Smoke Alarms

fire alarm; it's the lawonly working smoke alarms can save your life

Maintain your smoke alarms 

Only working smoke alarms can save your life! Smoke alarms require some simple maintenance to keep them in good working order. These tips will help to make sure your alarms perform as intended-when you need them the most:

Test smoke alarms monthly

Test your smoke alarms every month by using the test button on the alarm. When the test button is pressed, the alarm should sound.
If battery-operated smoke alarms fail to sound when tested, make sure that the battery is installed correctly, or install a new battery.
If electrically-connected smoke alarms fail to sound when tested, make sure the power is turned on to the unit.
If the alarm still fails to sound, replace the smoke alarm with a new one.

Change the batteries every year

Install a new battery at least once a year, or as recommended by the manufacturer. Install a new battery if the low-battery warning sounds, or if the alarm fails to sound when tested.

Beware of chirping smoke alarms

All battery-operated smoke alarms emit a warning sound, usually an intermittent “chirp”, when the battery power is low. When you hear this sound, it’s time to replace the battery. The smoke alarm will continue to work even though it is chirping, so do not remove the battery until you replace it with a new one. The warning signal itself will eventually stop after a few days, so smoke alarms should be tested when you return from an extended absence in case the battery has died.

Vacuum alarms annually

Dust can affect your smoke alarms. Battery-powered smoke alarms should be cleaned by opening the cover of the alarm and gently vacuuming the inside with a soft bristle brush.
For electrically-connected smoke alarms, first shut off the power to the unit, and then gently vacuum the outside vents of the alarm only. Turn the power back on and test the alarm.

Replace older smoke alarms

All smoke alarms wear out. If your alarms are more than 10 years old, replace them with new ones.


Use the "Hush" feature

Smoke alarms are available with a pause or hush button that can be used to temporarily silence the alarm. This is a convenient way to deal with nuisance alarms, such as those caused by burning toast or opening smoky ovens, without disabling the alarm. The hush button will silence the alarm for several minutes and then automatically reset itself. Smoke alarms with this feature discourage the dangerous practice of removing the battery or disconnecting the power source as a method of dealing with frequent nuisance alarms. When purchasing smoke alarms, look for alarms with a hush feature, especially if the alarm will be installed near a kitchen or bathroom.
It should be noted that many alarms with a hush feature will chirp intermittently while in hush mode. The chirping will stop once the alarm resets itself.
If smoke continues to build from a real fire while the alarm is in hush mode, the smoke will override the silence feature and the smoke alarm will resound.
All information on this website is provided as a public resource of general information. Every effort is made to ensure that the documents on this website are accurate and contain the latest amendments; however, the Township of Southgate does not guarantee or accept any responsibility for accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of information provided here.