Why You Need to Replace Your Smoke Alarm Every 10 Years

This week is National Fire Prevention Week and “Don’t Wait – Check the Date!” is the week’s theme! You should replace your smoke alarm every 10 years even if you think it’s in good working condition. Much like other electronic devices, smoke alarms also have a limited effective service life; over time, they are susceptible to random failures. You don’t want one to fail you when it matters most!

The probability of your smoke alarm failing within the first 10 years is roughly 30% and after 15 years the chances increase to a 50% malfunctioning rate. It is still important that you check your smoke alarms at least once a month to ensure they are in proper working order. Replacing your smoke alarm every 10 years protects against the chance of a random failure, which could result in saving your life if your home were to have a fire.

If you’re unsure of how old your smoke alarm is, there’s an easy way to check how old it is! First, you’ll want to remove the smoke alarm from your wall or ceiling. Then, to find out the date of manufacture simply read the back of the alarm. Be sure to take note of the date of manufacture so you can properly prepare to replace the alarm 10 years after that date!

Don’t forget to check all of the smoke alarms throughout your house. Just because one alarm expires in 2020 doesn’t mean that is the expiration date for all of the alarms in your home. Smoke alarms should be located in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of your home. Just remember, “Hear the beep where you sleep”.

Please note that if during your monthly smoke alarm test the alarm does not sound, you need to immediately replace the smoke alarm. The manufacture date of a defective alarm does not matter, the alarm needs to be replaced immediately.

Did you know?

The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.

More than one-third, 38%, of home fire deaths result from fire in which no smoke alarms are present.

(via nfpa.org)

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