The beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time marks an important reminder for homeowners and families everywhere. It’s time to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors!
It’s important, according to safety experts, to not only test the devices twice a year but also change the batteries. As a whole, not everyone is on board with this semiannual tradition. In fact, only 57% of American households have tested these devices and/or changed batteries in the last six months according to a recent survey of over 1000 homeowners.
It is important to note how much of an impact home safety and fire safety awareness has had in the US over the past several decades. The average time to escape a home fire has dropped from seventeen minutes to under three minutes due to changes in home construction, increases in synthetics used in furniture and of course fire prevention and carbon monoxide detector awareness campaigns both on national and local levels.
Never changed a battery in a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector? Here are some directions that will work for most common models:
- Lift, twist, or remove the cover. (In some cases, the whole alarm will come off from a base.)
- Replace the battery with a brand-new one. Most machines use 9-volt batteries.
- Close and snap the detector back into place.
- Press the test button to make sure it’s working. You should hear a beep or chirp sound.
Smoke alarms lose their effectiveness after about a decade and require replacing just like carbon monoxide detectors. If you upgrade to the newer lithium battery smoke detectors, you won’t have to worry about replacing the batteries at all for up to a decade.