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How often should smoke alarms be cleaned

Guest fregtr

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I would suggest it depends on where the detector is and the type of detector. If it is in a clean area then it would be less likely to require cleaning than if it is located in a dusty area. A heat detector would require less attention than an optical detector. All BS 5839 pt1 says is it should be at pre-determined intervals and I assume its for you to determined what they are. You could check out manufacturers instructions which may help and I think it would be better to clean them at shorter than longer intervals.

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An extract previously prepared for a client, may be of use,,,,

Over the course of a year, all detector in the system should be functionally tested at least once as per the requirements of the current British Standards, using equipment designed and suitable for the task.

In dusty, dirty, or corrosive or inclement environments the frequency of inspection and testing should be more than only one in the service year, this may be decided as part of the contract agreement or as a result of the Fire Risk Assessment. It is also good engineering practices.

Although, and especially recently it has been identified, additional works by the service companies, carried out during the service year mainly due to commercial reasons have lapsed. This is an element of the service contract that end users should be disusing with their service provider.

If the environment is dirty you should always assume that the device could also be Dirty.

Most devices can be cleaned without dismantling, using a vacuum cleaner with a brush

attachment, which will remove light dust deposits. The outer case can be carefully cleaned with a cloth dampened with a solution of washing up liquid in water or similar following manufactures guidelines and good engineering practice.

Any cleaning or maintenance should always be followed by functional testing of the device.

Most manufactures also offer the service of factory cleaning and refurbishment of a detector and when local on site methods don’t work this can be the next step and can be commercially viable dependant on the quantity of devices and the turn round of faulty devices due to dirt, dust etc. Most manufactures will have details (normally on their web site) as to their preferred method of maintenance and refurbishment.

A good and proficient maintenance company contracted for the routine maintenance of the system should be able to advise the client as to best practice mindful of the implications of routine testing affecting rates of false alarms and unnecessary callout of the emergency services.

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