The Davis Fire Department recommends that residents change the batteries in their smoke alarms once a year, when we switch from daylight-saving time to standard time. That switch takes place this weekend.
A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to literature from the Fire Department. “Whether you’re awake or asleep, a working smoke alarm is constantly on alert, scanning the air for fire and smoke,” a department news release says.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.
Smoke alarms are powered by batteries or are hard-wired into the home’s electrical system. Battery-powered alarms run on either a disposable 9-volt battery or a non-replaceable 10-year lithium (“long-life”) battery. A backup battery is usually present on hard-wired alarms and may need to be replaced, the release says.
These batteries should be tested monthly and, in most cases (except for lithium batteries), should be replaced at least once each year. In addition, the entire unit should be replaced every eight to 10 years. Alarms powered by lithium batteries also should be replaced in that time span.
Hard-wired alarms also should be tested monthly, and the backup battery should be replaced at least once a year, the department says, with the entire unit being replaced every eight to 10 years.