Installing & Maintaining Smoke Alarms

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Most battery-powered and plug-in alarms may be installed using only a drill and a screwdriver. Plug-in alarms must have restraining devices at the plug.
  • Have a qualified electrician install alarms that are hard-wired into your house wiring.
  • Never connect an alarm to a circuit that can be turned off from a wall switch.
  • Always save and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for testing and maintenance.
  • Test alarms at least monthly.
  • Replace batteries at least once each year (when you set clocks ahead in the spring or back in the fall is the recommended time to replace the batteries) or whenever an alarm “chirps” to tell you that the battery is low.
  • Consider installing smoke alarms with a “long-life” (10-year) battery. These alarms must also be tested at least once a month.
  • Replace any smoke alarm that is more than 10 years old.
  • Never paint a smoke alarm.