Smoke detectors, also known as "smoke alarms", are often the first line of defense for residential homes and businesses. When working properly they can alert occupants of a fire hazard and allow enough time for people to evacuate to safer location. They also enable occupants to call 911 earlier and in some cases are monitored so emergency services are automatically contacted. In the City of Virginia Beach we have a smoke alarm program that allows residential occupants to contact our Life Safety Division and have a device check scheduled with the closest fire station. If any alarms are not operational during the visit, a new battery or smoke alarm will be provided free of charge.
Routine checks of smoke alarms are recommended and batteries should be changed twice a year. A good reminder is to change your batteries when you set your clocks for daylight savings. Smoke alarms have a general life span of roughly 10 years, if your detectors are 10 years or older it is recommended that they be replaced. Some smoke detectors are now manufactured that do not need any battery replacement, after ten years of use the whole device is then replaced. Always check the device to see what the manufacturer recommends. If you do not know the age or condition of your smoke detectors you may want to replace them. Smoke detectors can go bad prior to the 10 year mark, they may or may not alarm/chirp to warn of a malfunction. If your home has multiple hard wired smoke detectors that were all installed around the same time then there may be several detectors to maintain or replace.
Non-emergency smoke alarm checks will be scheduled during normal business hours seven days a week, any other times or arrangements will be made by the responding crew’s officer.
Please understand that this is a courtesy check, crews are available to respond to calls for service during scheduled smoke detector checks.
Please contact the Life Safety Division at:
Direct: (757) 385-2870 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org