There are around 11,000 injuries every year in the UK caused by fires in the home – some of which could be preventable with the use of a fire alarm. Despite its simplicity, many homeowners are still reluctant to carry out testing and maintenance on their smoke detectors and a few don’t even bother using one!

Not only does carrying out your own maintenance on your smoke detector keep you safe, but it can also prevent premature failure – saving you a bit of money. In our latest blog, we’ll run through some smoke detector maintenance essentials along with a video tutorial from our owner Nick Smith:

How Often Should I Test My Smoke Detector?

Whilst every different manufacturer has their own recommendations, as a rule of thumb, you should aim to test your smoke detector weekly. If you have an elderly neighbour or relative, it’s always nice to offer to check theirs for them if they are unable to.

To test your alarm, locate the button marked ‘test’. Push and hold this button and the alarm should start ringing, along with any other detectors on the same circuit.

How Do I Change The Battery On My Smoke Detector?

Even if your smoke detector is mains powered, it will most likely have a backup battery in case of power failure, we recommend changing your battery once every 6 months – the method of changing the battery varies from model to model:

  1. Switch your circuit breaker off before changing the battery.
  2. If your detector has a sliding draw, simply pull the draw out and replace the battery with a new one – these are usually 9V batteries.
  3. If you have a smoke detector that detaches from the base – insert a screwdriver into the marked slot and twist the base off as shown in the video.
  4. Whilst you’re changing your battery, remember to check the ‘use by’ date to ensure your smoke detector doesn’t need replacing.

Allied Tip: As Nick states, you may hear a ‘chirping’ noise coming from your detector – this indicates your battery is starting to run low.

How Do I Clean My Smoke Detector?

We recommend cleaning your smoke detector once every 6 months – it is essential that smoke detectors are kept clean as a build up of dust and other substances can act as an isolative layer over the sensors and reduce the effectiveness of the alarm.

To clean your smoke detector simply go over the smoke detector with a vacuum cleaner fitted with a soft brush attachment. Remember, as Nick points out in the video – it’s never wise to use any kind of spray or liquid cleaning product on anything electrical.

How Often Should I Replace My Smoke Detector?

The UK fire service recommends you replace your smoke detector once every 10 years or when the alarm reaches its ‘use by’ date – new smoke detectors can be purchased at most hardware stores, online or through your local electrician. Unless you have the required tools and know-how, we recommend calling an electrician to fit your new smoke detector.

Trusted Domestic Electricians For Over 20 Years

If it’s time for you to replace your smoke detector or you are struggling with any of the steps mentioned in the video – get in touch with Allied Electrical. We are trusted, local electricians operating in the Bristol area for over 20 years. Have a look at all of our other domestic services.

To get in touch, give us a call on 0117 3030 9000 or fill out a contact form below.

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