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Caring for your Smoke Detector

Did you know......

The National Fire Protection Association says that while 13 of every 14 homes have at least one smoke detector, almost half of home fires and three-fifths of fire deaths occur in the share with no detectors. Also, there are now more homes with smoke detectors that don't work than homes with no detectors at all.

Once a Year

Replace the Battery. The average 9-volt battery needs to be replaced after one year of 'service' in your family's smoke detector. Multi-year batteries, used in some newer smoke detectors, should be maintained as per the manufacturer's instructions.




 A smoke detector will do its job - detect small amounts of smoke and sound an alarm, if the proper maintenance is taken. Follow the manufacturer instructions that came with your smoke detector. This page lists some suggestions  to assist you in the care of your smoke detector.

Once a Week or Once a Month

Check the Battery. To find out how to test your smoke detector, read the manufacturer's instructions. Most smoke detectors have a button that your press; if the smoke detector is working, the alarm will beep. If you hear only a chirp or nothing at all, you need to replace the battery.

Related Links

Smoke Detector Locations

Smoke Detector Certifications

Smoke Detector Disposal

Last modified: Wednesday, June 30, 2004


Dust Your Smoke Detector

Dust often collects in smoke detectors, and it can cause the smoke detector to give a false alarm. The easiest way to remove this dust is to take the top off of the smoke detector and vacuum the inside, using the drapery-cleaning attachment of a vacuum cleaner.

Once Every Ten Years

Replace the Whole Detector. Even with good upkeep, most smoke detectors have a life span of ten years. Remove the smoke detector, follow the manufacturer's directions for disposing of the smoke detector, and replace it with a brand new smoke detector. Some newer smoke detectors have their ten-year anniversary imprinted on the cover; if you are unsure of your smoke detector's age, it is always better to err on the side of safety.


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