May 2012

Smoke alarm smarts!

Smoke alarm smarts!

:Smoke alarms can protect you from these silent killers if they are properly installed and maintained.

Where should you put your smoke alarms?

  • Outside every sleeping area and on every level of the home
  • At the bottom of the basement stairs
  • Inside the bedroom if the door is often closed
  • In the kitchen, living room and hallways

Can you hear your smoke alarm at night?

It is a good idea to test your smoke alarms while the family is sleeping. Do this by pressing and holding the test button for a few seconds. The alarm should sound immediately. One test can verify if they will hear the alarm and be able to escape from a fire in time. Replace models that do not have test buttons or that are more than 10 years old.

Choosing a smoke alarm

Smoke alarms either run on batteries or are wired directly into your home’s electrical system. You can easily install battery-powered smoke alarms following the manufacturer’s instructions.

A qualified electrician should install units that use your home’s electrical system. These alarms must be used with a battery as backup in case of power outages. No matter which model you select, carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions about testing and maintenance.

Check your smoke alarm regularly!

Test your smoke alarms every month. Change the batteries in your smoke alarms at least once a year, more often if your alarm fails one of the regular tests. A good reminder is – Change your batteries when you change your clocks in the spring!


Cleaning your smoke alarm

Beeping smoke alarms may need cleaning. Clean your smoke alarms twice a year by removing the cover and carefully wiping it with a damp cloth. Gently vacuum the sensor unit inside. Replace the cover and test the smoke alarm to make sure it is working properly. If it doesn’t stop beeping, replace the unit.


Source: “Be Responsible. Be Safe. Installing and Maintaining Your Smoke Alarms," Government of New Brunswick, Department of Public Safety


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