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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Are Your Fire Alarms Working?

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke Alarm What a smoke alarm looks like.

When it comes to your family's safety, smoke detectors and fire alarms can be some of the most important items in your home. These early warning devices can alert your family to fire and hazardous smoke while there is still time to evacuate, but they should be tested periodically to ensure they are working properly.

Electronic devices are not faultless. The batteries will die and other parts of the smoke alarm can wear out over time. Regularly testing them and replacing the batteries (or the entire device) can help keep your family safe in the event of a house fire.

Be sure to read your smoke detector's owner's manual - you may need to check more often if any of the following apply: The detector often gives false alarms.

The alarm emits short beeps regularly without anyone touching it.

Frequent kitchen fumes often activate it, which can cause it to wear out faster.

For battery operated: This type may be prone to defective or worn out batteries. Monthly tests are very important.

Never put old batteries in your smoke detectors and fire detectors. Wired: These detectors are powered by your home's electrical system, but they usually have backup batteries so the device stays operational in the event of a power outage.

Wired smoke alarms should still be tested monthly to ensure both batteries and components are working properly.

You should always check manufacturer's instructions for the correct test method for your smoke detector and fire alarm. 

You may want to install additional detectors in areas where the alarm sound is low, muffled or weak. Press and hold the test button on the smoke detector. It may take a few seconds to go off, but a loud, deafening siren should come out of the smoke detector when the button is pressed. If not, then replace it. 

If it has been more than six months since you last changed the batteries (whether your detector is battery powered or wired), replace it now and test the new batteries one last time to ensure they are working properly, regardless of the test result. .

You should also look at your smoke alarm to make sure it's not dust or any other substance blocking the grilles and causing it to not work even if the batteries are new. Note that smoke detectors typically have a 10-year lifespan. 

Now that you know how to prevent your fire alarms from not working, do keep in mind that if they are not working correctly this can cause a house fire.  We don't want this to happen at all, but if it does SERVPRO is here to help!  We do fire damage remediation at it's best.

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