Do You Practice Proper Smoke Detector Maintenance?

Safety Corner

We all have smoke detectors installed in our homes, but chances are you don’t think about them until that ear-splitting, high-pitched “chirp” jerks you to attention. 

Though annoying when all is well, these alerts are hard to ignore for a very good reason. 

During a fire, you have less than two minutes to escape safely. Smoke detectors give you those extra seconds that can mean the difference between getting out alive or being trapped inside. 

Smoke detectors play a vital role in reducing fire-related deaths and injuries – but that’s only if they are installed and maintained properly. 

Make sure you’re practicing proper smoke detector maintenance with these tips:

  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and in each bedroom. (Don’t install a smoke detector near the kitchen – the cooking vapors can cause false alarms.)

  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.

  • Test smoke detectors every month, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Change batteries twice a year or whenever you hear a “chirp” indicating a low battery.

  • Never “borrow” or remove batteries from a smoke detector.

  • Vacuum smoke detectors to keep them dust free and functioning.

  • Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years.

For more fire safety tips, visit the National Fire Protection Association.



Published on: October 9, 2017