by April Reinhardt
(last updated October 19, 2012)
Easy to install and check, and quite inexpensive, smoke detectors save millions of lives each year. Most residential smoke detectors use a single nine-volt battery to power its alarm. If the battery is weak or dead, then the smoke detector will not work. Many smoke detectors sound a quick, loud chirp to indicate that the battery is failing. But what if you are away for a few days' vacation and you aren't home to hear the chirp? What if, by the time you return, the battery inside of your smoke detector is dead? A dead battery will not be able to activate your smoke detector's alarm.
If you have a regular schedule in place to check your smoke detectors, and change its batteries twice yearly, you can avoid the dead battery scenario and, more importantly, you can troubleshoot non-functional smoke detectors. Check your smoke detectors once a month and change their batteries twice yearly. A good habit to form is to test your smoke detectors on the first Saturday of each month, and replace their batteries on New Year's Day in January and on Father's Day in June.
To check your smoke detector, simply press the red test button on its cover. If the alarm sounds, then it is working properly. If your smoke detector does not have a test button, then replace the entire alarm with a newer model.
Some people argue that simply pressing the test button is not an indication that your smoke detector will detect smoke, and they recommend these steps to test a smoke detector:
When performing your monthly smoke detector testing, it's a good idea to dust and vacuum the covers of the units. Never use rechargeable batteries in smoke detectors, as they self-discharge very quickly. Always replace smoke detectors after ten years of use.
Find the Right Tool Right Away Finally, a homeowner's set that includes all the tools needed to complete basic DIY projects at an affordable price! The tools are stored in a molded case for security and portability. Check out Stanley 65-Piece Homeowner's Tool Kit today!
It is always a good idea to periodically inspect your home to make sure that it is safe, this includes checking to make ...Discover More
Locating the utility shutoff valve is perhaps one of the most important skills for any homeowner to have. By knowing ...Discover More
Have you ever noticed how there seems to be so many different home safety products there are today? Without some careful ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."