The importance of smoke alarm maintenance

How and why to keep your smoke alarm in good condition.

Fire alarms are vital tools for homes and businesses alike.

However, as with most technology, smoke alarms are subject to technical faults and other issues.

And given the importance of their function, they must be maintained and checked regularly.

At ServiceMaster Restore, we promise to restore your premises as close to their original condition as possible following disasters like fire.

In cases of emergency, we will be there, but these are worst-case scenarios.

To avoid disaster altogether, we’ve put together some tips on smoke alarm maintenance.

Why check your smoke alarm?

Your smoke alarm can be affected by various factors that impact its ability to alert you to potential danger.

These include:

  • Age and installation
  • Dust and dirt build-up
  • Vandalism or tampering
  • Exposures to temperature, humidity and voltage

These factors can influence your smoke alarm at any time, so regularly testing its effectiveness is essential for your home or business.

An improperly functioning smoke can be a danger to…

  1. Your safety

Perhaps the most evident reason to check your smoke alarm regularly is for the safety it provides.

Smoke alarms are designed to detect smoke before humans are likely able to.

This protects you from the threats of fire and smoke, like smoke inhalation, and ensures you can reach a safe location as quickly as possible.

Additionally, for commercial properties, most alarm systems allow emergency responders to pinpoint the location of the fire.

This allows them to maximise their safety while having a strategic approach to extinguishing the threat.

  1. Legality

For landlords and commercial properties, there are legal requirements and legislation around smoke alarm ownership.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 came into force on 1 October 2022.

From that date, all relevant landlords have been required to:

  1. Ensure at least one smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of their homes where a room is used as living accommodation.

This has been a legal requirement in the private rented sector since 2015.

  1. Ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers).
  2. Ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once it is found that they are faulty.

Fines of up to £5’000 can be enforced if a landlord fails to comply with a remedial notice.

For more information, the UK Government website provides information about the requirements, to whom they apply, and how they are enforced,

  1. Protection of contents

For commercial properties, the setup and operations of businesses often require heavy investments into the site, from real estate, design, furniture and electronics, to supplies and inventory.

Proper installation and maintenance of smoke alarms help safeguard these assets from damage.

Regular maintenance of smoke detectors and fire alarm systems by certified, qualified fire safety professionals can serve to protect the people at home or work and the buildings themselves.

How to ensure your smoke alarm is in good condition

Keeping your smoke alarm in working condition is an ongoing and vital process and can be done by following some easy steps:

  • Test your smoke alarms regularly (at least monthly) by pressing the test button on each smoke alarm to ensure it’s working.
  • Replace batteries regularly – Smoke alarms should have a fresh battery installed yearly or as soon as the low-battery warning chirps.
  • Install smoke alarms in the right places – There should be a smoke alarm on every landing of every floor and in the kitchen.
  • Keep smoke alarms clean – Dust and debris can interfere with smoke alarm sensors, so vacuum your smoke alarms regularly.
  • Replace smoke alarms when necessary – Smoke alarms should be replaced every decade or sooner if damaged or ill-functioning.

In need of professional fire and smoke restoration?

Smoke alarms are in place in homes and commercial properties to try and minimise the likelihood of an incident.

But, should the worst happen and your property and its contents fall victim to fire and smoke damage, we will be there in the aftermath.

Fortunately, there are experts from ServiceMaster Restore available to you 24/7 on our emergency hotline, 0845 762 6828.

With 60 years of experience as leading experts in disaster restoration, our technicians are here to help you.

When dealing with fire and smoke damage, you might not know what to do next, but we do.

To use our smoke and fire restoration services, find your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business today.