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Fire Prevention

Smoke Detectors

Smoke Alarms are very easy to take care of. There are two steps to remember.

1. Simply replace the batteries at least once a year. A simple way to remember to change your batteries is when you change your clocks for daylight savings time, change your batteries. Some smoke alarms now on the market come with a ten year battery. These alarms are designed to be replaced as a whole unit, thus avoiding the need for battery replacement. If your smoke alarm starts making a "chirping noise", replace the batteries and reset it.

2. Keep them clean. Dust and debris can interfere with their operation, so vacuum over and around your smoke alarm regularly. Canned air can be used to keep your smoke alarm clean from dust. Once in a while a spider gets into the smoke detector and causes it to go off.

If your smoke alarm goes off while you are cooking, then it's doing its job. Do not disable your smoke alarm if it alarms due to cooking or other non-fire causes. You may not remember to put the batteries back in the alarm after cooking. Instead, clear the air by waving a towel near the alarm, leaving the batteries in place. The alarm may have to be moved to a new location.

Smoke alarms last about 8-10 years and after that time should be replaced. Like most electrical devices, smoke alarms wear out. Always following the manufacturer's instructions for replacement.

In newer homes, smoke alarms are hard-wired which means they are connected to the household electrical system and may or may not have a battery back-up. It is important to test every smoke alarm monthly. Always use new batteries when replacing the old ones.

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