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Athens Fire Marshal Lance West reminds residents that a working fire alarm can save lives. Here are tips for maintaining your smoke alarms:

Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.

Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.

Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning to keep smoke alarms working well. The instructions are included in the package or can be found on the internet.

Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.

Smoke alarms with any other type of battery need a new battery at least once a year. If that alarm chirps, warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.

When replacing a battery, follow the manufacturer’s list of batteries on the back of the alarm or manufacturer’s instructions. The manufacturer’s instructions are specific to the batteries (brand and model) that must be used. The smoke alarm may not work properly if a different kind of battery is used.

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