You are required by law to have a smoke detector in your house, which is one of those laws nobody could argue against.

It simply makes sense to have an early warning device in your biggest investment.

But smoke detectors are only useful if they work which means regular checking and battery replacement.

We recommend getting into the habit of testing them once a month. Simply press the test button and wait a couple of seconds. The bad news is it will emit a shrill sound. The good news is that means it works.

If there is no sound, have the unit looked at or replaced. If the unit is over ten years old, replace it anyway. They are not guaranteed after ten years.

The other area is the battery.

If it’s dead, so is your smoke alarm.

Don’t wait until that happens. Mark a battery changing date in your calendar or use the Daylight Saving clock change as a good time for a battery change.

And please be careful when changing batteries. A kitchen chair is not a ladder.

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