Have You Changed Your Smoke Alarm Batteries?

Find more smoke alarm safety tips on the National Fire Protection Association’s website |  photo and post by Larry Clinton

For those of us who didn’t follow the custom of changing smoke alarm batteries when resetting our clocks to Daylight Savings Time, it’s not too late. FHA Emergency Services chair Flo Hoylman passes along these suggestions from the Southern Marin Fire District:

  • Today’s smoke alarms are not all designed the same, so here is information to help make sure all smoke alarms have working batteries, accounting for the multiple types of smoke alarms on the market and their varying battery requirements:
  • Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
  • Smoke alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year. If that alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  • When replacing a battery, follow manufacturer’s list of batteries on the back of the alarm or manufacturer’s instructions. Manufacturer’s instructions are specific to the batteries (brand and model) that must be used. The smoke alarm may not work properly if a different kind of battery is used.

Please note that all smoke alarms should be replaced after ten years. If you purchased your smoke alarms on or before March 2013, it is a good idea to replace them soon.