Product Reviews
Take Action

Fight for Fair Finance

Tell the administration and Congress to stand up for the consumer watchdog that protects you from financial fraud and abuse.
Take Action
Why Do We Have Campaigns?
We're fighting to ensure you and your family can get a fair deal in the marketplace, especially on the choices that matter most: health care, privacy, automobiles, food, finances and more. Join our campaigns and together, we'll hold corporations and lawmakers accountable.

Can lithium batteries be used in smoke detectors?

Published: February 08, 2014 01:50 PM

Find Ratings

Check the batteries—alkaline or lithium—in your smoke detectors regularly.

Q. Do you recommend using 9-volt lithium batteries to replace standard batteries in smoke detectors so that the replacement cycle can be extended?—William P. Bivins, Greenville, NC

A. Lithium 9Vs aren’t recommended for smoke detectors unless you follow a strict battery replacement schedule. Those batteries maintain a high voltage until the end of their usable life, so they provide a much shorter “low battery” warning to alert you that it’s time to swap in a fresh one. Alkaline batteries, by comparison, have a more gradual voltage drop-off, prolonging the “low battery” alert and greatly increasing the odds that you’ll be nearby to get the alert.

Send your questions to

—Consumer Reports

Find Ratings

Smoke alarms Ratings

View and compare all Smoke alarms ratings.

Batteries Ratings

View and compare all Batteries ratings.

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Home & Garden News


Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings


Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more