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Maintaining Your Smoke Alarm

Category Home Safety
Man Servicing Smoke Alarm
Smoke alarms can save you and your family from disaster when regularly serviced, but occasionally can be problematic. This guide is about maintaining your smoke alarm.
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November 8, 2010

Remember that most areas of the US set their clocks back one hour this weekend (officially I believe at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning). Spring forward and fall back.

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The twice a year time change is also a great time to change out your smoke alarm batteries, and if needed, your smoke alarms.

Most smoke alarms are only recommended to be used for not more than 10 years. After that, they become clogged with dust and the sensors fail.

If you are unable to change your own out, call your local American Red Cross or fire department. Many will provide and install new ones at no charge. Even if they don't provide them, if you purchase them they will send someone over to help you install them at no charge.

Smoke alarms can be purchased for as little as $4.50 at home stores. Saving the life of your family is worth much more than that.

Do not install alarms in areas where they are easily tripped, such as over the fireplace or kitchen stove. When installed there, people tend to disconnect them for sounding off falsely and you have then defeated their purpose.

Install them in the center of the room, away from ceiling fans. Ideally one should be in each bedroom, living and dining rooms, basement rooms and hallways. If you can, also install in the kitchen away from stoves or grease sources (like the fry daddy on the counter).

Source: I am a firefighter and help with public education programs

By mom-from-missouri from NW Missouri

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Comment Was this helpful? 3

By 1 found this helpful
June 5, 2012

Brush out and clean smoke detectors each season to prevent false activation. I had to call our fire dept. during night hours because our detector activated and we could not find a reason, nor could we turn it off. The firemen removed the cover and found accumulated dust spiders and bugs which activated the alarm.

By ang from Southington, CT

Comment Was this helpful? 1

June 15, 20050 found this helpful

While you're dusting, make sure you consider your smoke alarm(s). Dust in or around your smoke alarm can cause it to malfunction when you need it the most. Clean the front cover, take it off and vacuum the inside of the cover, as well as the inside of your detector. Do this a few times each year. While doing this, it is a good time to test your batteries and see if you need to replace them.

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By Terri

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
December 21, 2009

My smoke alarm is chirping at present. I have tried to remove the outer case to replace the battery, but it is impossible, seems to be stuck. It is a smoke alarm which was installed in the house when built. Any advise?

By Linda

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 21, 20090 found this helpful

Getting the lid off can be a pain. There's usually a little tab that's supposed to give to pressure. Just keep trying; my son finally got ours off after I was sure it wouldn't.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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December 21, 20090 found this helpful

Removing smoke detector covers can be difficult. Usually a tab has to be depressed. Try usinf a small flat blade screwdriver. Replace the battery with an ALKALINE battery. Ordinary batteries may be fully charged but will not work in a smoke detector. Good luck!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
December 25, 20090 found this helpful

There is a door in the side that when depressed opens. The whole cover does not come off. When you get the door open (not easy), slide out the old battery and insert a fresh alkaline one, close door and test it. Mine are sensitive and don't work with all batteries.Some are fresh and still chirp because they aren't compatible with my brand smoke detector. Get on a ladder so you are eye level with the detector to see the door that needs to be opened. Jill

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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December 26, 20090 found this helpful

I would get the brand name off the cover and google it...there is usually an owner's manual on line that will tell you how to get the cover off without breaking it! Or phone the manufacturer and ask. There are so many different ways these covers come off!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
September 4, 2016

The LED light on my smoke alarm does not flash, yet the test button sounds when pressed. A new battery was installed this past April. Is it time for a new alarm?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
February 6, 20170 found this helpful

It might be time for a new one, or if the little LED light could be replaced, that might fix your problem.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 1, 20170 found this helpful

I would write the company. You have not had this product a year, and they should send you a new one.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

April 1, 20130 found this helpful

Where would I find my smoke alarm battery? I need to change it because its beeping every 30 seconds. How do I change it?

By Phil m

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 2, 20130 found this helpful

It's the only 9 volt battery in the back. Good luck.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 4, 20130 found this helpful

Batteries are meant to be changed out every 6 months. Fire code suggestion. Take alarm off the wall, turn it around, there it is. Even if you test it and it is good, replace. Your life is not worth the $3 battery.

Same time, check your CO detector. If it has a battery backup, change that too.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

September 30, 20130 found this helpful

It'll be the first time I test the smoke alarms and as I have 3 (one on each floor ) all of which would go off when I test one, I wanted to know how I turn them off. (I've lost the booklet.) Do I have to run upstairs and turn each one off individually?

By CMD

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

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November 8, 20100 found this helpful

Daylight savings time is a good time to change your batteries in your smoke alarms. Most safety companies and fire departments recommend the batteries be changed every 6 months, which happens to be about the same as daylight savings time.

By April from NW Missouri

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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