Smoke detectors are critical for home fire safety. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) notes that nearly 60 percent of the fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke detectors. As important as these types of devices are, using an old smoke detector is just as bad as not having one at all. Smoke detectors have a life span of approximately eight to ten years. At that point, you should consider replacing the device because the unit becomes less and less sensitive to smoke. The NFPA recommends replacing residential smoke detectors every ten years. There are also other factors that can necessitate a replacement. Read on to learn how you can inspect your residential smoke detector so everyone is protected.
How to Tell if Your Smoke Should be Replaced
Nothing lasts forever, not even your smoke detector. At a certain point, you will have to purchase a replacement. In many cases, age is the determining factor. That is because as the device ages, it becomes less sensitive and unable to detect smoke before it’s too late. You may not even know your device is no longer working properly. It may appear to be fine. Generally, you should replace your smoke detector using the following criteria.
- The device is ten years or older. The manufacture date is typically printed on the device, and in some instances, the expiration date too.
- Your smoke detector alarms or chirps for no reason. (check the owner’s manual or instructions printed on the device)
- The expiration date or manufacture date is not on your device.
Proper Installation and Use of Smoke Detectors
The age of your smoke detector isn’t the only limiting factor. Improper use or installation of smoke detectors can limit the ability of the device to operate properly. Here are some basic installation and operation tips:
- Smoke detectors should be installed in every sleeping area of the home and on every level
- Smoke detectors should not be installed in cooking areas, in or adjacent to bathrooms, near windows of heating diffusers
- Batteries should be changed semi-annually. A good reminder is to change your batteries when you change your clocks
- Make sure you know the expiration date or date of manufacture
- Clean any dust or cobwebs from the smoke detector
Fire Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are located in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.