In our work, we have seen countless fires cause significant damage that was entirely preventable. To take the first step in preventing fire damage in your home, follow this simple guide to ensure your smoke detectors are working correctly and are replaced when need be.
How will I know if my smoke alarm is working correctly?
Most smoke alarms are simply designed to do their job and let you know when they cannot do so. Because there are several brands and models, we cannot say surely how you will know if your smoke alarm is working properly but most devices have a button that is constantly blinking to affirm that it is working. Furthermore, the best way to tell for any device is to use the “test” button. If your detector sounds off after holding the button, it is working properly. If this is not the case, you will need to make a change accordingly.
My alarm didn’t sound when I pressed the “test” button. What now?
Most smoke detectors will tell you when they aren’t working by beeping slowly and consistently when the batteries are running low or the device needs to be replaced. In addition to beeping, many devices have a “low battery” button that will blink when necessary. This will be a clear warning that should give you sufficient time to find a solution. The first step to take is to replace the batteries to see if this is the issue. If this does not solve the problem, it is likely the device itself that needs to be replaced. 24 Fire recommends testing your smoke alarms once a month to ensure they are working properly.
How often do I need to replace my smoke detector?
While shelf lives vary among products, the general rule is to replace smoke alarms every ten years. If you are unsure of when your smoke alarm was installed, you can check the manufacture date listed on the back of your device.
How can I replace the batteries in my smoke detector?
Most devices have a quick and easy way to get your alarms working again. Most models need to be turned counterclockwise until they the cover comes off. You will see where your old batteries are placed. Remove the used batteries and insert new ones. Replace the cover and turn counterclockwise until it clicks. Press the “test” button to make sure your device is now working.
How should I go about replacing my smoke alarms?
If you need to replace your devices, that means it has been a significant amount of time between when your current device was made and when today’s models have been produced. You can now buy smoke alarms for your entire home that are interconnected. 24 Fire recommends purchasing interconnected detectors because if one device sounds off, they all will. This is the best way to assure your whole family will be alerted if there is smoke detected anywhere in your home.