Smoke alarm maintenance

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Please note: This safety advice is offered as guidance only. If in doubt, Get out, Stay out and get the Fire and Rescue Service out!

Your smoke alarms are a vital protection from the danger of fire in your home. They provide an early warning of danger, giving your family precious time to get out of your home quickly.

A simple maintenance plan will ensure that your smoke alarm continues to protect your family. Make sure all your alarms are fitted according to the manufacturers or Fire and Rescue Service instructions:

One-year battery alarms (Optical and Ionisation):

  • Test the alarm each week by activating test facility
  • Gently remove dust and dirt from inside the casing and on the cover. Make sure the grilles on the cover are not obstructed
  • Change the battery annually, even if it is not emitting a low power warning. Always use a high quality battery

Ionisation/Optical Alarms with 10 year life lithium battery:

  • Make sure the unit is kept clean and the grilles are unobstructed
  • Test it every week
  • Replace the unit at the end of lifespan

Mains powered units with battery back-ups:

  • The installation of this type of system should only be carried out by qualified and competent electricians
  • Test the system every week
  • Keep the unit clean and dust free (switch off first). Make sure the grilles are kept clear
  • Replace the battery according to the manufacturers recommendation

Smoke Alarms should be fitted at least 30cm(12") away from any wall or light fitting and close to the centre of the room. Care should be taken to fit them where you can hear them particularly when you are asleep.

Further information

Community Fire Safety

Telephone: 01743 260 200