Smoke and Fire Detectors

Smoke detectors are mandatory requirements in all residential homes. They are available in 120 volt wired-in models and 9 volt battery models. It is a good idea to have both power types in your home. The 120 volt type does not need a battery, while the battery type will serve your family in the event of a power outage.

General Maintenance

  • Do test your smoke detectors each month by pressing the “Test” button. Regular testing will help discover alarm failure as well as dead or missing batteries.
  • Doreplace the batteries in your smoke detectors, or as soon as the alarm “chirps” a warning that the battery is low. Pencil this in to your seasonal maintenance care on the same day each year, to make it easier to remember.
  • Do vacuum or dust your smoke alarms regularly to help ensure that they are able to work properly.
  • Do consider installing smoke alarms with “long-life” batteries.
  • Do replace your smoke detectors every ten years or less. Smoke detectors are sensory devises that have a limited lifespan.
  • Do not “borrow” a battery from a smoke alarm. Smoke alarms canʼt warn you of fire if their batteries are missing or if they have been disconnected.
  • Do not disable smoke alarms even temporarily. If your smoke alarm is sounding “nuisance alarms,” try relocating it farther from kitchens or bathrooms, where cooking fumes and steam may cause the alarm to sound.
  • Do not paint smoke detectors.


Every member of your family should be familiar with the emergency exit procedures for your home. Make sure each member of your family knows what the carbon monoxide detector and fire detector alarms sounds like and review and practice emergency exit procedures twice a year.