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How often should you change the battery in a home fire alarm?

What do most smoke detectors recommend as a time frame for changing the battery out (once a year, every six months, etc...)?

1 Answer

The United States' National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), recommends that home-owners replace smoke detector batteries with a new battery at least once per year. Either when the battery starts chirping (a signal that its charge is low), or when it does not pass the test when pressing the "test" button on the alarm.

In Australia, there's a fire safety campaign advises that all smoke alarm batteries be replaced on the first day of April each year. In countries or regions using daylight savings time, it's often suggested that people change their batteries when they change their clocks or on a birthday.

While most residential smoke detectors run on a single 9-volt alkaline or carbon-zinc battery. Some smoke detectors are now being sold with a lithium battery included that can run for about 7 to 10 years. It's also possible to buy user-replacable 9-volt lithium batteries, but they are relatively expensive when compared to regular 9-volt alkaline batteries.

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