Home Improvement

5 Common Smoke Detector Problems and How to Fix Them

According to the NIST, if every home in America had a smoke alarm with a smoke detector installed, we could save over 1,000 lives per year.

So, keeping your home’s smoke detectors operational is a matter of life and death.

Check out these common smoke detector problems and what you can do about them before it’s too late.

1. Low Battery Power

You should change your smoke detector batteries at least once a year. Some types of smoke detectors use batteries as the main power source, although they’re most often in place as a backup.

When your batteries start to run low, your smoke detector may warn you by chirping and beeping. However, it’s still a good idea to check your batteries regularly.

If you find they’ve corroded into the receptacles, you’ll have to replace the entire unit.

2. Expired Smoke Detectors

You probably didn’t know that smoke detectors only last for eight to ten years, that’s when you should consider replacing smoke detectors according to the US Fire Administration.

If you can’t find the expiration dates stamped inside alongside the battery, or at the back of the alarm, it’s probably older than the legislation that demands this.

In this case, you should replace your smoke detector immediately.

3. Poor Smoke Detector Installation

Don’t install smoke detectors near laundries, bathrooms, kitchens, or fireplaces. Steam or smoke from your fireplace might activate them unnecessarily.

You should also avoid setting them up near fans or vents where smoke might blow away from the smoke detectors. Sometimes, smoke detectors malfunction in temperatures above 100 °F, or below 32 °F.

There are two main types of smoke detectors, those that respond to smoldering flames, and those that respond to flaming fires. You must have both types installed to keep your family safe.

4. Dirt Build Up

Clean your smoke detector regularly.

Dust buildup can block its sensors and cause erratic behavior. Sometimes insects can curl up and die inside your smoke detector, which can also result in it malfunctioning.

Use only approved solutions to clean your smoke detector, strong chemicals can set it off.

5. Serious Smoke Detector Problems

Sometimes the sensitivity settings on a smoke detector aren’t working correctly. This can cause the smoke detector to spring into action for no apparent reason.

Even if you’ve installed new batteries, you must also perform a monthly reliability test to ensure your smoke detector is operational. If not, you could end up with serious problems.

An electrical failure in the wires that keep your smoke detector operational could also cause it to stop working.

You’ll need to call on a smoke detector repair service to help with fixing smoke detectors that have these kinds of issues.

Keeping Your Home in Great Shape

Smoke detector problems are just one of the many aspects you need to deal with as a homeowner. Fortunately, if you maintain your home well, most household issues require only a quick fix.

Are you curious to find out when to DIY and when to call an expert? Browse our website for more of the latest news on home repairs and all the best lifestyle tips.

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