Fire departments and smoke alarm manufacturers recommend replacing smoke detector batteries once a year. This ensures that a smoke detector is fully operational and able to warn you in the event of a fire. A simple way to remember to change the batteries once a year is to change them when you set the clocks back each fall. The process for changing the battery will vary depending on the brand of the smoke detector you have. Virtually all smoke detectors use batteries, including models that are wired to the electrical system of the home.
Things you will need
- Step stool
- replacement batteries
- (AA, AAA or 9 volts)
- Place a stool under the smoke detector so you can reach it comfortably.
- Look for a battery cover on the side of the smoke detector. On most models, simply push the battery door with your finger and release to open the door and reveal the battery.
- Remove the lid, if your smoke detector has a cover and no door on the side. Smoke detector covers usually unscrewing or undoing from the main unit to reveal the battery compartment.
- Turn the entire unit to the left to unlock the detector from the mounting base. The units that are hard-wired in the electrical system have this type of mounting base, as do some units that run on batteries. The battery cover is usually on the top of the detector where it meets the mounting base.
- Open the battery cover on your detector once you find it in your unit. Remove the battery from the battery compartment if it is AA or AAA. If you have a 9-volt battery, disconnect the cable terminal connector from the top of the battery and remove the battery.
- Install the new battery in the battery compartment and close the battery compartment door. Reinstall the detector if it is mounted on a mounting plate or uses a cover to access the battery.
- Press the small test button on the bottom of the fire detector to test the battery. A loud beep should sound when the button is pressed.