The Wheeling Fire Department encourages you to check the operation of all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home when you set your clocks forward or back for Daylight Savings Time.
Items to Check
Visually inspect your smoke detectors for damage. Vacuum the vent openings on the face of the smoke detector to make sure they are not obstructed with dust and lint. Also, little bugs and spiders like to "hide" inside smoke detectors and can occasionally cause "false" activation of your smoke detectors. By vacuuming the smoke detector, you are also cleaning out their nests.
Check you smoke detectors by pressing the test button on the face of each smoke detector. If it does not alarm, replace the batteries (if applicable) and retest. If the smoke detector does not alarm after installing new batteries, immediately replace the smoke detector with a completely new unit.
Verify the age of your smoke detectors (usually a sticker on the backside or side of the smoke detector). If the smoke detector is ten (10) years old or more, immediately replace it. Even if the smoke detector still alarms when the test button is activated and the smoke detector is ten (10) years old or more, it is reaching the end of its designed service life. It is important to replace it before it may fail.
If you need to replace your smoke detectors, make sure to buy only smoke detectors that that show on their labeling that they have been independently tested by companies such as Underwriters Laboratories (U.L.), Factory Mutual (FM), etc.. This indicates that these units meet strict industry standards for proper detection of smoke and rapid activation, when needed. Also, smoke detectors come in three (3) types: ionization, photoelectric, and dual sensor.. Depending upon the type of fire that could occur, one type of smoke detector may be faster at detection than another type. Therefore, for maximum protection, the Wheeling Fire Department recommends using dual sensor smoke detectors.