How Often Should Smoke Detectors Be Serviced
How Often Should Smoke Detectors Be Serviced

How Often Should Smoke Detectors Be Serviced

How Often Should Smoke Detectors Be Serviced – Question. How often should I replace hard-wired smoke detectors? And who should I hire to do it? Our 15-year-old system has five detectors. A few are buzzing and won’t stop even when we change the batteries.

A. It is past due to replace your detectors, according to the National Fire Protection Association, which recommends replacing detectors when they are 10 years old.

How Often Should Smoke Detectors Be Serviced

The top rated security system experts we spoke to said that over time, dust builds up inside smoke detectors, desensitizing the sensors. If the detector is less than 10 years old, if it beeps after you replace the battery, or if it doesn’t beep when you perform the recommended monthly test, replace it. Experts recommend replacing all connected detectors at the same time, even if some are working.

New Fire Safety Legislation

Smoke detectors are an important part of your fire prevention strategy, so you should replace yours as soon as possible. In a 2014 report, the NFPA said three out of five home fire deaths were caused by fires in homes with no or non-working smoke alarms.

You can replace hard-wired detectors yourself if you can reach them and are skilled enough to replace the light fixture. (Be sure to turn off the power at the breaker box first.) Otherwise, you can hire an electrician or alarm service company to do the job.

The price can vary greatly depending on where you live and the type and number of units being replaced, where they are placed and the condition of the wiring. The service providers we contacted charge a wide range of prices, from $35 to $40 per detector, plus $50 for service, to $135 to $155 per detector.

Install smoke alarms inside and outside every bedroom and sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home, including the basement. (Larger homes may need additional smoke alarms.)

How To Place And Maintain Smoke Alarms

Interlocking smoke alarms—hard-wired or wireless—are best because they all sound when one is activated.

Check all smoke alarms at least once a month. Just press the test button to make sure the alarm is working.

Ionizing smoke alarms provide faster warning of flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms provide faster warning of burning fires. It is good to use both types.

The smoke alarm should be high on the ceiling or wall. Installation of wall-mounted alarms should not exceed 12 inches from the ceiling to the top of the alarm.

A Guide To Smoke Detector Installation And Maintenance

Do not install smoke alarms near windows, doors or ducts, where drafts can interfere with their operation. To reduce false alarms, keep alarms at least 10 feet away from the stove. Smoke detectors are one of the first line of defense for fire protection and damage reduction. Properly installed and maintained, they can alert you to a problem at the first whiff of smoke and cut your risk of death in half.1

If your current detectors are more than 10 years old, or if you have no detectors in your home at all, invest in new ones right away.

Before you buy, do some research on the different types of smoke detector alarms. There are a variety of brands, models, and price points where you can choose the detector that best fits your security needs and budget.

The location of your home will determine how many detectors you need, but you should install at least one on each level of the home, at least one inside each bedroom and one outside each sleeping area. When calculating the number of devices you need, remember to count basements and attics as separate levels.

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Install smoke alarms as soon as possible – you don’t want to spend the night without the protection of detectors.

Place each alarm on a flat stretch of wall or ceiling, roughly in the center of the room. For wall-mounted units, make sure the detectors are about 12 inches or less from the ceiling.2 Some tips on where you should install smoke detectors.

Carefully read and follow your device’s instructions when performing installation, especially if detectors require hard-wired power. If you are nervous about the installation process, find a professional to install the alarms for you.

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Where Should Smoke Detectors Be Placed In The Home?

After installing the smoke alarm, test the detectors with everyone in the house. Press the test button on each device individually to make sure everyone can easily recognize the beep sound. This initial test is also a great time to discuss your home evacuation plan, including routes and outdoor meeting points. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends fire drills so that every member of the family is prepared and more likely to escape unscathed in the event of a fire. specifies different exercises to add.

Although some smart detectors perform self-tests, it’s usually a good idea to manually test your detectors at least once a month. To perform the test, press the test button of the smoke detector, check that the sensor is working and that the alarm is heard at the optimal volume. If there are fire alarms in areas of your home that you cannot reach, take precautions when climbing upstairs to test them. Use a sturdy stepladder—never a chair—and do these tasks when another family member is home.

If your detector is battery operated, do not wait to remove the batteries to remove them. Instead, schedule your annual battery change date around a special holiday, such as the first day of summer or Memorial Day. Choosing a familiar date will help you remember the task. Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual and follow the instructions when replacing smoke alarm batteries.

Dust and contaminants can interfere with fire alarms, so try to keep your detectors clean. Occasional dusting with a dry rag should easily remove any extraneous dust, but you’ll also want to do a more thorough cleaning every year.

Think About Fitting A Carbon Monoxide Alarm

To perform a thorough cleaning, remove the device from the wall or ceiling, remove the power supply, and then gently remove the outer casing. Carefully remove accumulated dust using a vacuum cleaner, a can of compressed air, or a dry cloth – avoid liquid sprays or cleaners. After all the dust is gone, you can reassemble the detector and place it on the wall or ceiling.

Fire safety is an important part of a homeowner’s responsibility. Hopefully you’ll never experience a house fire, but it’s a good idea to be prepared. Follow the steps above and check out our recommendations for the best fire and smoke alarms to ensure your home is as safe as possible.

Celeste has dedicated her decade-long career to reporting and commentary that helps people make informed decisions. He oversees editorial strategy and production to help everyone find the information they need to make their homes and lives safer. Prior to that, he was an editor and reporter for KSL and the Deseret News. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism. In her free time, she volunteers at a local botanical garden and writes for a community newspaper. A lock () or https:// .gov indicates that you are securely connected to the website. Share confidential information only on official, secure websites.

Kidde TruSense recalls smoke and combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarms: products may not alert you to a fire.

How Often Should I Replace My Hard Wired Smoke Detectors?

Help raise awareness in your community about the life-saving benefits of smoke alarms. Share these free materials to educate your community about fire safety and the importance of working smoke alarms in the home.

Here you will find social media content, icons, photos, videos and b-roll to raise awareness about the importance of installing and maintaining smoke alarms.

There are many brands of smoke alarms on the market, but they fall into two main types: ionization and photoelectric.

Ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms detect different types of fires. Since no one can predict what kind of fire may break out in their home, it is recommended that every home and sleeping place:

Fire Service Urges Residents To Install More Smoke Alarms During Home Safety Week

There are also alarms for people with hearing loss. These alarms may include flashing and/or oscillating strobe lights to alert those unable to hear standard smoke alarms.

Your city, county, or state may require a specific signal type. Please check with your local fire department for information on what kind of alarm you need.

Some fire departments offer low-cost or even free smoke alarms. For more information, contact the non-emergency number of your local fire department.

Smoke alarms are powered by a battery or your home’s electrical system. If the smoke alarm is battery powered, it will run on a single-use nine-volt battery or a non-replaceable 10-year lithium (“long life”) battery. Alarms that are powered by your home’s electrical system or “hard-wired” have a backup battery that usually needs to be replaced once a year.

How Often Should Smoke Alarm Batteries Be Changed? • Smoke Alarmed

Some fire departments will install battery-operated smoke alarms in your home for free. For more information, contact the non-emergency number of your local fire department.

Your smoke alarm is still there

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