A smoke detector with a dead battery is like having no smoke detector at all!

Unfortunately, not everyone checks to make sure their smoke detector is working on a schedule.  The National Fire Protection Association reports that two-thirds of all deaths from house fires were in homes that didn’t have working smoke alarms.

So for all those false alarms from your terrible cooking, might not be that awful.

At least you know your smoke detector is working….even if you do need to fan it with a towel to get it to stop screeching.  However, that isn’t a replacement for actually testing your smoke detector every six months.

Checking your smoke detector when Daylight Savings happens is a cheater way to remember!

Mind you, some smoke detectors do have 10-year batteries, but that is no excuse for not checking it.  At the end of the 10-year battery life, you need to replace the entire unit. Basically, the goodies that make a smoke detector work breakdown over time, 10 years is the max… so if you are due, or think you are close, buy a new detector and write the date on the back of it!  

You might have a hard-wired smoke detector installed. These run off your home’s electrical system, not batteries, but they do have backup batteries, so they’ll continue to function if your power cuts out. Sorry, no luck, you still need to test that one too!

Before testing make sure you…

Tell everyone in the family!  Don’t give grandma’s medical condition a test along with the smoke detector!  This also applies to pets. Try to put them in another room or away from the testing…. if you think that sucker is loud… well imagine how awful it is to a dog!!!!

If you have a helper, put them to good use!  Make them stand in the furthest place in the house from the smoke detector you are testing.  Make sure that they can hear the alarm easily…. if not rethink your placement! If you have a dead battery in that one detector, you don’t want to waste critical time when a fire is raging!  Side note- think about a networked system of fire alarms, they are a little more expensive but can announce where a fire has been detected. It is good to know if you are upstairs on the second floor and something is brewing in the basement!

Testing the device is pretty simple, just press and hold the button!

After a few seconds, you should be bombarded with a horrible shrieking alarm.  That’s actually a good thing!

Remember, smoke detectors have a normal lifespan of 10 years, according to the USFA. Even if you’ve performed regular maintenance, and your device is still functional, you should replace a smoke detector after the 10-year period or earlier, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.

Installing smoke detectors can be a great way to help keep your family safe, but assuming they are working may lead to a dangerous situation. Taking a few minutes to check them regularly can help keep you and your family safe.


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This article was brought to you by Struck and Sons Inc, Property Damage Specialists.  Please always use caution when dealing with any hazardous situation.  Things can be replaced, people can’t. Always err on the side of caution and call 911.  

Visit us online at www.StruckandSons.com