If you are unfortunate enough to have a fire break out in your home, the presence of working smoke detectors can be the difference between life and death. Unfortunately, there are many people that fail to appreciate the importance of sound smoke detector maintenance, and as a result, these devices may not work when these individuals need them the most. If you are unsure of how to take care of your smoke detectors, following these two tips can help you dodge some of the most routine issues that these devices will encounter.
Look for the Warning Signs of a Weak Battery
At least once a month, you should test the batteries on your smoke detectors to ensure that they are still working. This is normally a simple task because most smoke detectors have a button on the exterior that can be used to do this. Depending on the make and model of your unit, you will notice either a series of beeps or lights flashing on the detector, but you will need to consult with your owner's manual to determine what these signs mean.
In addition to performing this test, you should also listen for the automatic alert that the battery is weak. This is done with a beep at regular intervals. Once you notice that this is occurring, you need to change the batteries as soon as possible to ensure that your home continues to be protected from this threat.
Regularly Dust the Unit
There are many homeowners that may be aware of the importance of testing the batteries, but they may not realize that dusting the smoke detectors is also a requirement to keep them working. These units operate by monitoring the concentration of smoke particles in the air, and if there is too much dust on the exterior of the device, this can cause the unit to fail to detect elevated smoke levels.
Luckily, dusting these devices does not require any special equipment. Simply use a cloth or duster to sweep away the dust from the smoke detector, and you need to make sure that the vents are completely clear before you stop dusting because even a partially clogged vent may be enough to prevent these devices from working.
Smoke detector maintenance is something that many homeowners make the critical mistake of underestimating. If you allow this to happen, you will have a false sense of security about your home because there is no guarantee that your smoke detectors will work correctly when they are in poor condition. By monitoring the status of the batteries and removing dust from the exterior of the detector, you can dramatically reduce the odds that these devices fail when you are needing them to work the most. For assistance, talk to a professional like GMW Fire Protection.