Frequently Asked Questions


Why does my smoke detector chirp?

Usually when a smoke detector is chirping intermittently, it's time to replace the battery. If replacing the battery in your smoke detector does not eliminate the chirping, contact us. 

How often should I change the battery?

You should change the battery in your detectors once a year. It is also recommended to clean your detectors at the same time. Contact the Smoke Detector Man and he can change your batteries, test and clean your detectors. 

How often should I test my smoke detectors?

Most manufacturers recommend weekly testing. But most people are busy so monthly testing is also acceptable. Using the test button is the most accurate way to test it. Do not use a match or smoke since this not very safe and may affect the smoke detector's sensitivity. 

How often should I replace my smoke detectors?

Most manufacturers, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) suggest replacing detectors every ten years. The reason for this is the sensor degrades at a rate of about 3% a year, so after 10 years there would be a potential of a 30% failure rate. 

How many smoke detectors do I need to have?

Although building codes vary from city to city, most manufactures and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggest placing one in each bedroom. There should be one in the hallway between the kitchen and sleeping areas. If the hallway is forty feet or longer, there should be one on each end. If you aren't sure, The Smoke Detector Man can recommend the best locations for your detectors. 

Which type of smoke detector should I have?

There are two type of smoke detectors: Ionization and Photo-electric: 

  • Ionization smoke detection is generally more responsive to flaming fires.
    How they work: Ionization-type smoke alarms are generally more sensitive at detecting small particles, which tend to be produced in fast moving fires, commonly found in kitchen or garage fires.
  • Photoelectric smoke detection is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. 
    How they work: Photoelectric-type alarms are more sensitive at detecting large particles, which tend to be produced in slow moving fires, such as a couch or bedding fire.
  •  Photoelectric smoke detectors in some homes may need more maintenance than ionization detectors. This is due to the dusty climate conditions and the type of lifestyle that you have in your homes regarding whether you have pets, children who are in and out, and if you like to keep your doors and windows open during the nicest time of the year.
  • Dual Sensor. The safest and most effective detector you can have installed is a dual sensor, which combines both technologies into one detector.