Daylight Savings is quickly approaching and, while we’re all dreading the loss of an hour of sleep and – of course – looking forward to a little more sunshine, this is also a great reminder to check our smoke detectors and change the batteries. Most of us will be up mulling about the house (in a sleep deprived stupor) adjusting every clock that isn’t satellite or computer chip controlled – they do still exist – so, why not add changing those batteries to the list of To Dos when Daylight Savings arrives?
We know remembering to check smoke alarms every single month is a bit of a challenge – and remembering to change the batteries twice a year is near impossible – but, luckily, we now have this simple solution! If you haven’t converted your smoke detectors over to the new 10 year battery operated models, take advantage of Daylight Savings by making it your twice a year day to change those batteries – after you’ve taken a much needed nap, of course!
Here is a quick refresher course in checking and maintaining your smoke detectors.
Checking Your Smoke Alarm
- Your smoke detector has a test button that will make the alarm sound off when pushed. When checking your detector for accuracy, push and hold the button until a very loud alarm sounds off. The sound should be ear-piercingly loud but if it’s not, you should replace the batteries and try again. If the sound still isn’t loud enough, replace your entire smoke detector.
- Now that you are ready to check the smoke alarm’s ability to detect smoke, light a match and blow it out, or you can blow out a lit candle, then hold it directly under the smoke detector. (Be sure to place a blown out match in water to make sure it is completely out.) If the alarm does not go off after a few moments then replace the battery and try again. Replace any smoke detector that does not respond to this test after the batteries have been replaced.
You can also use a spray can of smoke detector test aerosol, purchased at any hardware store, but the chemical will need to be vacuumed out of the detector afterwards.
General Smoke Detector Maintenance
- Replace all smoke detectors after 10 years, regardless of monthly test performance.
- Replace smoke detector batteries twice a year at Daylights Savings Time, regardless of monthly test performance.
- Keep smoke detectors clean and free from dust.
- Never paint, decorate or hang objects on smoke detectors.
There’s more to celebrate than just the coming of spring and the return of long days. With this new tradition of changing smoke detector batteries at Daylight Savings, we can all ensure a spring and summer that is fire safe and secure.
Want to help spread the word about the importance of installing and maintaining smoke alarms in the home? Check out our smoke alarm themed giveaways store, filled with everything you need to help educate your community on the basics of fire safety and prevention in the home.