolition and renovation phases, while the structure is occupied, we encourage owners to place their fire alarm in “test mode”. This is accomplished by calling your monitoring company notifying them of your intent. You should do this before work is performed. Once you are complete, for that day, call monitoring company and remove your system out of “test mode”.

2. Another solution would be to shield the dust particles by bagging the smoke alarm while work is being performed and the house occupied. Once you are done for the day, remove the bag."

The fire department is hoping that anyone who has a fire alarm that would send an automatic call for service would use one of these methods while dealing with the refurbishment of their homes.

Department officials say the false alarms are tying up the needed resources of the department.