Hopefully, you have an emergency plan with your family to promote fire safety in your home, but do you have a schedule for smoke detector maintenance?
In Southwest Florida and around the country, smoke detectors are saving lives. According to the National Fire Protection Association, one third of fire deaths were in homes that did not have smoke detectors. The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half where smoke detectors are properly installed and maintained.
Where do you get the instructions to learn how to properly maintain your smoke detector? The easiest way is to determine the manufacturer of your smoke detector. This will lead you to the necessary information on cleaning instructions, battery replacement, and how to tell if the smoke detector is working.
You should always follow the manufacturer's guide for maintenance on your smoke detector, but there are universal rules to make sure you don’t get burned by a faulty smoke detector.
Once a month, you should test all the smoke detectors in your home. The instructions to do so can be found in the manufacturer’s guide; however, there is almost always a button to push that will make a noise indicating the smoke detector’s functionality.
Make a plan to test the smoke detector on a day you will remember to do so. Possibly the first of the month when you pay your mortgage, or every month when you give your dog their heartworm medication. Set reminders on your phone and write it down the monthly smoke detector test on your calendar.
A timeline for when batteries will need to be replaced should be outlined on the manufacturer’s guide for your smoke detector. The safest course of action is to replace all the batteries in all of your smoke detectors annually or biannually. Consider replacing the smoke detector batteries on New Year’s Day every year.
If you’d rather replace the batteries twice a year to be extra sure of your home and family’s safety, replace the smoke detector batteries on Daylight Saving Time days in the fall and spring. If you ever hear a chirping from your smoke detectors, this is a likely sign batteries need to be replaced. Keeping batteries for your smoke detectors on hand mean that you can replace the battery immediately, no matter the time the chirping begins.
Smoke Detector Replacement
Each smoke detector in your home has a manufacturer date on it. Ten years from this date (not the installation date) is when the smoke detectors in your home should be replaced. If you are buying an existing home, make sure one of the questions you ask is when the last time the smoke detectors were replaced and if they have the manufacturer guide for the smoke detectors.
If the owners do not know, most manufacturer guides can be found online, or you can request the company send you a new one. If you are renting a home, this also is a good question to ask you landlord.
If you have any questions about the functionality of your smoke detectors, or are looking to replace them and want to make sure it is done properly, call Southwest Florida Electric, Inc. today. We are standing by to help make sure your smoke detectors are protecting your family and home.