Q. How often should I check my smoke detectors?
A. Smoke detectors should be checked monthly. Check them by pressing the test button.

Q. How often should I change the batteries in my smoke detector?
A. At least once each year. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms will produce a chirping sound if the batteries become weak.

Q. Do I need to clean my smoke detector?
A. Smoke detectors should be cleaned once or twice per year. You can do this with the brush attachment to your vacuum cleaner. NOTE: The detector may sound when you are cleaning it.

Q. Do my smoke detectors ever need to be replaced?
A. Smoke detectors have a normal life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. If you are getting false alarms from your detector, it may need to be replaced. When having problems with your detector, always remember to check the battery.

Q. Should I clean the chimney in my wood-burning fireplace or wood stove to help prevent chimney fires?
A. Yes. Professional chimney sweeps advise that chimneys be cleaned when the creosote has built up to 1/8” to ¼”. This will help prevent chimney fires. REMEMBER: The fireplace is not an incinerator. Do not burn trash or large amounts of paper. The temperatures these items may produce can damage your fireplace or chimney.

Q. When I clean the ash from my fireplace, is it necessary to put them in a metal container?
A. YES! The Fire Department responds to several fires every year because a homeowner has cleaned their fireplace or wood stove and placed the ashes in a paper bag. Ashes can stay hot enough to start a fire for up to seven days..

Q. When doing home refinishing projects, how should I dispose of rags used for staining?
A. Some stains are capable of creating enough heat to start a fire as they dry (check the label). This is known as spontaneous combustion. Rags should be laid flat or hung to air dry. They can then be disposed of when completely dry. Rags should be hung or laid flat outside or in well-ventilated areas.

Q. When am I required to have a CO detector?
A. Effective August 1, 2008, all existing single-family homes shall be equipped with an approved carbon monoxide alarm.