The call volume for fire alarms has tripled for our local San Tan Valley fire department. "Some of it is due to turning your heat on for the first time, this blows dust out and can trigger your smoke detector," says Deputy Fire Marshal, Ken Diamond.
If your smoke detectors go off, always call for the fire department to respond. Get them going and you can always cancel them later.
Several reasons for smoke detectors going off are of course actually smoke from a fire.
Cooking can also set off the smoke detector.
Faulty smoke detectors make up the majority of the calls Rural Metro goes on. When batteries get low the smoke detector will chirp. Rural Metro recommends changing all batteries at the same time, once a year. If they still chirp they may be dirty. Find the one that is blinking red, take it down and blow it out with compressed air. You will be amazed at the dust that comes out. This can also set it off. Remember most homes in San Tan Valley have the smoke detectors wired together so when one goes off the rest will follow.
Another reason that is common is the smoke detector is passed its service life. This is 10 years from the manufacture date. Pull your smoke detector and look for the date sticker. Every smoke detector made in the US will have one. Most homes in San Tan Valley have passed the 10 year mark. If passed, replace them right away.
When you buy smoke detectors make sure you look at the manufacture date. If you buy online this will be listed. If you buy at a local store the manufacture date is on the box.
When you replace them make sure you replace all of them at the same time. Consider buying them in multi packs for a better deal.
For those who subscribe to Rural Metro Fire Services, don't forget that Rural Metro will replace the batteries in your smoke detectors at no charge, whether your smoke detectors are battery operated or hard wired. While many of the homes in San Tan Valley have “hard wired” alarms, meaning they are interconnected with a battery backup, Rural Metro will help not only replace the batteries, but they will also install any hard wired alarms that the homeowner owns, at no charge. Great benefit for those detectors that have passed the 10 year service life. If your home has battery operated smoke detectors, Rural Metro will add or replace the detectors themselves at no charge.