Reasons Smoke Detectors Malfunction
Recently the Liberty Township Fire Department has seen an increase in the number of responses to smoke detector activation calls in which there is no smoke present. There are several reasons for these malfunctions.
The leading cause is simply the unit is worn out. Many of the manufacturers recommend replacing smoke detectors every five years. The fact that many of the homes built in Liberty Township are approximately five years old would substantiate these findings. These homes are equipped with an AC (house current) powered smoke detector on each level of the structure that are linked together via the house's wiring. Many of these detectors also have a 9-volt battery back up. This is an option but not required by the Butler County Building Code.
Dust Obscuring Sensor
Another cause of smoke detector false alarms is dust obscuring the internal sensor. Often drywall dust from construction and remodeling projects can cause this problem. The best way to eliminate dust in the unit is with a small can of pressurized air, the kind used to clean office or photographic equipment.
The Liberty Township Fire Department recommends testing your smoke alarms every month and replacing the battery (if equipped) every six months. Change your batteries when you change the clock for Daylight Savings Time is a good way to remember. These batteries may still have some useful life left so feel free to reuse them in a less vital function.
Smoke detectors are a rare value! They are inexpensive, readily available and provide a proven life saving service. Feel free to call Fire Headquarters at 513-759-7530 if you have any questions. Never hesitate to call 911 if you have a smoke alarm activation.