How to replace your smoke detectors
They are at the end of their life if you still have the originals from the builder
Maybe you’ve had a neighbor whose smoke detectors went off for several days. (Note, if that happens, no one will do anything until there is smoke pouring out of the windows). Or maybe one day, your smoke detectors go off for no apparent reason. It could be because they are dirty, or it could be because they are 10 years old, and need to be replaced.
Here is a quick and easy way to do just that.
It turns out the builder grade smoke detectors in our houses (BRK 4102b) aren’t the best things in the world. So what to replace them with? Kiddie i12060 Item # 21009444.
These are available at our Annandale Home Depot (though I just bought them out of all but 3) for about $18. If you buy 6 or more the price drops by about $1.80 each.
Installation is easy because it comes with a wiring adapter for the old BRK units to the new Kiddie models. All you have to do is:
- Twist off the old
- Unplug the old
- Loosen the screws for the old plate on the ceiling
- Twist the old one off the screws.
- Twist the new base plate onto the ceiling & tighten the screws
- Plug the wiring adapter into the back of the new
- Plug the house wiring connector into the new adapter
- Twist onto the ceiling
The whole process to replace all 6 of ours took about an hour. It comes with a new battery too.
Since all smoke detectors have a small amount of radioactive material, many people say they need to be recylced in a special way. However, according to Fairfax County, these can be tossed in the trash.