Test your smoke detectors once a month, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and replace any battery too weak to sound the alarm.
Heed the warning
Most battery-powered detectors “chirp” to alert you when their battery power is low. When you hear the warning, replace the batteries; don’t just disconnect them.
Time for a change
Replace smoke detector batteries routinely on the same day each year. Z3 suggests the last Sunday in October-the day you roll the clocks back from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time each fall.
Don’t Borrow Trouble
Too often people disable smoke detectors by removing their batteries for other uses. Never “borrow” batteries from a smoke detector.
Dealing with false alarms
Many smoke detectors are not recommended for use in kitchens, bathrooms, or garages where cooking fumes, steam, or exhaust fumes can set off the alarm when there is no fire. Yet many people simply disconnect smoke detector batteries in an effort to prevent these nuisance alarms. If your home is plagued by false alarms, don’t disable your detector-relocate it away from the kitchen or bathroom, or install an exhaust fan. If nuisance alarms persist, replace the detector.
Clean your smoke detectors
Smoke detectors can also fail to perform properly because of age, nicotine or excessive dirt. Clean your detectors regularly, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. And never paint any part of a smoke detector.
Replace detectors every 5-10 years
Home smoke detectors have a life expectancy of about 5-10 years depending on the manufacturer. Replace any detector that is more than 10 years old.
Z3 Consultants recommends that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and maintenance of your smoke detectors.