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Published on November 30th, 2013 | by Steve Driver


Handyman’s Guide to Saving the Universe – Smoke Detectors

Do you have a hard time remembering your wife’s birthday? What about your anniversary? It happens…we get so consumed with the little things that we forget the big picture. The same goes with changing the batteries in our Smoke/CO detectors.


Did you know that you’re supposed to change the batteries yearly?

Did you also know that you’re supposed to maintain them?

Probably not, but then again we’re men and we don’t read directions.

Truth is, detectors are only as good as we let them be. Location is as important as changing the batteries. For instance, DO NOT install them IN your bedroom. Install them in the bedroom hallway, so in the event that they go off, you hear them before it’s too late. Do NOT install them in a kitchen, bathroom, or utility room. The oils from cooking and cologne WILL desensitize the detector, making it less effective. Every 6 months, take them outside, leave them out for an hour, and clean the sensor with a small brush or can of compressed air (what you use to clean a computer keyboard).

Follow these rules and maximize the potential of the detectors.

Now that you know, go check your marriage certificate. Until next time.

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About the Author

is a father of twins and a devoted husband. He is the co-owner of Brothers-In-Law General Contractors, based in New Jersey. He's the chief contributor to "The Handyman's Guide to Saving the Universe", a recurring column for tips and advice on household appliance maintenance and repair on Dad Men Walking.

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