Smoke Detector Maintenance | Pretty Handy Girl
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Day 31 – Smoke Detector Maintenance Tips

31 Days of Handy Home Fixes | Pretty Handy Girl

Happy Halloween! Trick or Treat, smell my feet! Now, give me something good to eat. Are you ready for the trickery tonight? Ahhh, good. What about the time change in the US? On Sunday, November 2nd be sure to turn your clocks back one hour. Are you ready for that? What’s to be ready for? Well, this is one of two times a year you need to maintain your smoke detectors.

I don’t have to tell you how tragic not having a working smoke detector can be. All you have to do is read the news to hear many stories about homes burning to the ground and many lives consumed by the fire because they slept through it. Let’s commit to each other that we will reduce the statistics of fire fatalities.  All you have to do is maintain your smoke detectors twice a year when you change your clocks.

Day 31 – Smoke Detector Maintenance Tips:

Smoke Detector Maintenance | Pretty Handy Girl

First, gather a few supplies and then we can whip through this maintenance task.


  • Can of compressed air
  • NEW 9 volt batteries
  • Permanent marker
  • Hearing protection
  • Electrical tape (or other tape)


Put on your hearing protection. (I finally got smart this year and wore hearing protection while replacing the batteries and testing the smoke detector. No need to damage my hearing or get a headache from listening to the alarm one foot away from my head!)

Begin by removing your smoke detector. Don’t forget to check your hardwired smoke detector, it might also use a back up battery.

Open the battery compartment and remove the old battery.

Smoke Detector Maintenance | Pretty Handy Girl

If you want to reuse that 9 volt battery, mark the month and year on the battery. That way you know that this was removed from the smoke detector. Don’t EVER reuse the battery in your smoke detectors, but it’s fine to use for your toys and electronics.

Smoke Detector Maintenance | Pretty Handy Girl

If you are going to throw away the battery, it’s important to cover the terminals with tape. If you don’t a fire could start if something metal touches both terminals at the same time.

Smoke Detector Maintenance | Pretty Handy Girl

Put a new battery into the smoke detector (pay attention to where the + and – terminals go.)

Use the can of compressed air to blow out around the sensor and inside the smoke detector. Keeping a clean detector is important for it to function properly.

Smoke Detector Maintenance | Pretty Handy Girl

Replace the smoke detector and press the test button. After the alarm has stopped you can take off your hearing protection.

Smoke Detector Maintenance | Pretty Handy Girl

Move on to the next smoke detector.

Okay, tell me honestly, am I the last human being to figure out wearing hearing protection while maintaining your smoke detectors is a great idea?

That’s it! Day 31 of Nester’s 31 Days Challenge! I’m done and have to let out a big breath of air. Posting for 31 days straight was tough, but I’m glad I made it. Did you enjoy the series? How many other series did you follow?

I’m planning on taking it easier in November, so I hope you’ll excuse me if I miss a day or two out of my normal 3 day a week schedule.



6 replies
  1. Steven Gressley
    Steven Gressley says:

    I never thought of using ear protection for dealing with the smoke detectors. Maybe I should wear it when I cook, too. I’ve been known to burn a few things here and there making the detectors sing.

  2. Colleen Taylor
    Colleen Taylor says:

    Fortunately our time in Arizona never changes, but we still change our batteries at that time. I never thought of the can of air to blow out the little vents, great advice! Thanks again for this.


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