How Long Do Smoke Detectors Last? – A Vital Guide
Notice the fire alarm in your home. Now ask yourself, “How long have you had it?” If the answer is around ten years, it is perhaps time to replace it. It is vital not only to provide regular maintenance but also to be watchful when it is time to replace your smoke detector. Do you know how long do smoke detectors last?
Just like your various appliances at home, fire alarms do have an expiration date, too. If you keep it past that date, it is useless having it, plus you are risking your home safety. It is quite a fact that home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke detectors are present. Keep reading for a complete guide on how long you can keep these safety devices in your home.
The Common Signs Telling It’s Time to Replace Your Smoke Detector
Two primary indicators tell you it’s time to replace your smoke detector. Most often than not, you can’t find the expiration date or manufacture date on your smoke detector. Thus, it is better to change the smoke detector as soon as possible if you had no idea when it was purchased and installed.
A smoke detector alarm that needs replacement has a faulty function and repeatedly goes off. Aside from the dust, humidity, insects, and strong chemical fumes and a low battery, your malfunctioning smoke detector may be due to reaching the end of its lifespan. If you are still confused on how long do smoke detectors last, you may also consult your local electrician or your security system company to determine if your device needs an urgent replacement.
The Lifespan of Smoke Detectors
How long do smoke detectors last? Given the proper care and maintenance, most smoke detectors have a lifespan of eight to ten years, given that the batteries are replaced every year. A smoke detector with a lithium battery or a hard-wired smoke detector can last up to ten years. By that time, you need a whole unit replacement.
On the other hand, carbon monoxide detectors last between five and seven years. The standard recommendation is to replace them every five years because their ability to detect carbon monoxide is affected the longer you use it.
Your choice is to be safe and not compromise by ensuring that your safety device is functioning consistently. It is a given fact that smoke alarms will have gone through millions of monitoring cycles at the end of ten years, and its components may have become less reliable. If they reach their years of limit, it is the best time to have new and urgent replacements, to ensure your fire safety device competently works during an inevitable emergency.
The Important Facts About Smoke Alarms
There are two types of smoke alarms that you should know - ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms. Ionization smoke alarms can quickly spot fast-moving fires like that of a candle catching a curtain on fire that quickly happens. Meanwhile, a photoelectric smoke alarm is quicker in detecting a slower, smoky fire such as an electrical fire that starts within your walls.
There is also a dual-sensor smoke alarm that combines photoelectric and ionization types. You cannot tell what kind of fire may occur in your home; thus, it is strongly recommended to have both an ionization smoke alarm and photoelectric alarm- or a dual-sensor smoke alarm to spot and detect both types of fires. There is also a smoke alarm that utilizes flashing strobe lights and vibrations to for danger alert, which is ideal for those with hearing impairments.
After knowing some essential details about smoke alarms, it is also vital to know how long do smoke detectors last. As your fire safety device gets older, more faults are likely to occur, and problems related explicitly to smoke detectors is its sensitivity.
In line with manufacturers' advice, it seems appropriate to replace smoke alarms after ten years, unless individual alarm testing suggests earlier replacement. The general rule says that if you don't know the expiry date of your smoke detector or have no idea when installed, it is highly recommended that you replace them immediately.
When it comes to home safety and fire prevention, smoke detectors play an important role in warning you and your loved ones ahead of immediate and potential danger. But yes, smoke detectors don’t last forever, so it is crucial for you to regularly inspect them to ensure they are functioning to their best capacity by taking note when they expire and reach their year limit. Knowing how long do smoke detectors last assures you of the overall safety of your life and property.
July 18, 2020
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