Dynamic R.I.C. Electric, LLC
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Has Your Smoke Detector Expired?

Has Your Smoke Detector Expired?

You may not be aware, but your smoke detector has a shelf life. They were not designed to last forever, but despite that fact, most people are unaware that a smoke detector can expire.  Most smoke detectors work for ten years on average, even if you have been dutifully changing batteries for the entire decade. Expired smoke detectors are unlikely to work and put your home, family, and property at risk. It is not worth the risk of losing a loved one, pet or family heirloom to forego inspecting your smoke detectors. A thorough inspection from room to room to check on the age of your smoke detectors is crucial. If left unchecked, expired smoke detectors can lead to a disaster. What should you do to deal with expired smoke detectors? Here are some suggestions for inspecting your smoke detectors and ensuring your home is safe.

How Old is Your Smoke Detector?

You may not even know just how old your smoke detector is; after all purchasing, a smoke detector is not a significant life event and easily forgettable.  It’s doubtful that you kept the receipt for the purchase of the smoke detector and even if you had it the date of manufacture is the start point for the decade of duty. It is important to remember that the smoke detector could have been in a warehouse for six months to a year before it was even put on a store shelf. How do you find the age of your smoke detector? Most models have the date of manufacture on their back if your smoke detector does not have an expiration date treat it as if it has expired and replaced it.

Is ten years too long a period to Change Your Smoke Detector?

It would be prudent to replace your smoke detector more often than once a decade. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the shelf life of a smoke detector can be as short as eight years. When it comes to your home and family is gambling with the shelf life of your smoke detector worth the risk? There are environmental factors that can affect a smoke detector as well.  Smoke detectors in a humid area can have issues with the electronics deteriorating and mold, and mildew can develop and interfere with the unit’s ability to detect smoke.  A smoke detector in a high heat area will degrade at a faster rate than it would in a typical room if you have smoke detectors in areas where the conditions are stringent, changing them out once a year makes sense. Replacing your smoke detectors every five years ensures that smoke detectors are in good working condition.

Regular Maintenance is the Key.

It does no good if you replace your smoke detectors, but the batteries go dead. That annoying chirping noise your smoke detector makes is annoying for a reason; it is to alert you that the batteries are going dead in the unit. Change out the batteries every six months to a year before you hear the warning from your smoke detector, it may be too late by then.

Use the Appropriate Smoke Detector.

There are several types of smoke detectors available, and all have different methods of detecting a fire. Let’s look at each type:

  • Ionization Alarms detect smoke ions in the air. Ionization alarms are best for fast-moving flames.
  • Photoelectric Alarms use a beam of light to detect slow burning fires.
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors are not specifically smoke detectors, but used in conjunction with smoke detectors can save you from carbon monoxide poisoning.

With minimal maintenance and the right choice of a smoke detector, you can keep your home and family safe for years to come.  If you are in need of a smoke detector installed or upgraded give our office a call at (863) 333-0762 or schedule online and we will contact you shortly.