Smoke/CO Alarms

Smoke Alarm Installation Program

James City County Fire Department has partnered with the American Red Cross to install battery operated smoke alarms free of charge to JCC residents in need of basic protection. To learn more about this initiative, or to find out how you can volunteer to help, visit Red Cross Home Fire Campaign.

If you are in need of working smoke alarms, call Fire Administration to request an in-home visit from a fire crew. They will install up to three battery operated smoke alarms and provide one-on-one fire safety education.


Working smoke alarms reduce the risk of dying in a house fire by 50%.

Smoke alarms need maintenance, just like other devices we depend on. Remember to:

  • Test them monthly, or as often as the manufacturer recommends. Just push and hold the button. If the alarm sounds, it works!
  • Change the batteries twice a year, or when you change your clocks. If your smoke alarms are wired into the wall they should still have a battery backup for power outages. Change those too!
  • Replace all alarms 10 years after the manufacture date printed on the back, even if you purchased them less than 10 years ago. The sensors inside can stop working after 10 years, even if the alarm passes the button test. 
push the button to test.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms

Carbon Monoxide is a poisonous gas that you cannot smell, taste or see. Install alarms according to manufacturer's instructions on every level of the home.

CO is heavier than air and does not quickly travel upward the way smoke does. This reason is why some CO alarms are designed to be installed on the ceiling, some are designed to hang on the wall, and some are designed to plug into an electrical socket lower to the floor. Each location is equally effective as long as the alarm is installed according to the manufacturer's instructions.

CO alarms can be purchased from any major hardware store.