Home Improvement

This Is How to Tell If a Smoke Detector Is Bad

Low Angle View Of A Person's Hand Installing Smoke Detector On Ceiling Wall At Home

Did you know that adults over the age of 55 have the greatest risk of death if there were to be a fire in their homes? Considering how rapidly the US population is aging, that means that it’s critical that homeowners and renters alike take the steps to protect themselves from fire.

The best way to do that is to have a functioning fire detector. Not sure yours is up for the task? Read on to learn how to tell if a smoke detector is bad.

It’s Going Off for No Reason

Fire alarms are meant to go off when it senses that there is smoke or excess heat in a room. If you’ve ever cooked a steak on a cast-iron skillet or accidentally burned popcorn, then you know that they can be quite sensitive. That said, your smoke detector shouldn’t be so sensitive that it’s going off when there isn’t any stimulus setting it off. 

Smoke detectors work by going off when there is less electrical current going through them, a situation typically caused by the presence of smoke. The first thing you should do in this situation is to change the battery and see if that helps. If it doesn’t, then you might need to spring for a new smoke detector. 

The Test Button Isn’t Working

One of the key steps of smoke detector maintenance is intentionally setting it off on a regular basis to make sure it’s still functioning. Each smoke detector is equipped with a “test” button that will sound the alarm when pressed. If you press the button and nothing happens, then that’s a warning sign of a bad smoke detector.

As mentioned in the previous section, the step in diagnosing your smoke detector problem is to determine whether changing the battery fixes the problem. If not, then it’s time to replace your smoke detector.

Replacing the Battery Doesn’t Stop Chirping

Manufacturers of smoke detectors don’t want you to get injured in a fire just because the battery on your smoke detector died. As a result, when a battery is failing, the smoke detector makes a chirping sound every few minutes until the battery is replaced. 

Sometimes, though, replacing the battery doesn’t put an end to the chirping. As a fail-safe, try a different battery before buying a new smoke detector. You might consider investing in a hard-wired smoke detector in the future with a battery for backup to reduce the frequency in which you need to replace the battery.

Learning How to Tell if a Smoke Detector Is Bad Is Critical to Safety

Putting smoke detectors in your home isn’t something you can do and then forget about. It’s important to make sure that they are always functioning correctly, which means it’s critical that you learn how to tell if a smoke detector is bad. The sooner you make the diagnosis, the sooner you can get it fixed!

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