Do Smoke Detectors Require Maintenance?

Put simply, yes. Here at Ace Hardware NH, we’re the team of trusted professionals that have the answers you’ve always wondered. Believe it or not, one of the most common questions from homeowners that we hear involves the proper care of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This component of your home plays a crucial role in the safety of your family. Yet, these elements are often forgotten once after installation. Well, until the low battery beep, of course. However, like anything in your home, maintenance is required for optimal performance results.

In this article, we’re taking a look at the why and how to maintain the smoke detectors in your home correctly.


The Why

If you’re wondering why smoke detectors need maintenance, we’re here to shed some light. First, and most obvious and vital fact, is that this little piece of hardware saves lives. Even though you know your mechanism will beep when the battery is failing, this shouldn’t be the one step you rely on to protect your family.

Depending on the type of smoke detector that’s installed in your home, there are different methods of operation. The first type reacts to the detection of smoke, with or without flames. This type of detector is called photoelectric. The second type, an ionization detector, works best for flame detection with little smoke present.

Regardless of the type of detector you have installed in your home, there are specific measures to be taken to ensure optimal sensor performance.



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The How

Here at Ace Hardware NH, we recommend homeowners provide a little TLC to their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at least once every six months. Yes, it’s one more thing to add to the list, but this quick chore is easy and worth your time.


The chore: cleaning your detectors.


First, you’ll want to turn off any hardwired units. Once that step is completed, one by one, remove the face of your detectors so that sensors are exposed. Now, you have the choice to either vacuum with a small brush, or gently wipe the interior components of your unit. If your hardware has been neglected for some time, you can also delicately clean the parts with a mild detergent. By doing so, you’re removing any and all dust particles that have set up shop. Dust can potentially block the sensors causing delayed, or no reaction to smoke and/or flames in your home.

If you’re uncertain about the process, referring to the manufacturer’s recommendations for routine cleaning procedures is always the best option.


Don’t wait until it’s too late, with a quick trip to Ace Hardware NH, you can have peace of mind that your family is protected. Visit our store today at 762 Mast Road in Manchester for all of your homeowner needs!