how to not get caught pulling the fire alarm?
Go in control panel, then in system, then in device manager. Look for your sound card in your list of installed devices. If its there, write down the name and google it for driver downloads. Run the drivers, and it might help. If its not under device manager, you computer doesnt see it, and you will probably need to open your computer and make sure its plugged in all the way, and has any necessary cords plugged into it.
It sounds like your alarm is an ionization smoke alarm. This type of alarm is ultra sensitive and steam, cooking fumes, etc. will set it off. The other type alarm available is a photo cell type which is not as sensitive. Your local Fire Dept. can tell you which alarm is required by code. Whether the alarms are battery or electric operated, a replacement should cost about $15 - $20 each at any Big Box store. Ionization alarm is usually required near the kitchen area.