How to Care for Your Smoke Alarm

How to Care for Your Smoke Alarm

According to NFPA research, a home fire occurs every 86 seconds in America. A number of homeowners have installed a smoke detector to prevent potential danger. But most of them may not recognize the importance of the smoke alarm maintenance. Here in this article, we will share some tips to check if your alarm is in working condition.


Test It Monthly

As an important home security equipment, no matter what kind of smoke alarm you are using, you need to check the detector once a month to ensure it still works. You don’t have to take it down, just use a ladder to reach your smoke detector and press the button. It works fine if it sounds. But if it cannot issue an audible beep, you should change the battery inside.

Before replacing the battery, check if your alarm is a hard-wired one or battery powered one.

Hardwired detector: Hardwired detector cannot be removed from the ceiling. But it normally has a backup battery. If you don’t have a backup battery, replace it with another hardwired unit.

Battery powered detector: Battery operated alarm can be easily removed from its base. But you have to take down the detector to replace the battery as the battery compartment is hidden inside.


Clean Your Alarm Twice a Year

Dust, debris and containment will interfere the detector’s normal function, which makes it necessary to thoroughly clean the smoke alarm twice a year. Occasionally use a vacuum to remove the dust around the gadget or use a toothpick to clean away the cobweb regularly.


Replace the Smoke Alarm Every 2 Years

Normally a smoke alarm have a maximum service life of 10 years, but it doesn’t mean that it will be effective for that long. Outdated alarms lose sensitivity and may not work properly after several years of service, so it is suggested you stay on the safe side and regularly replace the entire fire detector. In order to remind yourself of the important task, choose special date like your birthday or anniversary to change the unit.


Warm note: Do not paint your smoke alarm as it will block the openings and interfere its function.

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  • Arlene Kerley
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