Canadian Handywoman how to change the batteries on smoke detector

A Good Time to Change the Batteries

My grandma use to say ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. As a professional handywoman I’ve come to appreciate she was right. Setting time aside for simple home maintenance tasks can save you time and money. If you live an area that observes day-light-savings, when you have to change your clocks, it’s the perfect opportunity to also change some batteries.

Household batteries

Typically, smaller household items that require electricity and do not get plugged in are operated with alkaline or zinc-carbon batteries.

Having something you depend on stop working because the battery died is

  • never fun
  • usually inconvenient
  • can be dangerous too

Sizes include 9 volt, AA, AAA, C, D and button cells and they can be disposable or re-chargeable. Changing batteries twice a year, for example when it’s time to change the clocks, is a great preventative maintenance routine to establish. Even once a year is better than waiting for a battery to die.


It’s best to change the battery before the expire. Batteries do have pre-determined lifespan. Aiming to change them when they’re 80% consumed is a good practice to establish.

10 household items that use batteries include:

  1. Smoke detector and carbon monoxide
  2. Remote controls
  3. Wall clocks
  4. Programmable door locks
  5. Hearing aids
  6. Wall thermostats
  7. Bathroom scale
  8. Key fobs
  9. Digital clocks
  10. Flashlight in the junk drawer

Deeper Dive

When something goes wrong, if you can determine what the problem is before you call for help, it could save money in the long run. The secret is to eliminate what the problem could be. One of the first and easiest places to start is to ensure the battery still has power. There are battery testers that can accurately gauge if the battery is the culprit or you can just replace it.

Some information to keep in mind include

  • Store batteries in cool dry areas
  • Do not allow batteries to freeze
  • Do no throw batteries out with the regular garbage

Final Thoughts

Setting up systems is a great place to start. Having a plan of action will established is a great way to being your own handywoman. If you’re unsure where all your batteries are or if you’re unsure of a good schedule to start, let’s talk!