Are your Smoke Detectors still protecting?

Research has found that smoke detectors don’t last more than 10 years…that is they aren’t dependable after such length of time. With this in mind, it is important to not only test your smoke alarms regularly, but also check the date of manufacture. How to do this? Usually, those dates are printed on the back of the body of the alarm.

Date on back

Here’s a picture of one. You will need to rotate the alarm off the mounting plate and examine the back of the alarm. If the date is over10 years, then it’s time for a trip to the home center.

If you have hard wired alarms, like the one shown in the picture, then you will need to know that those things talk to each other. For instance, if you have smoke in the basement, then that alarm will send a signal throughout the wiring system to the other alarms and folks sleeping on the 2nd floor will get a life saving awakening! It’s a great system, BUT you need to be aware that different brands of detectors don’t necessarily talk to one another. If you need to replace a hard wired alarm, then most likely, you will need to replace them all. A quick test of your new alarm will tell you if it’s communicating with the others. The wiring is usually very simple. The white and black wires supply the power (hot and neutral) and the red wire is for communicating with the other units.

So that’s the basics of what you need to know to make sure that when/if your family is needing a smoke detector, it won’t be expired! If you would like to learn more about the science of detecting fires and the two main types of detectors, then check out this article with the full run down!

Smoke alarm nut and bolts

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