How to maintain & replace smoke alarms

Although we’d all like to think that a house fire would never be something that will happen to us, it’s important to be prepared just in case. Smoke alarms are one of the best safety devices you can have in your home and they are simple and easy to maintain. 

How do I maintain my smoke alarm? 

Maintaining a smoke alarm does not require too much of your time and attention. At North Lakes & Surrounds Electrical, we recommend keeping them clean from dust and debris, which can interfere with their operation, by vacuuming your smoke alarm with a soft brush attachment around the vents every six months. 

You can also use a surface insect spray around the smoke alarm to prevent insects from nesting inside it; however, you must ensure you cover the smoke alarm while you spray so that it does not settle inside the smoke alarm itself. 

It’s also important to replace removable batteries (if applicable) annually. In most models, the detector will ‘chirp’ or ‘beep’ occasionally to indicate the battery is running low. Before changing the battery, check with the manufacturer’s instructions as the chirp may also indicate the smoke alarm has become contaminated.

Never paint or cover your smoke alarms and replace them every 10 years. 

Why do I need to replace my smoke alarm? 

After 10 years, the efficiency of a smoke alarm may become compromised due to accumulated dust, debris, insects, airborne contaminants and corrosion of the electrical circuitry. They operate 24 hours a day, constantly monitoring the air. Once they reach a 10-year life cycle, it has gone through millions of monitoring cycles, and as such, components become less reliable. This is why the government has mandated that after 10 years or if they fail to operate when tested, smoke alarms must be replaced. 

If the smoke alarms are the photoelectric type, individual or small numbers can be disposed of with the household waste. If the smoke alarms are the ionisation type, indicated by the radiation warning symbol on the body of the alarm, individual or small numbers can be disposed of with the household waste. 

Contact us 

Keeping your home and family fire-safe can be as simple as adding a quick clean around your smoke alarm each time you vacuum, so why not make it a habit? For more information on smoke alarms or to get yours tested today, contact our team at North Lakes & Surrounds Electrical today on (07) 3053 3118.