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Maintaining and Testing Your Smoke and Heat Detectors

Smoke and heat detectors provide early warning of a fire, allowing time for you and your family to escape safely. It’s crucial that you maintain detectors and test them frequently. You should never disconnect a smoke or heat detector; they could save your life.

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You should test and maintain your detectors, as per the guidance below. If you have trouble fitting or testing your detectors, ask a friend, family member or neighbour to do it for you. Similarly, when testing your detectors, take a moment to consider if you know anybody who may need your assistance to ensure their detectors are working safely.

Standard Detectors

Once a week: test the battery by pressing the corresponding button until the alarm sounds.

Twice a year: open the casing and use the crevice or dusting brush tool on your vacuum cleaner to remove any dust that has settled on the sensors.

Once a year: change the battery; it’s best to do this on a memorable date, such as a family birthday or special occasion, to help you remember each year.

After ten years: replace the unit completely. Replacement detectors are available from most DIY stores or online retailers.

Sealed Detector Units

This type of detector has sealed-in lithium batteries that last the full life of the smoke detector. You should still test the device on a weekly basis, as per the recommendations for standard detectors. You may not be able to open the casing, so vacuum through the holes.

You’ll need to replace the device in accordance with the expiry date, which will be detailed on the unit.

For further information on how your smoke and heat detectors work and how to ensure their continued safe operation, please refer to the manufacturer’s literature that you’ll be provided with when you move in or purchase a replacement product.


*How To articles are intended as advice only. Please refer to your completion documents for specific information on lease and covenant restrictions and maintenance of your home.*