Smoke Detectors

Hello homeowners and future homeowners. We’re getting close to the date when we switch our clocks from Standard to Daylight Savings time. What does changing to Daylight Savings Time have to do with smoke detectors, you ask?  It’s a reminder. Most fire departments recommend: Change your clocks, change your smoke detector batteries. If you live in Arizona or Hawaii, change your smoke detector batteries on January 1st and July 4th.

As usual, while quizzing my husband about smoke detectors, I learned a lot. At this point in time, almost everyone should have smoke detectors in their homes. Interestingly enough, how many smoke detectors you actually have in your home is determined by how long you’ve owned your home.

When Skip and I purchased our home in 1984, smoke detectors were not required to be in every home. Since then, state and municipal codes have changed. Any home that is sold, or built as a new home, must have smoke detectors in them. Most new construction homes have the smoke detectors built into the electrical system. But, in case the electrical system is damaged, every smoke detector has a battery back-up. The required number and placement of these smoke detectors will vary depending on the codes/regulations that are in place where you live.

Needless to say, we do have smoke detectors in our home because we realize the importance of smoke detectors. But technically, we wouldn’t have to have smoke detectors in our home until we sell it.  Here’s an important fact, even if your home was built and/or purchased fairly recently, the smoke detector code in your area may have changed since then.

You may be wondering if the smoke detectors in your home are up to code. No need to worry. Skip said that all you need to do is contact your local fire department and ask them to come out and check your home for fire safety, and it’s free! Many fire departments will even give you new smoke detectors, and the batteries to go with them. How cool is that? If you live in an area that doesn’t have the manpower to make such a visit to your home, then call your insurance agent and ask for a fire safety inspection. Most of the time, the inspectors will show you how to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.

If you can’t get a fire department or insurance person to come to your home, you can always fall back on my usual suggestions. Ask a handy friend, Google it or hire a professional. The best professional to hire would be an electrician or alarm company.

One of the smoke detectors in our home, fingerprints and all!

SYNOPSIS

  • Change the batteries in your smoke detectors every time you change your clocks.
  • In Arizona and Hawaii, change your smoke detector batteries on January 1st and July 4th.
  • Before you sell your home, the amount and placement of the smoke detectors in your home must be up to code.
  • Call your local fire department and schedule a fire safety inspection for your home.
  • Ask a handy friend to teach you how to change the batteries in your smoke detector.
  • Google how to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.
  • Hire an electrician or an alarm company to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.