While many people have hard-wired smoke detectors as part of their home alarm systems, they often supplement that system with battery-powered extra units.

Residential smoke alarms need to be on every level and are recommended in every bedroom – especially if doors get closed.

Experts say to change your 9-volt batteries at least once a year and if you think about doing it when the time changes from standard to daylight-saving, it can become a good habit.

Did you already do that?  It’s not too late!  Do it now!

You’re also supposed to test your alarms once a month – let’s all do that now too!

The biggest mistake we can make is to disable an alarm because it’s going off when we cook or even take a steamy shower.  Instead move it a bit to a place where false alarms will be minimized.

There are two basic kinds of smoke alarms.  One is the “ionization” type which detects high-flaming fires most effectively.  The other is “photoelectric” and is best at detecting smoky fires.  So which one to choose?

Fortunately there are dual-sensor detectors and these are judged best overall by FEMA and ConsumerSearch.com.

Here are some good resources:

FEMA – Learn About Smoke Alarms


Consumer Search – Smoke Detectors: Reviews


Consumer Search – Buying Guide


Consumer Search – Full Report