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Smoke detectors, they’re one of the most valuable fire safety tools on the market, and one that can double your family’s chance of surviving a house fire – yet we tend to take them for granted. It’s like we just expect them to work every time. However, like other household appliances, smoke detectors need regular cleaning and maintenance to function properly. Follow these easy steps to make sure your home’s smoke alarms are ready for action:
· Clean your smoke detectors twice a year, at least. Dust and other airborne contaminants can interfere with the way your alarm detects smoke. A vacuum cleaner with a wand should do the trick.
· Don’t wait for the annoying high-pitched chirp to alert you, set an annual date to update the batteries. Picking a date like a holiday or birthday will help you remember.
· Test your smoke detectors monthly by simply pressing the “test” button. If the alarm sounds, every thing is working. If you want more reassurance, blow a candle out right under the detector and allow the trail of smoke trigger the alarm.
· Unfortunately, smoke detectors don’t last forever. If yours are older than 10 years, switch them out with new ones.
· If you have an alarm they regularly goes off, it may be too close to your kitchen or bathroom where cooking fumes and steam can trigger it. While the typical go-to would be to disable it, don’t. Simply relocate the alarm to a better area.