Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms


Recommendations are that you install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and inside every bedroom.


Battery-operated alarms should be tested once a month to ensure they are working.


Replace the batteries in your smoke alarm once a year. Each fall when clocks are changed to mark the end of Daylight Saving Time, install a new battery. If an alarm “chirps” to indicate a low battery – change it.

A ten-year lithium battery smoke alarm does not need to have its battery changed. Replace smoke alarms that use extended-life, lithium batteries when the alarm “chirps” or fails to respond to periodic testing. The batteries in these units cannot be replaced.

False Alarms

Use the hush button to silence a false alarm from cooking smoke or steam. Never disconnect or remove the battery. If your smoke alarm does not have a hush button use a magazine or kitchen towel to fan the smoke away from the alarm.


Replace your smoke alarms every ten years. If you do not know how old your smoke alarm is, or if it is ten years or older, replace it as soon as possible.

Free Smoke/CO Alarms for Seattle Homeowners

Free combination smoke/CO alarms are provided and installed in the homes of qualifying Seattle homeowners. The smoke/co alarms are battery-powered and are installed by Seattle Firefighters.

To qualify you must:

  • live in the city of Seattle
  • own and live in your home
  • and identify as a senior or live on a low income or have a disability.

Apply for smoke/CO alarms by filling out the Online form or call (206) 386-1337. After you fill out the online form, you will receive a call from your local fire station within a couple of days. The firefighters will schedule a time to install the alarm(s) at your home. If you have any questions, call 206-386-1337.

Strobe alarmSeattle residents who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing may qualify for a free strobe smoke alarm. Fill out the form or call 206-386-1337.

Smoke/CO alarms in rental properties

Whether you live in a rented house or apartment, your landlord is required to provide you with a working smoke and CO alarm. Tenants are responsible for maintaining the alarms.

If your rental property does not have a smoke alarm, inform your landlord of this obligation. If you are having difficulty communicating with your landlord about this matter the following organizations may be of assistance:

  • The City of Seattle Housing and Zoning Enforcement Office (206) 684-7899
  • Dispute Resolution Center (206) 443-9603
  • The Tenant's Union (206) 723-0500 or (1-800) 752-9993
  • The State Attorney General's Consumer Line (1-800) 752-9993