Batteries are the only source of power for smoke detectors. A hardwired smoke detector runs on electricity, but it also has a battery backup for power outages. When you hear a hard-wired smoke detector beeping, it means you need to replace its battery.
Remove the cover
Smoke detectors usually twist open, but some models have plastic locks you open with a screwdriver, and others have to be popped open with your fingers. See your user’s manual for specific instructions on how your model works.
But remember, to avoid electrical shock, turn off the main power at your circuit breaker before working on a hard-wired smoke detector.
Replace the Battery
After you remove the cover of the detector, it’s easy to see how to change a smoke alarm battery. Remove the old battery and replace it with the new one. Match the negative and positive connections according to the labels on the smoke detector.
Test the Smoke Alarm
Make sure the smoke detector’s new battery or batteries work before you reinstall it. To engage the test, locate the test button and push it for a few seconds.
- If your test alarm doesn’t sound, check battery connections and try different batteries.
- If your smoke alarm fails the test with new batteries, then you need to replace your smoke detector.
Stay safe and do not re-install your smoke alarm until you are sure it is working properly.
Tips for Smoke Alarms
- According to fire safety experts, you should replace your smoke alarm battery twice a year. A good rule of thumb is to change it when the clocks change in the fall and spring. Or, set a calendar reminder for when to change your smoke alarm batteries.
- Replace the backup battery annually in hard-wired units, regardless of whether they beep.
- Note the date you changed the battery on the inside of the smoke alarm.
- Replace your smoke detector or smoke alarm every 10 years. After 10 years, smoke alarms expire. You can calculate the expiration date by looking on the back of the device to see the manufacture date.
- Check your smoke detectors, CO alarms, and fire extinguishers regularly to ensure they are in good working order.
- Smoke detectors should be installed inside each bedroom, outside sleeping areas, on every level of your home, in the living room, and near staircases.
Making your place fire-safe will be easier if you follow these steps. Your place will remain safe if you keep your smoke alarm up-to-date and make sure that the batteries are working.