Smoke alarms

Install at least one alarm on each level of your home. It is recommended to have one in each sleeping area and outside of sleeping areas.

Test all smoke alarms, battery powered and hard-wired , once a month. Vacuum and /or dust around the alarms regularly to keep them clean.

Change batteries once a year unless you have a 10 year battery operated alarm. Make sure you change the backup batteries in your hard-wired alarms once a year as well.

Replace all smoke alarms after 10 years. They do not last forever. You may need to contact a qualified electrician to replace hard-wired alarms.

Every Home Needs Working Smoke Alarms

Smoke Alarm Sounds

Smoke Alarm Maintenance

Where Should You Place Smoke Alarms?

Follow the manufacturers directions on when to replace the alarms. In most cases, it is 5-7 years.

Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

  • Install and maintain Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms inside your home to provide early warning of carbon monoxide.

  • CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home.

  • Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized laboratory.

  • CO alarms are not substitutes for smoke alarms. Know the difference between the sound of the smoke alarms and the sound of CO alarms.

Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives!

The "Operation Smoke Alarm" program is designed to provide and install smoke alarm(s) free of charge to Virginia Beach homeowners who own AND live in the requested home. Contact "Operation Smoke Alarm" if you have questions or are in need a smoke alarm, call 757-471-5826.

You may also submit a request for a smoke alarm using the online form HERE

Factors considered for providing this service:

  • Not having a working smoke alarm in the home

  • Not being financially able to purchase alarms

  • Having at least one child under the age of 18

  • Having anyone over 60 years of age living in the home

  • Not being physically able to install an alarm on your own

*The Virginia Beach Fire Department cannot assist with installation of hard-wired smoke alarms. You may need to contact a qualified electrician or smoke alarm service company for assistance with interconnected alarms*


The City of Virginia Beach requires that property owners/landlords provide and maintain working smoke alarms in rental units. Please contact your landlord if you rent your home/apartment.

Landlord Certification Form

VA Code § 15.2-922: Smoke alarms in certain buildings

VA Code § 55.1-1220: Landlord to maintain fit premises

resources for deaf or Hard of Hearing

Visit our partners at the Red Cross for resources to assist caregivers and/or individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.