How to Troubleshoot a Smoke Detector

Written by victoria ries
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How to Troubleshoot a Smoke Detector
A Smoke Detector (Victoria Ries Copyright 2009)

Installing smoke alarms in a house can save lives by alerting the occupants when smoke is in the house. Smoke is a killer. When fire breaks out, death often is caused not through fire, but through smoke inhalation. Smoke detectors should be installed in every bedroom and on each floor of your house to keep your family safe.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Fresh batteries Smoke detector

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  1. 1

    Replace the old battery with a fresh battery. Most smoke detectors require 9-volt batteries. Ensure that the battery is replaced regularly; it's a small price to pay to keep your family safe. Make certain that the positive and negative connections on the battery match up with the smoke detector's connectors. Test the fresh battery by holding down the button until the smoke detector's alarm sounds.

    How to Troubleshoot a Smoke Detector
    Replacing the Battery
  2. 2

    Check the battery connector wires for cracks or breaks. This may be the reason your smoke detector doesn't work. If your smoke alarm is hard-wired to your home's power supply, you may want to flip the breaker that corresponds with your smoke alarm to see if that is the cause of the problem.

    How to Troubleshoot a Smoke Detector
    Check the Battery Wires
  3. 3

    Make sure that the smoke detector hasn't been dropped by any members of your family. Electronics are sensitive and delicate and should be handled with care.

  4. 4

    Remove any dust or lint that may have accumulated on the smoke detector. Use canned air, available from the electronic department of your favorite store, to ensure connectors are dirt free.

  5. 5

    Explore all possibilities stated in the previous steps. If all remedies fail, buy a new smoke detector. An average smoke detector is approximately $6 to $8 dollars and well worth the money.

Tips and warnings

  • Test your smoke detector weekly.
  • Replace the batteries regularly.

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