We’ve all experienced that annoying beep that wakes you from a dead sleep. You stumble around your house, waiting for it to beep again so you can rip the sensor off the ceiling and go back to bed. You’ll be happy to deal with it tomorrow.
Instead of having to sleepily slink around your house in the middle of the night like a smoke detector ninja, try these tips and tricks to help to avoid the beep.
Schedule Your Battery Changes
EIt’s highly likely you’ve seen the public service announcement from your local Fire Department telling you the best way to avoid a fire disaster is to make sure your smoke detectors are always in good working order. To do this you should change your batteries every 6 months.
But there is another really good reason to change the batteries every 6 months! Scheduling battery changes will also help you avoid the dreaded beep. The problem is few of us actually do this. It sounds good in theory, but who can remember to do something 6 months from now?
The answer is to pair it with something you would normally do anyway.
Twice a year the majority of the country has to move the clocks by an hour for Daylight Savings time. Let this serve as your reminder to change your batteries as well. This way you aren’t trying to remember some arbitrary date and you’ll be more likely to actually change the batteries.
Tips and Warnings
Just like with commercial applications, one important thing to know about your smoke detectors is what type of battery they use. There are some models that use a lithium battery and can last up to 10 years.
With this model of smoke detector, you do not need to change out the batteries every 6 months – however, when it is time to replace them you will have to replace the whole unit. Most smoke detectors are actually hard-wired to your house and only use the battery as a backup power source (on a much smaller scale than stationary back-up/SLA batteries!).
Sadly, there is a large number of fires that could have been stopped before they got out of control if the home would have working smoke detectors. There are those of us out there who simply disable the alarm and never bother to replace the battery. Don’t do this. Never remove the battery without replacing it. Fires can sometimes take out the electrical system in your house.
This means that the battery in the smoke detector is your only hope to get to safety and have the fire handled quickly. Safety first!
How To Replace The Batteries In Your Smoke Detector
- Remove the Cover and Battery
Some smoke detectors have a hinge that you can flip down which makes changing the battery a lot easier. Most detector units actually detach from the base by turning the unit about half a turn. Remove the battery cover, if there is one, and remove the old battery.
- Replace the Battery
Most smoke detectors require a 9-volt battery. Simply click the top of the battery into the battery clip and slide the battery into its spot inside the smoke detector unit.
- Reattach the Smoke Detector
Close the battery cover if there is one to close and reattach to the smoke detector base. Most smoke detector units require you to line up the notches and then turn it half a turn to lock it into place.
- Test It Out
You’ll want to test the smoke detector to make sure everything is in good working order. Press the button on the face of the unit. Doing this should produce your favorite beeping noise.
You have now replaced your smoke detector battery and you should feel a sense of accomplishment. Having a schedule all laid out to keep those batteries fresh should give you a sense of accomplishment as well.
Not only did you take a step to increase your safety, but you have defeated the beep that would otherwise haunt you for hours and steal your sleep.