Daylight Saving Time: Time to Make Sure Your Smoke Detector Is Working Properly Email November 3 is the end of Daylight Saving Time, which means we have to move the clocks back an hour. Daylight Saving Time is the perfect time to maintenance your smoke detectors! The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms. When it comes to fire safety, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. It’s easy to make sure your smoke detector is working properly! Here’s how: 1. Test your smoke detectors once a month. Push the test button to make sure the alarm is working. If it isn’t working, try changing the batteries before replacing the alarm itself. 2. Change the smoke detector battery at least once a year. Find out how to dispose of batteries. If your smoke detector has a lithium battery, you cannot (and should not) replace the lithium battery. Instead, replace the entire smoke alarm as needed, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 3. Replace your smoke detectors every 10 years. Smoke alarms do not last forever. If you have an alarm that is 10 years old or older, replace it with a new alarm. Find out: Remove each smoke alarm from the wall or ceiling and look on the back to find the date of manufacture. If it is older than 10 years, it needs to be replaced. If it is less than 10 years old, put it back on the ceiling or wall. What do I do with an old smoke detector? If you have a photoelectric smoke detector, you can dispose of it as e-waste. However, most home alarms are ionization smoke detectors, which means they contain a small amount of radioactive material. Dispose of these smoke detectors carefully, as follows: Remove any batteries but do not try to dismantle the alarm. Send your old detector back to its manufacturer. Locate the name and address on the back of the device, or find the information in the user manual. If you still can’t find the address, check out this list from USPS, or this PDF from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. If you wish to recycle your old smoke detectors, there is one program that will do so, run by Curie Environmental Services. It costs as little as $8 plus shipping to recycle one old smoke detector.