Have You Tested Your Fire Alarm Batteries Lately?
Better Now Than Too Late
July 9, 2020
When’s the last time you tested your fire alarm batteries? If it was around daylight savings, that’s a start, but it doesn’t hurt to check them more regularly. In fact, it could save your life.
Battery Type Matters
We all know it’s important to have a working fire alarm in your home, but have you ever wondered about the type of battery you’re using? Depending on the type of alarm you have it could require a 9-volt or AA battery. Even battery brand matters, as some generic forms don’t last as long. Lithium batteries tend to last longer than their counterparts.
No matter what type you use, the best way to make sure it’s still working is to regularly test. You can do it around daylight savings approximately every six months or so, or pick a time every month to check. You don’t have to wait until you hear that low battery beep to change it, because you never know when you’ll miss it or it may be too late.
There are some alarms with guaranteed battery life. A 10-year sealed battery smoke alarm contains a battery good for the life of the alarm. While you don’t need to change the battery for 10 years you’ll need to get a new alarm after the decade is up.
Changing Fire Alarm Batteries
For those without the 10-year sealed battery alarms, there will come a time when you’re going to need to change the battery. Even if you have a hardwired alarm, it eventually requires a new battery backup. Whether you’ve tested the alarm and it won’t work, or you start to hear the chirp of the low battery notification, it’s time for a change. Changing the battery is simple once you determine how to access the battery compartment.
The only tools you should require include:
- Ladder to reach alarm on ceiling or wall
- Screwdriver to remove it from the wall and/or access battery compartment
- Replacement batteries
The process may differ depending on the type of alarm you’re using, but in general:
- If you’re working with a hardwired device, turn the main power off before working with the alarm to prevent electrical shock or damage.
- Remove the cover by either sliding or twisting it open. You may also need a screwdriver to get to the batteries.
- Remove the old batteries and replace them with new ones. Be sure to match up the connections correctly for optimal results.
- Test alarm to make sure everything is working. The test button should be clearly marked on the outer alarm case.
- If nothing sounds, check the battery connection. If it still doesn’t work, it’s time for a new alarm altogether.
New Fire Systems
It’s recommended to buy a new alarm every 10 years. If you’re not sure how old your current device is, check the manufacturer date on the back of the device. For tips and information on new alarm systems, contact the security experts at Security Five.