Replace your smoke alarm battery when you change your clocks each year.

Sources:  Original articles courtesy Smoke Alarmed  and Fire and Rescue NSW

Smoke alarms save lives but not if the battery is flat, plus a working smoke alarm will give you an early warning, and of course, time to escape a fire.

When we set out clocks back an hour for daylight savings, its a timely reminder to also change the battery in your Smoke Alarm, regardless of whether you feel its flat or not. The investment of a couple of dollars could potentially save your life.

How often should smoke alarm batteries be changed?

Regardless of what type of smoke alarm you have, whether it be a 9-volt battery powered alarm or a mains powered alarm with a 9-volt backup battery, if your smoke alarm has a removable battery, it should be replaced once per year.

Remember, Mains Powered Smoke Alarms Need Their Batteries Replaced Too!

If yours is a mains powered smoke alarm with a replaceable 9-volt alkaline battery and the beeping/chirping coincides with the red LED indicator flashing (once every 40 seconds or so), then this is an indication that the back-up battery is in need of replacement.

A common misconception is that  mains powered smoke alarms, (otherwise referred to as hard wired) don’t need batteries replaced.

NOT TRUE: All mains powered alarms still need a back up battery to power the alarm in case the power goes out.

These back up batteries need replacing too. 

Back up batteries in mains powered alarms can either be a replaceable 9-volt version (these require replacing once per year) or there are some mains powered alarms that contain a 10-year-life rechargeable lithium backup battery.  With this type of alarm, you don’t need to replace any batteries.

Remember though, if you have mains powered alarms containing a 9-volt backup battery, adopt the same routine and replace these back up batteries like you would with the standard 9-volt battery powered alarms, which, of course, is once per year.


Once a month

Test your smoke alarm batteries every month by pressing and holding the test button for at least five seconds until you hear the beeps.

Every 6 months

Vacuum dust off your smoke alarms every six months.

Keeping your smoke alarm free of particles to help reduce false alarms and ensure smoke can easily reach the internal sensor.

Every year

Replace lead or alkaline batteries every 12 months.

Every 10 years

Replace all smoke alarms with new 10-year lithium powered smoke alarms every 10 years, or earlier if specified by the manufacturer.

Did you know?

That it’s been over 10 years since smoke alarms became law across NSW… and… most smoke alarms don’t last 10 years. What is the law?


Sources: Fire and Rescue NSW, Smoke Alarmed

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