Protecting you and your loved ones can be as simple as learning how to regularly maintain your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. While many of you have carbon monoxide detectors that plug directly into your electrical outlets, battery-powered smoke detectors need to be cared for in the same way you would your cell phone or tablet.
First and foremost, ensuring battery life is critical and can be the difference between saving your home and yourself should a fire occur. The most common smoke detectors have 9 Volt batteries which rely on the user to understand how to install this type of battery. The snap-mechanism inside your detector will line up with the end of the 9 Volt battery. You’ll know it is in place when you hear a “click” sound once fastened.
Should your smoke detector need regular batteries to operate, those batteries need to be checked once a month to ensure they’re in working order. It’s easy to set the batteries and continue your regular daily activities, but setting a monthly reminder to check your batteries should become a regular monthly ritual in your household.
Also, cleaning of the detector is an absolute MUST! It’s recommended that a thorough cleaning of the unit take place once every 6 months. A good way to remind yourself is to use the end of February/early March and the end of August/early September as guidelines. Why this 6-month breakdown you ask? Well, the shortened month gives you a great baseline date to set for one cleaning, while “back to school” preparations can also include ensuring your smoke detectors are clean and ready to go along with your child’s wardrobe and books.
Finally, the lifecycle of a smoke detector falls right around 10 years. How long have you been in your home? Do you remember when your smoke detector was installed? If the answer to those questions is in that 10-year ballpark range, you should be in the process of making arrangements to have your detector replaced. After all, while having a beautiful home in a great neighbourhood is important, ensuring the safety of the unit (as well as the people and pets inside) is vital to having peace of mind as you go about your daily routine.
For more information on smoke alarms, please visit: http://www.whitby.ca/en/residents/smokealarms.asp