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Security Basics

, Your Home Environment

What Is the Life Expectancy of a Smoke Detector?

Posted June 6, 2019 by Cove

Once you’ve lived in the same house for 10 years, you might be wondering when you should change your smoke detectors entirely. Replacing the batteries is one thing, but how long are smoke detectors manufactured to last? What steps can you take to make your home safer when it comes to your smoke detectors?

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  1. Check the manufacture date

Just because it beeps when you test it doesn’t mean the smoke sensor is still working.

Yeah, you read that correctly. Most people know that you’re supposed to test your smoke detectors monthly, but were you aware that even if it shows it’s working, that doesn’t mean it’s actually functional? This little known fact puts your home and family at risk of a fire safety emergency. Fires are tragic and destructive, so it’s important to take the right steps to secure your home from fire damage.

It’s crucial to know that smoke detectors are made to last for eight to ten years--no longer! When you test your smoke alarm monthly, it’s telling you whether or not the wires are working and the batteries are functional. It isn’t informing whether or not it is still capable of detecting smoke.

On the back of every smoke detector should be a manufacture date. This can help you know if the time has come to replace your smoke detectors. If you can’t find a manufacturing date, don’t trust it. Replace it as soon as you can.

While you can’t exactly lengthen the life of a smoke detector, there are some things you can do to keep it in tip top condition. Here’s what we would recommend.

  1. Clean your smoke detector with a vacuum to remove dust

    All you need for this step is a step stool and a vacuum with a hose. We would recommend that you don’t take the cover off of your smoke detector when you’re cleaning it this way. Making sure to vacuum your smoke detectors occasionally is a great way to keep dust and dirt from settling in and getting in the way of your smoke detector working properly. Keeping it clean helps make sure that your smoke detector will last as long as it should while still keeping you safe.

hand tools
  1. Learn how to properly replace your smoke detector

    There are a couple of different ways smoke detectors can be installed in your home. Some you can replace by hand. But if it’s hardwired into your house, you’re out of luck. It’s time to consult a professional.

    Talk to a local electrician about assisting you in replacing your smoke detectors once ten years have come and gone. They can help you do the replacements for, most often, a reasonable cost. Having professional help never hurts and it can help you sleep a little better at night knowing your smoke detectors are up to date and working excellently.

  1. Change the batteries yearly

    If you’re not sure what the basic smoke detector maintenance is, we’re here to help. Many people aren’t sure how often to replace the batteries on their smoke detectors. The answer? About once a year, occasionally more often. Making sure you test your smoke detector monthly can help you know when a battery change is needed. Often, your alarm will make a chirping sound to let you know it’s time for new batteries.

smoke test spray
  1. Fire alarm testing spray

    It’s never a bad idea to invest in some fire alarm testing spray either. This spray comes in an aerosol can and allows you to test the function of your smoke detector if you feel it isn’t working correctly. Regardless, if your smoke detector is over ten years old, you should still replace it.

Keeping your smoke detectors up to date is key to keeping your home safe. When you are diligent about your smoke detectors, you’ve taken a crucial step to protecting your home from a potential disaster.

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