How To Maintain Smoke Detectors

How To Maintain Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are one of your first defenses to stay safe from fire and reduce damage. When properly installed and maintained, they can alert you to trouble at the first whiff of smoke and reduce the risk of death by half.

Maintaining your smoke detectors is one of the most effective ways to keep your smoke detectors functioning for a long time. in this review, we would be showing you all you should know about maintaining your smoke detector.

With their proven ability to double your family’s chance of surviving a residential fire, smoke detectors are one of the most valuable fire safety tools on the market, yet we tend to take them for granted.

Smoke alarms are such a common presence in our homes that it’s easy to just expect them to work every time. But like many other devices and appliances around the house, smoke detectors require regular cleaning and maintenance to function effectively.

What is maintenance?

The word maintenance does not always mean repair. What maintenance really means is to follow up with the regular or methodological processes to keep the equipment up to date and in working condition. It does not only mean to repair a piece of equipment when it is broken.

The priority of effort and time should be on maintenance rather than repair.

The equipment should be lined and labeled, its wearing surfaces should be examined and replaced, oil schedules should be lined up at regular intervals.

Hence, the equipment with good working conditions requires regular inspection and adjustment to continue to produce good quality products for a long time.

Where should smoke alarms be located?

There are two important things to remember when deciding where to put smoke alarms:

  • Most fires start in the kitchen.
  • Smoke alarms are to warn people asleep in bedrooms.

Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, including the basement (but not in unfinished attics).

  • Put smoke alarms in the hallways that lead to each bedroom.
  • On floors without bedrooms, install the smoke alarm in or near each living area such as dens, living, and family rooms.
  • Put a smoke alarm on the ceiling at the bottom of any staircase leading to the upper floors.
  • Mount the smoke alarm high on walls or ceilings (remember—smoke and hot gases rise). Wall-mounted alarms should be placed at least 10 to 30 cm down from the ceiling. The ceiling-mounted alarm should be placed at least 10 cm away from the nearest wall. If ceilings are pitched, install the alarm near the ceiling’s highest point.

Importance of Maintaining smoke detectors

Maintenance is an important factor in quality assurance and in some cases determines the long-term success of a product, for this review, a smoke detector.

A poorly maintained smoke detector can cause instability and partially or completely pause beeping. Malfunctioning smoke detectors or complete breakdowns on smoke detectors can become a costly process for most homeowners.

When breakdowns occur the labor cost per unit rises as time passes until the smoke detector again runs as normal. Before the machines again run, as usual, there will be unexpected expenses to repair the problems, which includes extra costs for repair, preventive maintenance inspections, and spare parts.

These are some examples of what a household owner can expect to deal with overtime if a reliable maintenance management solution is not put in place.

Also, maintaining a smoke detector is important in:

  • Smoke Detector Safety

By performing regular preventive maintenance, you will always be assured that your Smoke Detector will operate under safe conditions. Possible issues can be solved before it tends to cause any harm, without taking any chance.

  • Smoke Detector Efficiency

With normal wear and tear, Smoke Detector can cause lower efficiency. Proper preventive maintenance management will assure you of the optimal working conditions of the equipment and conserves its life span.

MAINTENANCE TIPS ON SMOKE DETECTORS

To ensure the best smoke detection possible, follow our easy tips for keeping household smoke alarms tuned up, properly powered, and ready for action.

Airborne dust and contaminants can interfere with a smoke alarm’s ability to detect smoke, so make it a point to clean all detectors in your home at least twice a year.

Use your vacuum cleaner’s long upholstery wand to clear away any dust or cobwebs that have settled around the detectors, and – if possible – vacuum out the smoke alarms’ interior compartments as well (following the manufacturer’s instructions).

Don’t wait for that high-pitched chirp to annoy you into changing smoke detector batteries; instead, keep a standing annual date with yourself for replacing the battery in each of your home’s smoke alarms. Just so you don’t forget this important task, choose an easy-to-remember date that has personal significance.

Don’t feel like changing smoke alarm batteries on your birthday? Many fire and home safety agencies suggest that you take care of smoke detector maintenance on the same day you turn your clocks back from Daylight Savings Time.

If you’ve lived in your home for less than 10 years but aren’t sure how old the existing smoke alarms are, don’t take any chances with your safety – switch them out for new units immediately.

Installing a micro ionization smoke alarm. Test smoke detectors monthly by simply pressing their “test” buttons – if the alarm sounds, everything’s working fine. But if that method seems a little too easy and you’d prefer an extra measure of reassurance, you can test your alarms with actual smoke.

All you need to do is light a candle, blow it out, then immediately hold it a few inches below the detector, allowing a trail of smoke from the just-extinguished wick to drift inside the unit and trigger its alarm.

If you notice that a particular smoke alarm is going off frequently even when there isn’t any smoke in the air, don’t disable it – instead, investigate the cause of the false alarms.

More often than not you’ll find that the smoke detector is located too close to the kitchen or bathroom, where cooking fumes and steam can trick it into setting off its alarm even when there’s no danger.

Simply relocate the detector a little further away from the kitchen or bathroom, and the problem should be resolved; however, if the false alarms keep occurring, you could be dealing with a faulty smoke alarm, in which case it should just be replaced.

SMOKE DETECTOR MAINTENANCE DURATION GUIDE

  • Once a month

Test your smoke detector batteries every month by pressing and holding the test button for at least five seconds until you hear the beeps.

  • Every 6 months

Vacuum dust off your smoke alarms every six months.

Keeping your smoke detector free of particles to help reduce false alarms and ensure smoke can easily reach the internal sensor.

  • Every year

Replace lead or alkaline batteries every 12 months.

  • Every 10 years

Replace all smoke alarms with new 10-year lithium powered smoke detectors every 10 years, or earlier if specified by the manufacturer.

Testing Your Smoke Alarm

  • How often should you test 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 the 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 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 in a Smoke Alarm

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, so you will need to check the manufacturer’s instructions before replacing the batteries in your smoke alarms.

When Should You 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.

Smoke detectors are vitally important to keeping your home and family safe. We can help you install smoke detectors around your home and position them to give you the best coverage.

CONCLUSION

Fire safety is a vital component of a homeowner’s responsibility. Hopefully, you’ll never experience a house fire, but it’s a good idea to be prepared.