What You Need to Know About Your (Sometimes Annoying) Smoke Alarms

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One day this fall, Daisy Mountain Fire & Medical responded to 16 calls for smoke alarms that were going off. Every single one was caused by low batteries or unserviced equipment — false alarms. DMFM took the opportunity to remind people to change the batteries periodically, and to clean and test the alarms, not just for their own sakes, but so crews can remain available for real emergencies.

Also, you don’t want to become a statistic. Three out of five fire-related deaths happen in houses without working smoke alarms, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

The 9-volt batteries in smoke alarms should be replaced every year, according to the agency. But, you say, batteries last longer than that! Maybe. So here’s a suggestion from Consumer Reports: If you think the battery has life left, use it in some other device on which your life doesn’t depend.

Also, smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years, the Fire Administration says. The City of Phoenix actually has an ordinance requiring alarms be replaced after 10 years (you’ll find the manufacture date on the back of the device), and the city advises they be vacuumed monthly.

Likewise, the batteries in carbon monoxide detectors should be changed at least annually. Carbon monoxide, a deadly, colorless, odorless gas, is produced by autos and gas-burning stoves, fireplaces and water heaters. If your alarm goes off, open a window or two and take the family outside immediately and call 911.

Seasonal Problem

False smoke alarms have a seasonal component.

“In the Anthem area, early morning winds are common, especially in the fall and winter times,” said DMFM spokesperson Brent Fenton. “This wind causes dust particles within a home attic space to become airborne and blown into the living space, often times fooling the smoke detector into thinking it sees smoke and alarming.”

Gas furnaces can be a problem, too. They build up dust during the summer, then the first time you turn them on, the dust burns off, creating “a burning smell throughout the home” that will “sometimes trigger the smoke alarms,” Fenton told In&Out.


Resolve to change alarm batteries each year on New Year’s Day (and if you expect to be a little foggy, maybe put a reminder on your calendar).

Help Save Our Community
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country and even more so this community. Supporting local businesses during this crisis can help keep our community economically viable. Please strongly consider supporting the businesses below, In&Out Magazine's display advertisers, as well as those in the Classifieds section of the magazine (see the full April 9 issue in PDF form). Many of these businesses have been part of the fabric of this community for two decades, not just serving our professional, service and retail needs but stepping up to support local charities, sports teams and so much more. Tip: If you know you’ll need to schedule a service, consider contacting a local business you trust and paying the standard fee for the deferred service. The links below go to their web sites.

Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates • 602-242-4592
Anthem Senior Living • 602-909-9550
Appliance Pros • 502-501-5501
Business Network of Anthem • 623-455-9630
Carroll Law Firm • 623-551-9366
Century 21 Real Estate - Jeff Huff • 623-223-1221
Creative Home Enhancements • 623-551-5409
Daisy Dream Homes Real Estate • 623-879-3277
Daisy Mountain Dentistry • 623-551-5250
Desert Foothills Air Conditioning • 480-595-0938
Edward Jones • 623-551-0523
Element Dental Centers • 623-551-5555
Hand & Stone Massage • 623-551-6602
Kendallwood Design • 602-252-3844
Kodiak Roofing • 602-501-7717
Luv My PC • 480-703-6609
Merrill Gardens • 623-201-4881
North Valley Water Solutions • 623-551-0515
Preferred Business of Anthem • 623-551-0523 
Prickett Realty • 623-551-8111
ProSkill Services • 623-551-7473
RE/MAX Professionals - Mike Higgins • 623-640-7502
Rise Above Remodeling • 623-551-2013
Soft Water Plus • 623-551-7383
SonoranScapes Landscaping • 602-842-9948
State Farm Insurance - Justin Simons • 623-551-3700
Storage at Anthem • 623-226-8634
Sunset Cabinets • 623-687-6579
Thompson & McGinnis Attorneys at Law • 602-952-2666
Titan Tree Care • 623-444-8448
Titan Pest Control • 623-879-8700
Wyman Plumbing & Mechanical • 623-551-6688

For more local businesses, see In&Out Magazine Classifed Ads >>>  
Kyle Goveia