The start of a new year is an opportune time to establish good safety habits. One good safety habit that fire departments suggest you implement is to use the beginning and end of Daylight Savings Time, March 8th and November 1st, as opportunities to check the operation of your smoke detector, or replace the batteries.
What should you do?
The majority of fire departments suggest the following:
- Changing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms twice a year, but with the current quality of batteries and alarm technology enhancements, we only need to change the batteries once a year. But you’re not off the hook completely. While you are changing the clocks in your home please take a few minutes to vacuum your smoke alarms and CO alarms to prevent the buildup of dust, dirt, and little insects from inside the alarms as this can trigger false alarms.
- Keep in mind that you should install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. It is best practice to interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
Additional Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Tips:
- Test your alarms once a month and clean your alarms once a month or as needed.
- Replace batteries once a year or when the alarm signals (“chirps”) the end of the battery life.
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions if you have a 10-year smoke alarm which uses a long-life lithium battery.
- Replace your smoke alarm at least every ten years.
- Replace your CO alarm at least every five years.
- Never remove batteries from your alarms.
- Never paint over your alarms.
- Practice fire drills or exit drills so everyone understands what to do when they hear a smoke or CO alarm go off.