Smoke Detectors - Testing & Maintenance

Fire Prevention & Safety

Installation and Testing!

  • Do not install smoke detectors in the path of turbulent air from fans, doors, windows, etc. Rapid air movement can prevent smoke caused by combustion from entering the detector.
  • Do not install smoke detectors in high humidity areas such as bathrooms and attics, or where the temperature exceeds 100F (39C) or falls below 40F (5C).
  • Do not install smoke detectors at the peak of an 'A' frame ceiling. 'Dead' air at the top may prevent smoke from reaching the detector in time to provide early warning.
  • Do not install smoke detectors closer than 6" (15cm) to the wall when mounted on the ceiling.
  • Do not install smoke detectors in poorly vented garages or kitchens. Car exhaust or smoke caused by cooking could trigger a 'nuisance' alarm.
  • Every month your smoke detector should be tested, using the detector test button and following manufacturer's test instructions. 

Smoke Detector Maintenance

Dust can prevent a smoke detector from working properly, so carefully vacuum the inside of a battery powered unit using the soft bristle brush. If the detector is electrically connected, shut the power off and vacuum the outside vents only. Restore the power as soon as you are done! This should be done once a month. 

Change your clock, change your battery!

Since we change our clocks each spring and fall, this is the best way to remember that a new battery should be installed, at least once a year! Ensure that the battery that is installed is the proper type! If the battery is low the smoke detector will beep occasionally. 

Smoke detectors don't last forever!

Smoke detectors wear out, so if you think your smoke detector(s) are more than 10 years old, they should be replaced with new ones.