Smoke Alarm Maintenance in 3 Easy Steps
Smoke alarms are an integral part of any home. Their loud cries can help your family escape a dangerous situation before it is too late.
It can be easy to downplay their importance when these devices aren’t used daily, but you’ll thank your smoke detector if a fire ever does occur. Just because smoke alarms are overhead doesn’t mean that they should be out of mind. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that these life-saving devices are in good working order. All it takes is these three steps:
Annual inspections by qualified specialists can help pinpoint any problems that may cause your smoke alarm to malfunction. As with any device, gradual wear and tear over time will compromise the alarm and decrease its performance. Smoke alarm systems under five years old will be at the lowest risk of breakdown, but as they age, so too increases their need for professional inspection. Be aware that smoke alarms that are 20 years old or older have reached their technical life expectancy and should be replaced.
Smoke alarm maintenance is relatively simple as devices go, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Batteries need to be changed annually, or as soon as the detector begins to chirp. That sound indicates a low battery, so don’t wait before attending to the issue. Some detectors use rechargeable batteries while others do not, so make sure to read the manufacturer’s manual. In addition to fresh batters, make sure to vacuum around your smoke alarm vents at least once a year. By using a soft brush attachment, this will effectively remove dust and cobweb build-up.
While most maintenance can be done annually, testing your smoke alarms is a task that should be done monthly. Testing is very simple, all you need to do is hold down the test button until you hear a loud alert tone. Then release. Since smoke alarms are usually on ceilings, make sure you are using a steady ladder or chair to reach the alarm, and always have someone spotting you from the ground below.
Even the best-designed smoke alarms can be defective if not properly maintained. Follow these easy steps to ensure that your life-saving devices can do their jobs efficiently. If you have any questions about your current smoke alarms, or need to replace them, contact your friendly Calgary electricians at Westridge Electric today!