Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How should I maintain my smoke alarms after they are installed?
What factors should be considered when shopping for a smoke detector?
When looking for the smoke detector most suited to your home and your needs, there are many factors to take into consideration. A licensed electrician will be familiar with the best detectors on the market, so it’s best to consult with them during the process.
Nevertheless, smoke detectors are usually divided into type types: ionization (responsive to flames) and photoelectric (responsive for smoldering fires). Combination ionization-photoelectric alarms, or dual sensor smoke alarms, are often recommended for the best protection.
A smoke alarm also has two possible power sources: batteries or being hard-wired. Battery alarms work during a power failure, with batteries that need to be replace annually. Meanwhile, hard-wired alarms are integrated into the home’s circuitry, usually with back-up batteries in case of a temporary power outage.
When do I need to replace my smoke alarm after installation?
This depends on the type of smoke detector. Units that only use removable batteries should have their batteries replaced at least once every year. For smoke alarms that use sealed lithium batteries integrated into the unit that last for about 10 years, the entire unit will need to be replaced once the battery has died. A good rule of thumb is that a smoke detector should be replaced every 5-10 years.