Expert Electric Blog

Licensed Electrician Tips: Maintaining Your Smoke Alarms

At Expert Electric, we know that smoke alarms can only save lives if they are properly maintained and in good working condition. That is why our team of licensed electricians have put together some simple tips for maintaining your smoke alarms, as well as some advice on knowing when to replace your smoke alarm.

Smoke Alarm Maintenance Tips

In order to ensure that your smoke alarms are working as they should, it is important to perform regular testing and cleaning. Some of the regular maintenance that should be performed on smoke detectors include:

Testing Your Smoke Alarm

Each smoke alarm should be tested once every month to ensure that the battery is not dead and that the alarm is operating properly. To test your smoke detector, hold down the test button until you hear a loud alert tone. If the smoke alarm is in a hard to reach place, try using a broom handle or long pole to press the button. In some cases, you may need to press the button again to turn the alarm off.

Vacuuming Your Smoke Alarm

Smoke alarms should be vacuumed at least once every six months in order to remove any dust buildup and cobwebs. When vacuuming smoke detectors, make sure to use a soft brush attachment around and along each of the vents.

Protecting Your Smoke Alarm from Infestations

Using a surface insect spray around each of the smoke alarms in your home can be a good way to help prevent insects from nesting inside; however, when spraying around smoke alarms, make sure they are covered to prevent spraying inside of them.

Replacing the Battery

The smoke alarm’s battery may need to be replaced once a year. In most models, when the batteries are low, the detector will emit a short beeping sound every few minutes. It is important to note that not all smoke alarms have replaceable batteries. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions before replacing the batteries in your smoke alarms.

Knowing When to Replace Your Smoke Alarm

Since smoke alarms work to constantly monitor the air 24 hours a day, they may begin to malfunction over time from exposure to accumulated dust, insects, airborne contaminants, and corrosion. Most smoke detectors will have an expiration or replace by date stamped/printed on them; however, if your smoke alarm does not have a date on it, it is important to replace it once every 10 years. At the end of 10 years, the smoke alarm will have gone through millions of monitoring cycles and the components may have become less reliable.

If you would like to learn more licensed electrician tips for maintaining your smoke alarms, or if you are interested in one of our residential electrical services or commercial electrical services, please contact Expert Electric at 604-681-8338.