Maintaining smoke alarms
- Test by holding down the test button until you hear a loud alert tone, then release. Use a broom handle if you cannot reach but be careful you do not damage the smoke alarm.
- Vacuum around your smoke alarm vents with a soft brush attachment. This will remove a build-up of dust and cobwebs.
- Use a surface insect spray around the smoke alarm to prevent insects nesting inside. Do not spray inside the smoke alarm.
- If your alarm has a 9-volt user-replaceable battery, you will need to replace the battery each year.
- Always check the green visual display light is lit up. This shows that the smoke alarm is connected to the mains power.
- Never fiddle with alarms or place anything over them, like paint or tape. This will stop the alarm from detecting smoke particles in the air.
All smoke alarms, including mains powered alarms need to be replaced every 10 years!
Smoke alarms are made to last 10 years. After this time your smoke alarm won’t work as well as it should because of dust, insects, airborne contaminants and corrosion of electrical circuits.
If a user-replaceable battery (9-volt alkaline) smoke alarm continues to ‘chirp’ or ‘beep’ after changing the battery, the smoke alarm is likely to be faulty and will need to be replaced.
If you have had a lot of power outages over the life of a long-life lithium powered (10 year) smoke alarm, the rechargeable lithium cells may degrade and become inoperable and need to be replaced.
Important note: You need to get a licensed electrical contractor to disconnect or install mains powered smoke alarms.
All smoke alarms have batteries, including mains powered smoke alarms. Many smoke alarms on the market have a rechargeable battery, which you will not need to change.
A 9-volt user-replaceable battery needs to be changed every year, and will make a warning ‘beep’ or ‘chirp’ if the battery needs to be replaced (before your yearly replacement).
Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before changing the battery,
If you have experienced a long power outage, your mains powered smoke alarms may give a low battery warning. You do not need to change the battery but it may take a few hours to recharge once reconnected to power.