Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are two of the most important safety items in your home. Because of this, it is extremely important that these devices be maintained properly. The beginning of daylight savings time is a good reminder to make sure that these items are in good working condition.
Why change batteries when you change your clocks? The batteries in carbon monoxide alarms and smoke detectors should be changed twice per year, and changing your clocks is a good reminder. Mark whichever calendar you reference most often with the dates your batteries were changed and the date the next battery change is due. It’s also a good idea to mark the batteries themselves in case you forget when you last changed the batteries.
Changing batteries alone is not enough to properly maintain your alarms and detectors. They should be tested once per month to make sure they are still in good working condition. They should also be cleaned whenever the batteries are changed. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions for proper cleaning technique. Cleaning generally involved using a vacuum cleaner to remove built-up dust particles.
In addition to regular maintenance, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should also be replaced every 10 years. When installing a new alarm or detector mark it with the installation date, so you know when it is to be replaced. It’s a good idea to mark it in a place where you will see it when replacing the batteries so that you will have an easy reminder.