Smoke alarms are a valuable part of a home’s security methods. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends an alarm on every level of the home and both inside and outside sleeping areas. A long-life or lithium battery-powered unit is lifted from the walls and replaced with another when the battery runs down, however, a unit requires a minor bit of work that any homeowner can handle as a do-it-yourself project.

Turn off the electric power for the home at the junction box.

Twist away the cover from the smoke detector. Some models come with tabs on each side that must be depressed instead.

Unscrew base or the mount holding the electronics. Handle the device carefully to prevent falling it and stressing the wires behind it.

Note that wire joins in the back of the alarm device with which wire. Unscrew the wire nuts to release each wire and remove the older unit.

Strip 3/8 inch in the black and white wires of wire with pliers or the knife on the new unit if necessary. When there is absolutely no third cable coming out of the outlet box which was attached to the device that is older, dismiss the wire in the back of the alarm device. When there was a link, then strip the wire also.

Hold the copper from the wires and twist on the wire nut as if you put a screw lid on a bottle to get a connection. Do the same for some other paired wires and the wire.

Tuck the wires back in the junction box, with the wire nuts pointed. Screw base or the mount straight back. Hand-tighten, but don’t overscrew to the point at which the metal starts to distort.

Set the cap back on and turn the electricity back on for the home. Examine the device according to its directions.

See related