12 Dec 2019
Ever been annoyed at your smoke alarm for making that annoying beeping sound? Well, you shouldn’t. The hardworking device is trying its best to keep you and your family safe. All it needs from you are regular checks and the occasional battery change. Read Hoppy’s guide below and learn how to change your smoke alarm’s battery once and for all.
Most smoke alarms will make that annoying beeping sound when the battery is due for a change. It’ll probably happen just before you’re about to drift off and hoping for a great night’s sleep. You can avoid this by changing the battery regularly yourself, but for most, it’ll only happen when the beeping sets in.
Hoppy’s home tip: a typical smoke alarm needs a change of batteries twice a year. You can use the biannual clock change as a reminder to do it. And if you do forget, the beeping noise will remind you that it’s time to get a new battery.
How to change a smoke alarm battery
Don’t ignore the beeping noise once you hear the alarm making it. Also, do not remove the battery without a new one on hand to replace it, you might be compromising your and your family’s safety.
Check what kind of smoke alarm your home has. New lithium battery-powered smoke detectors can last up to 10 years. However, in this instance, the whole unit is disposable without the option of simply changing the battery; you’ll need to replace the entire thing.
For standard smoke detectors, you’ll need to remove the cover or body of the alarm. Gently unclip or open the cover with a twisting motion to reveal the three main parts inside: the sensing chamber, a loud horn, and battery.
- Remove the old battery from its holder and replace it with a new one. Most smoke alarms use a 9V battery. Align and connect the terminals properly, ensuring the battery lies flat.
- Replace the body of the alarm or close the cover; twist it back in place.
Now it’s time to test the smoke alarm. Simply press the test button on the body of the alarm to check the battery is working. Pressing the test button should produce a beep. Once you hear it, you have the all-clear that your smoke alarm is working again.
Smoke alarm regulations
There are some smoke alarm regulations that everyone needs to know. In England and Wales, all dwellings should have optical or multisensory mains powered alarms with an integral back up power supply positioned in the hallways and landings – basically the home’s escape routes. At least one fire alarm should be present on every story, and all alarms should be interlinked.
In Scotland and Northern Ireland, the regulations differ slightly. There should be at least one smoke alarm in every circulation space, like hallways and landings, plus all high-risk areas. Position at least one smoke alarm in the primary habitable room; typically, this is the living room. Have a least one heat alarm in every kitchen and ensure that all alarms are interlinked.
Remember, however annoying you might find changing the fire alarm battery or hearing the beeping noise, it’s there to protect you and your family. Set a reminder on your phone twice a year, if needed, and get to know your smoke alarm. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.