How often Should You Change Your Smoke Detector Batteries

Smoke detector battery use
How often should you change your smoke detector batteries? Out of all of the appliances in your home, the smoke detector happens to be one of the most ignored, when it comes to keeping up on its maintenance.

In fact, unless you have a smoke detector right outside of your bathroom or you haven’t fully mastered the art of making toast, you probably rarely even look up at your smoke detector.

Although smoke detectors are most annoying when they continually chirp because of a low battery, they really do save lives, every second of the day.

So how often should you change your smoke detector batteries? Before we get to that let me, say this. There are many people today trying to save a few bucks that are using rechargeable batteries in their smoke detectors.

Never do this. If you have ever used any products that came with rechargeable batteries, you are well aware at how quickly the batteries die after a couple uses.

If your smoke detector goes off frequently and you use these types of batteries, you are putting yourself at risk. Why?

  • Rechargeable batteries often experience a sudden discharge.
  • This is a problem because if the batteries do not allow the detector to sound off the low power chirp, you won’t know you need to recharge the battery.

We both can imagine what happens during a fire. Be safe; never use rechargeable batteries in your smoke detectors. Always use regular batteries in your smoke detectors. They should be good batteries as well, not the ones that you can buy 10 for a $1.

There are 2 types of smoke detectors according to the local fire department.

  • Common smoke detectors like the ones that you have in your house, use an ionization process to detect smoke in your home.
  • The second type uses a photo sensor, similar to the sensor on your garage door that stops it if there is something in its way. Both work the same, however many reports show that the smoke detector with the photo sensor works best because it is more sensitive.

photoelectric smoke detector

Many people also frequently assume that having one smoke detector in the home is sufficient. This is also an urban myth. There should be a smoke detector on every floor of your home.

If your home has an attic or dormer, there should be a smoke detector in this location as well. Most cities and states require you to have a smoke detector either in or just outside of every bedroom in your house.

If you have a newly constructed home, you may have noticed that your smoke detectors have electrical wires as well as a battery connected to them. The battery serves as a backup power supply. This type of smoke detector networking is called an interconnected system.

This simply means that all of the smoke detectors on your property are connected together. If a fire breaks out in the garage and you are asleep in your bedroom on the other side of the house, the smoke detector outside of your bedroom will go off to alert you of the fire before it reaches you.

I do not yet have them in my home but there are smoke detectors that work on a wifi signal as well. For the millions of us that have the standard smoke detectors in our home, you should replace the batteries faithfully, once a year.

If your smoke detector goes off frequently, you should replace the batteries June 1st and December 1st of every year. Rather than risking damage to your smoke detector from improperly cleaning it, you should replace it if it is filthy or more than 10 years old.

I like a hot shower just like many other women. I am guilty of forgetting to turn on the exhaust fan in the bathroom as well.

I also sometimes forget about the smoke detector in the hallway that goes off because of the steam from the bathroom after a shower. It scares me every time and I always yell at the detector to stop beeping like it’s really listening.