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I agree on the education side of things for both contractors and building departments. In my time as a building inspector I regularly found smoke and CO alarms uncovered before occupancy. This would definitely result in contamination of the devices and unless cleaned out will most likely be the cause of the false activation.
Equally, I have completed residential license inspections as a fire inspector on new homes after occupancy and found the installation bag or tape still installed. This of course increases the response time of the device.