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How to Maintain Smoke Alarms

By WenSue |

Smoke alarms will require different maintenance practices from time to time to ensure they are working properly. Here are some of the crucial maintenance tips crucial for home fire safety while using smoke alarms.

The smoke alarms should be replaced every 10-year.  Use a vacuum cleaner once every year for dust removal because dust contributes to them becoming faulty.  Unless you are using the long-life batteries remove and change the smoke detectors yearly. Long-life batteries should not be used in old smoke alarms because they become less effective.

Why Smoke Alarms Require Maintenance 

Smoke alarms will require their users to perform some regular maintenance practices from time to time for various reasons. Some of the most important ones include: the tendencies to build up dust both internally and externally. This directly affects their effectiveness.

A Simple Guide to the Maintenance Schedule of Smoke Alarms

1. Every Month

It is required to test if the batteries of your smoke alarm are working every month. This is done by basically long-pressing the test button on the smoke detector for five seconds. If it beeps or chirps then it is working properly. Otherwise, it requires replacement.

2. Every Six Months

Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust that has settled both in the internal and external parts of your smoke detector after every 6 months to reduce the possibility of triggering false alarms and ensures smoke particles can easily reach the sensors. Therefore ensuring your detector works effectively.

3. Annually

  Alkaline and lead batteries used in smoke alarms will require that they are replaced every year.

4. Every 10 Years

After a decade of service smoke alarms powered by lithium should be replaced with new ones. However, users should be keen on manufacture's recommendations because some will require that they are replaced in less than 10 years.

How to Maintain Smoke Alarms Used at Home

Proper maintenance ensures your smoke detector is working properly to avert trigger of false alarms or failure to trigger alarms in case of a real fire. The maintenance practices take just a few minutes and below are some tips on the same.

1. Cleaning the smoke detector

  Once in every month clean the outside of the smoke detector using a damp cloth.  The inside of the detector should be cleaned using a vacuum cleaner. Remove it from its position, unscrew it from the base plate and clean the interior part with a vacuum cleaner. Afterward, return it to its usual position and test if it is working by pressing the test button.

2. Important tips when cleaning smoke detectors

Some objects and products should not be used in cleaning your smoke detector.  This is because of the damage they can cause. Below is a list of what to avoid:

  • The use of solvents and different cleaning agents
  • Spaying of chemical products like insect killers and air fresheners into the detector.
  • Ensure water does not enter the detector hence the advice to use a damp cloth which is not too wet.

3. Batteries and the expiry dates

Batteries should be checked regularly to ensure they are working. The expiry dates should also be kept in mind since some detectors would last only a year while others will take ten years. Write the expiry date on the side so you never forget. Ensure the detector is well disposed of when the time comes.

Smoke alarm alarms are bound to trigger a false alarm due to the buildup of dust particles. Such an occurrence is very annoying. However, due to the same reason, they may fail to trigger an alarm in case there is a real fire. These can be fatal if not realized in time. Therefore performing the different required maintenance practices is necessary to keep your smoke alarm working effectively and in return keeping your home safe.