How do I maintain a smoke alarm?
Why perform maintenance on your smoke detector?
The build-up of dust on the inside and outside of your smoke detector might cause for the smoke detector to operate less efficiently. Because of the build-up of dust, the smoke detector might start sounding false alarms. A false alarm is annoying, of course, but it's even worse if your smoke alarm doesn't go off during a real fire. That's why you should always perform maintenance and check the batteries.
Cleaning a smoke detector
Clean the smoke detector with a damp cloth at least once a month and clean the inside of the smoke detector with a vacuum at least twice per year. Make sure to use an attachment that uses a soft brush. Unscrew the smoke detector from the base plate and clean the inside of the base plate with a vacuum, too. Afterward, re-attach the smoke detector to its original place and don't forget to test it with help of the test button.
Important cleaning tips
There are a number of aspects you need to keep in mind when cleaning your smoke detector. Why? Because some products or objects can damage your smoke detector. Below, we've listed several things you need to keep in mind:
- Don't use any cleaning agents or solvents.
- Don't spray chemical products such as air freshener or hair spray into the smoke detector.
- Make sure you never allow water to enter into the smoke detector. That's why should never use a damp cloth that's too wet.
Batteries and expiration date
Regularly testing the batteries is an important part of maintenance. You don't want an alarm that fails to go off during a fire because the batteries are empty. That's why you should your smoke detector every month and replace the batteries in a timely fashion. In addition, it's important to keep an eye on the expiration date of the smoke detector itself. Not every smoke detector will last you forever. Some of the will only last for a year, while others can last for up to 10 years. Write down the purchase or expiration date on the side of the smoke detector in order to remember it. Dispose of smoke detectors that have passed their expiration dates.