Mistakes When Maintaining Your Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detector


As with most home maintenance, when it comes to avoiding dangerous fires and/or carbon monoxide exposure in your home the key is to prevent them in the first place. Solid fire safety practices are important, but perhaps even more important than that is to install and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. Things happen inside the home, and having these detectors can help get everyone out safely should an emergency arise. Smoke detectors are designed to send out a signal when smoke is detected in the home, while carbon monoxide detectors are reliable in signaling before dangerous levels of carbon monoxide levels have been reached inside the home.

CO/Smoke Detector - Aurora IL - Pozzi Chimney

Of course, the most important part of having detectors in the home is properly maintaining them. Here are some common mistakes when maintaining your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.

Not Maintaining Your Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Detectors

The worst offense of owning detectors is not maintaining them at all. The work isn’t over once you install them. The batteries must be checked every few months, and replaced on a regular basis. Test your smoke detector and your carbon monoxide detector every few months to make sure they are operating correctly. The National Fire Protection Association and FEMA report that three out of five fire deaths are the result of homes not having working smoke alarms, so make sure yours are operating correctly.

Not Installing Detectors Correctly

Another common mistake is not installing your detectors correctly in the first place. If you are unsure how to install your fire detectors according to the manufacturer’s instructions, ask your electrician for assistance. In many cases some basic electric work is necessary and you want to be sure they are protecting you and your family from installation.

Not Having Up To Date Detectors

A common mistake when maintaining smoke alarms is assuming they never have to be replaced. A good rule of thumb is to replace your smoke detectors every ten years, but if you are not sure how old your detectors are you should replace them anyway. If your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are a decade old or do not respond to tests then it is time to replace them.

Additional Fire Safety Tips

  • Only operate heating appliances according to manufacturer instructions.
  • Use space heaters and other stand alone appliances in open areas free of clutter.
  • Only burn appropriately treated wood. Never burn garbage or other materials.
  • Make sure your fireplace or woodstove have been inspected and swept by a professional chimney sweeping company.
  • Don’t leave candles unattended or near flammable materials.

Pozzi Chimney Sweeps in Illinois are passionate about keeping you and your family safe season after season. If you have any questions about how to keep your home safe from potential fire dangers, contact us to schedule a consultation. Our certified chimney sweeps will come to your home and make sure your chimney and fireplace are working correctly and safely. Proper chimney maintenance coupled with smoke and carbon monoxide detection can help prevent fires in your home as well as keep your family safe.