Smoke Detector Maintenance Schedule: Keeping your Home Safe from Fire

Smoke Detector Maintenance Schedule: Keeping your Home Safe from Fire

Only working smoke detectors save lives! Smoke detector maintenance is key to protecting your family from house fires

Every Month: Test your Smoke Detector

To ensure your smoke detector is functioning optimally you should conduct a test every month. To test your smoke alarm, you need to do is press and hold the test button, either by using a step ladder or a broom handle from the ground until a loud siren is emitted. If the noise is weak or non-existent replace the battery, or if it is a mains powered smoke detector the entire unit will require replacing.

Every Year: Replace your Smoke Detector Batteries 

The Australian Government along with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) advise that you should replace your smoke alarm batteries at least once a year.

One method to keep your family on top of this is the “Change your clocks. Check your batteries” campaign which advises homeowners to check and replace their batteries if required when you change your clocks for daylight savings. Live in a state or territory without Daylight Savings? Consider choosing a different notable time of the year such as New Year’s Day or even April Fool’s Day. Here’s a brief step-by-step guide to replacing your smoke detector batteries:

  1. Detach the body of the alarm from the base to access the battery compartment by following your models’ instructions usually present on the face or side of the alarm.
  2. Insert a brand new fresh 9V battery, as old batteries can degrade in effectiveness even when not in use. If the alarm is still chirping to indicate that the battery is flat:
    • Check that you have inserted it with the positive and negative terminals facing the correct way.
    • Check if the terminals appear dull or corroded, if so, gently clean the terminals with a small piece of sandpaper.
    • Give it time. While some models will stop chirping following a couple of minutes some can take up to 20 minutes.
    • Still no luck? Time to replace the smoke detector itself. 
  3. Check that you have inserted it with the positive and negative terminals facing the correct way.
  4. Reattach the body of the smoke alarm onto its base in a reverse manner to step 1.

Now that you have replaced your battery, give your old battery a new life and recycle it! Click here to find a Mitre10 store with an EcoBatts Battery Recycling Unit.

Please note: Smoke detector models with non-replaceable batteries which are designed to last for up to 10 years are an exception to this rule. Even if your smoke detector is mains powered it may still have a replaceable backup battery, in which case this should also be replaced yearly in the event of a power outage at the time of fire.

Every 10 Years: Replace your Smoke Detector 

Smoke detectors are designed to last a maximum of 10 years, so it is essential they are replaced after this expiry. To remember when you purchased it consider writing the month and year of installation on the inside of the smoke detector. If aren’t sure when your current smoke detector was installed remember it is always better to be safe than sorry. Come in store to view our selection of smoke detectors or browse online.

Keep your belongings, yourself, and your family safe by following these simple steps! Want to know more about fire safety learn about the different types of smoke detector and fire control devices.

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