Maintenance and Service of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors


In Canada, it is mandatory to have smoke detectors in every home. Carbon monoxide detectors are highly recommended. Taking these precautions is of vital importance in security matters; and undoubtedly, nobody wants the risk of having a fire or a CO leak that could potentially poison or endanger your family and your property.

It is a priority to purchase the best available smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in your home. But keep in mind that the maintenance of these equipments is of crucial importance. Do not neglect them!


Better safe than sorry

Fires can occur at any time and in the least expected way. A fire in a home can happen for many reasons: a failure in electrical installations, a mismanagement of flammable materials, a candle left unattended, a gas leak, or others.


Carbon monoxide, being invisible and odorless, can cause harm and poisoning before you realize that there is a leak. The danger of this "silent killer" is imminent in homes with heating systems. If carbon monoxide is inhaled, it combines with the hemoglobin in your blood and prevents oxygen from reaching vital organs. This can be avoided by a carbon monoxide detector in your house. This device is designed to detect CO and, when this happens, it activates a warning alarm or a voice that notifies of a possible inhalation. Thanks to its carbon filter, the detector can tell when there’s CO instead of other naturally occurring gases in the environment.


Where to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors?


It is necessary to place them in strategic points of the house or in any place where there is gas or fuel powered machinery. The detectors must also be installed in the bedrooms, because if a gas leak occurs at night, you’ll hear the alarm and it will be possible to react to the danger.


Avoid installing them in the bathroom, as it is a space where humidity and steam are always present. These two elements might disrupt the proper functioning of the detector.


Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors work as a preventive device, so they have to be operating perfectly to fulfill their purpose. Remember that the lifespan of most smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is of about 10 years. This is only possible if it is serviced with constant preventive and corrective maintenance.


What maintenance does a smoke and carbon monoxide detector need?
Battery change

Changing the battery in a timely manner is important if you want your device to function properly. While a battery tends to last for a year, you should stay on top of its performance and its possible failures. When replacing the battery, it is recommended to use the model specified by the manufacturer. Another battery type could cause problems in its proper functioning.


Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have a built-in sensor. It emits a sound that alerts you when the battery is faulty or is at a minimum charge. You must be alert to this sound and make the replacement immediately.


Proper cleaning

Periodic cleaning of the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors must be carried out. It’s best to take them apart and use a soft bristle brush to remove all dust particles that have settled in the openings and grooves. This procedure is of the utmost importance because smoke and carbon monoxide enter the device through those openings. If the slots are clogged, the detector will not be able to do its job.


To clean the interior of the detector, you need to do it with care. You do not want to cause any damage to the inner parts of the device, so you can use compressed air to remove dust in this area without actually touching the components with your hands or a brush.


Test the detector

It is necessary to frequently check that the smoke and carbon monoxide detector are operating correctly. We recommend that you set a monthly inspection date. On that day, always press the central part of the detector to check if it’s working. If the alarm doesn’t sound, you may need to change the battery, clean the detector or repair it.


Let’s review!
  1. It is mandatory to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at home.

  2. The maintenance of these devices is as important as their installation.

  3. There are several steps you must follow to properly maintain and monitor your smoke and coal detector:

  • Check that the battery is working. The detector has a sensor that warns if the battery is about to end its charge.

  • Clean the detectors. It is recommended to do it with a soft bristle brush for the outside, and compressed air for the inside (which is more delicate).

  • Spend time, once a month or every other week, to check if the detector works. To do this, you must activate it manually and verify if the alarm starts.




























If you need to install, inspect or maintain detectors in your home or workplace, do not hesitate to check our directory. There, you will find the best Skilled Doers to help you with everything you need and just get it done!

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