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Research from Risk Frontiers has revealed that house fires are responsible for more deaths in Australia than all-natural hazards combined. This is what makes it so necessary to know preventative measures and make sure that your home is equipped with fully functioning alarms. 

The simplest and arguably most indispensable alert that can save your home from a fire is the smoke detector. Aside from being legally required in every household, it’s a useful way to monitor the home for possible housefires even when you are alone or sleeping. Make sure you’re privy to some signs that your smoke alarm is in need of electrical repairs.

It’s a Decade Old

Unfortunately, smoke detectors are not built to last forever. With age, they lack important updates and will inevitably croak. Even if it is still on, your alarm has likely lost much of its sensitivity, battery power, and circuitry. It’s a good practice to replace your unit after ten years, but some models have even shorter life spans. Each detector has an expiration date, so make sure you check the manufacturer labels.

It Lacks a Photoelectric Sensor

Each model may be different, but there are certain advancements in the industry as a whole that make it impractical to hold onto obsolete models. Nowadays, the recommendation is to have a smoke detector that uses a photoelectric sensor because this is more sensitive to smoke from smouldering fires. There are even hybrid models that also include ionization technology. These models are more responsive to flames. 

The Unit is Clogged

Built-up dust, dirt, and debris can be the bane of many a household device. For smoke alarms, this means a muffled sound system and, more alarmingly, reduced sensitivity to smoke. It is possible to clean this out properly, but if the build-up is already severe or has even caused damage, the sensors are likely already affected.

It No Longer Beeps When Tested

Every smoke detector has a test button that allows you to make sure that it’s still functioning as intended. It’s a good idea to conduct this testing every year. If your unit doesn’t respond, then it is in definite need of electrical repair service. 

An electrician can figure out what is wrong with the circuitry or if the placement within your overall wiring may have something to do with its faultiness. It can also help you determine if you simply need to replace it with a new alarm.

It Frequently Goes Off Untriggered

This final red flag can have two different causes, both of which are still indicative of a dying smoke detector. 

First, units with a defective sensor will pick up on non-existent triggers. This means they may go off even with no reason for the alarm to go off. If your smoke alarm is ringing often and you find no smoke, there is likely a problem. 

Otherwise, it is most likely a battery issue. Every unit is built with a battery to keep it powered in case your home suffers from a loss of electricity. If your unit is alright, then it’s just a matter of replacing the battery. If this continues despite new batteries, then it’s a warning sign that the unit itself has issues. 


Your smoke detector is essential for keeping your home safe. As such, you need to make sure that these red flags don’t go ignored for too long. If your unit is beyond repair, it’s always easy enough to get a replacement and have it installed properly with the help of residential electrical services.

For any homeowner in need of an expert team of electricians, Hitch Smart is the way to go. Their highly skilled specialists are ready with any and all electrical repair needs for residential, commercial, and industrial properties. Make sure you reach out now, especially if you need help urgently!

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