Fall Back and Maintain Your Smoke Alarm | America's Preferred Home Warranty Skip to main content

Fall back and maintain your smoke alarms

A white smoke alarm with a red light on and smoke around it

It’s Daylight Saving Time again, which means it’s time to roll back our clocks as we enter a new season – and also time to check your smoke alarms. Most homeowners understand the frustration of their smoke detector chirping when the batteries get low, but that annoying noise could save your life! 

One study reported by the National Fire Protection Association found that three out of every five home fire deaths happen in homes with either no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

To help ensure your home is providing better fire safety – and to stop those chirps from happening – make sure your smoke alarms are working by using these helpful tips that can help ensure a safer home.

Smoke detector checklist

There are a few main things to keep in mind when practicing good home fire safety. By learning about the kind(s) of detectors you have and the best practices for placement and maintenance, you can sleep soundly knowing that your smoke detectors are working as they should.

Make your home safer with more protection

Did you know there are combination detectors for smoke and carbon monoxide? Save some ceiling space by installing one life-saving device that detects both. Install at least one on every floor of your home, preferably adding one to each bedroom as well.

Put your smoke detector in the right location

Putting your smoke or combination detector near ceiling or wall corners can create air pockets that prevent your alarm from sensing problems. That’s why it’s best to install your Smoke Detectors at least four inches away from any cornered area.

Ideally, you should put your smoke detector in one of the following areas (listed from most to least effective):

  • In the center of flat ceilings
  • At least four inches from the cross section of a peaked ceiling
  • On a wall, at least four inches from the ceiling (to avoid the air pocket)

Help your smoke detector work and breathe better

A helpful rule of thumb is to change the batteries when Daylight Saving Time rolls around—which happens to be today! Isn’t that convenient? It also makes it easy to remember when you changed them last.

While you’re doing so, take a moment to vacuum away any excess dust that has built up, so your smoke detector can work efficiently. Lastly, if you’re painting the wall or ceiling your detector is installed on, avoid getting any paint on your device, as it could block its sensors and make it work less efficiently or stop working altogether.

Remember 1|2|10 for smoke alarm maintenance

To make routine smoke detector maintenance a breeze, remember the sequence 1-2-10 for the steps below:

  • 1—Test your smoke detectors every month
  • 2—Change the batteries twice a year, even if they aren’t chirping
  • 10—Replace the detectors every 10 years

Safety isn’t just for fire detection, it’s for everyday life! For information on how America’s Preferred Home Warranty can protect your major home systems and appliances from unexpected breakdowns, check out our coverage guide or call 866.306.7495 today. Be safe, and don’t forget to adjust your clocks!

Visit us on Facebook or Instagram to tell us your thoughts!