Smoke Detectors

The following are tips to keep in mind when it comes to smoke detectors.
  • Periodically test all your smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and check each detector in your home at least once a month.
  • Change the batteries in your smoke detector at least twice per year.
  • When you change the battery, plan on cleaning the detector at the same time. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to clean it.
  • Promptly replace the battery when the low-battery indicator makes a "chirping" sound. Plan to replace the battery in the alarm at least twice a year. We recommend that you replace the battery when you change your clocks for daylight saving time in the spring and when you change back to standard time in the fall.
  • Make sure all people living in your home are familiar with the sound of the alarm. Studies have demonstrated that the sound of the alarm may not awaken children.
  • Use a permanent marker to write the purchase date on the inside of the removable cover and replace your detector with a new one about every ten years. Smoke detectors with 10-year batteries are now available; follow the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations for battery replacement for a detector with a long-life battery.
  • Install a smoke detector outside sleeping areas and on every level of your home, including the basement.

A woman changing the batteries in a smoke detector