Firefighter Cody’s smoke detector tips

Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, Nov. 5. While you’re changing your clocks, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also encourages you to test your smoke detector and replace the batteries for smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. In addition to CPSC’s advice, Firefighter Cody offers the following tips:

  • Place smoke detectors on the ceiling because smoke rises.
  • Position your detectors in the hallway just outside bedrooms—”that’s going to be most helpful to alert you when you’re sleeping,” Cody says.
  • Test detectors and carbon monoxide alarms monthly. That way you’ll know if they’re still working correctly.
  • Replace batteries yearly unless otherwise stated. Most smoke detectors should be replaced every ten years.
  • Reset your detector after a “nuisance” alert—when cooking or shower steam sets off the alarm unintentionally. Cody sees people take the batteries out then and forget to replace them. You can also avoid nuisance alarms by placing detectors further away from bathrooms or kitchens (and, again, closer to those bedrooms!)
  • Remove the batteries if possible before disposing of old devices.

Use your extra hour on Sunday to follow a few of Cody’s tips. If you’re a Richmond resident, you can also call the Richmond Fire Department for free installation of a 10-year smoke detector at 804-646-6640. If you’re interested in helping to spearhead installation for your neighborhood, Cody says “we come in with a hundred detectors and 3 or 4 apparatuses and just do a whole bunch across the community.”