It’s important to regularly check and change your smoke alarm battery. But with so many models on the market, it can be difficult to work out how to change it. Luckily, most smoke detectors take the same 9V battery, and smoke alarms have been designed to make it safe to change the battery without danger of electrocution. If you’ve lost your instruction manual, it’s usually still fairly easy to replace the battery, and here are a few things to remember.
Replace the battery annually
Smoke alarms should be tested once a month by pushing the ‘test’ button, and if the battery has run out, obviously it’s time to replace. However, you should also change the 9V battery once a year, whether it’s run out or not. If you have an alarm that has been hardwired by an electrician in Perth, there is usually a backup battery. It’s important that this works, as it can detect a fire even if your power is cut-off.
Clean your smoke detector
Not many people realise you should clean your smoke detector. With the cover on, use a vacuum cleaner to suck dust between the holes, and wipe down the exterior. This will:
- Remove dust from the sensor, making it more efficient
- Prevent false alarms
- Lengthen the life of your smoke detector
- Remove build ups of pet hair, dander, and pollen
Look at the expiry date
Changing your smoke alarm battery is a good excuse to check the expiry date. By law, smoke detectors should be replaced every ten years because they become less sensitive over time. Older smoke detectors can also be less reliable. If you look at the back of the head, you should see an expiry date, and can decide whether it’s time to replace.
If it’s time to replace your smoke alarm, it’s worth looking at getting a hardwired model installed. Contact an electrician if you’re thinking of getting one of these systems. One of the main advantages of these systems is that they’re connected, so if one goes off, they all do. This ensures if there’s a fire, everyone in the house hears the alarm.
Use a reliable battery
Your smoke alarm battery is not something you should be scrimping on. Make sure you used a recognised brand of battery to ensure reliability. Usually, it’s easy to change a battery, just twist or pull the cover off, pop the old one out, and put in the new 9V battery, ensuring the + and – symbols are in the right position.
When the cover is back on, press the button to test the alarm. If you’re using a hardwired system, there’s usually a green light to show that the system is switched back on, but you might need to check your manual if your model is a little different.
For help with the installation and maintenance of smoke alarm systems, call Richtek Electrical & Air Solutions on (08) 9375 3926. With emergency call-outs available, they can help you keep your home safe.