Replacing the Batteries in a Smoke Alarm

Replacing the batteries in a smoke alarm is an easy chore to forget. One day you notice one of your alarms is beeping unnecessarily and suddenly you realize you have no idea when the last time you checked on it was. Keeping up your smoke alarms may seem like a hassle, but that is one home feature you would definitely want functioning properly in case of an emergency such as a chimney or fire place fire.

Testing Your Alarm

Many homeowners forget that they must test their alarm once a month to make sure it is functioning properly. Most alarms have a test button on the front to make this easy. If you live in an apartment or other rental space, ask your landlord if they will be sending a member of their staff in to perform this check or if you will be responsible for doing so yourself.

Be aware of what type of battery your smoke detector takes. Keep several spares on hand so you can replace them immediately if you notice that the device is not working properly when you test it. This way you do not have to worry about forgetting to get it done. It is also recommended that you go ahead and change the batteries in the detector seasonally so you never have to wonder whether or not the device is working soundly. Since most smoke detectors are on the ceiling, make sure you have someone with you to steady the ladder you are using so you can keep your hands free.

Some smoke alarms are very sensitive and go off frequently when it is not necessary. If you have a habit of turning off one of your alarms because it goes off when you are cooking this can be very dangerous, especially if you do not turn it back on later. Close a door between your kitchen and the detector if at all possible to cut down on false alerts without jeopardizing your safety. If false alerts are still an issue consider upgrading to a model that is less sensitive to false alerts rather than pulling the batteries on the model you currently have.

Have an Escape Plan

While it is necessary to keep the batteries in your smoke detector fresh and the device working properly, it is also essential to have a plan as to what your family will do should it ever go off. Have multiple escape routes planned depending on which alarm has been triggered so you do not wind up running into the area which is on fire. Have a planned meeting space a safe distance from your home where your family can gather to make sure everyone is safe and call the fire department.

Smoke detectors are intended to catch fires before they have a chance to become too serious. Have a fire extinguisher stored nearby so you can put out the flames if they are still contained. Even if you are successful you will still need to call the authorities to make sure it is fully out and to determine whether or not your home will need to be cleaned due to smoke damage.

Thousands of homes fall victim to fire every year. It is important to take as many precautions as you can to help prevent this tragedy happening to your family. Replacing the batteries in a smoke alarm may seem like a mundane chore you need to perform every once in a while, but it is a simple task you never want to forget. Hopefully the device will never be used but you always want it working soundly to give you peace of mind.

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