Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years. Smoke alarms wear out over time. Although well-maintained alarms typically last about ten years, if you don’t know when your alarms were installed, or if they are approaching 10 years, replace them now.

smoke alarm installation guide for your home

Proper placement is important. Install a smoke alarm on each level of your home and inside each bedroom.

Change your Clock, Change your Batteries. Test your smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button on each alarm. Change the batteries at least twice a year or when you hear the low battery warning signal which is a short chirp approximately once per minute.

Early warning provides additional time to escape a fire. Consider using dual sensor smoke alarms which contain both ionization and photoelectric technology in one alarm.

Become familiar with the features of your smoke alarms. Read the user’s manual and follow the installation, testing and maintenance instructions.

Interconnection: Interconnected alarms can provide earlier warning than stand-alone alarms, especially if there is a fire in a remote area of the dwelling. Smoke alarms wired-in to your home with battery backup should be considered. When one smoke alarm sounds, the others also alarm, alerting you to an alarm in another area of your home. CO alarms can also be interconnected to smoke alarms. In a multiple station arrangement, a maximum of 24 devices may be interconnected.

Make an escape plan. Be sure everyone in the home, especially children, knows the shortest exit from every floor.

Do not remove batteries. Smoke alarm batteries should not be used in other appliances such as personal stereos or games.

Nuisance alarms: If cooking smoke sets off your smoke alarm, do not disable it. Press the silence button (if available), wave a towel or newspaper, open a window, or turn on an exhaust fan to clear the alarm.

Maintenance: Keep smoke alarms clean. Dust and debris can interfere with operation. Vacuum the cover and the area around your smoke alarm regularly.