Smoke detectors play an essential role in modern homes. They help keep us safe from the looming risk of a fire by detecting smoke at minute levels. However, smoke detectors must be maintained on a regular basis to work correctly. The following guide explores why it’s essential to make sure that smoke detectors are properly maintained.

Safe Home

Keeping your family safe is your number one priority. Early warning signs can help when disaster strikes. From fires to flooding to electrical issues, having detectors in the home can save lives. These detectors will bring peace of mind to you, as the parent, to know your children are protected and watched over.

Dead Batteries

Most smoke detectors used in residential homes have a 9V battery inside them. In most cases, these batteries are designed to last for at least one year. However, it’s important to check your smoke detector on a regular basis to ensure that the battery hasn’t degraded. In some cases, batteries can leak acid, which impacts their ability to provide power to a smoke detector.

Aging Photocells

Some smoke detectors have photocells in them. Similar to a camera, these photocells detect smoke in the air. Whenever the imaging sensor detects smoke particles, an alarm will sound. However, photocells have a limited lifespan. Over time, they’ll need to be replaced.


Dust can impact the effectiveness of a smoke detector. If a smoke detector is covered with dust, smoke may not be able to enter the interior of a unit. In the event of a fire, the smoke detector may not sound an alert at all. To reduce the odds of this happening, it’s a good idea to clean a smoke detector with canned air at least every three months. This cleaning will help clear any dust from the unit.

Paint Damage

If a smoke detector is permanently installed on a wall or ceiling, there is a chance it could get paint on it if a home is renovated. If there is any paint on a smoke detector, it’s essential to replace it as soon as possible.

Degradation of Radioactive Elements

Most smoke detectors contain a radioactive element that is used to detect ionized particles of smoke. Over time, the dangerous component of a smoke detector can degrade. On average, this process takes five to seven years. If you have an older smoke detector, it’s a good idea to replace it. Check the labeling on your smoke detector to see if it has an expiration date.

Many security systems offer a wide range of home monitoring including smoke detectors for families who are concerned about fires. These security systems also provide carbon monoxide detectors, flood sensors, and a variety of other tools to keep you and your loved ones safe.


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