Friday, February 09, 2018

When’s the last time you replaced your smoke alarms?

Photo by esp_imaging, courtesy iStockphoto
With many of us spending time cozied up indoors this month, now is a perfect time to check and replace smoke alarms.

That’s right. We said “replace.” Like your car, your computer and — gasp! — your phone, your smoke alarms don’t last forever.

In fact, the U.S. Fire Administration says to replace your smoke alarms every 10 years. Like other electronics, smoke alarms can fail over time, and could be less likely to detect smoke or issue a lifesaving warning. So if you can’t remember the last time you replaced yours, now may be a good time.

One way to tell the age of your smoke detector is by checking the date it was made. For this, you’ll need to remove the alarm from the ceiling or wall. Look on the back for the manufacture date. If it’s more than 10 years old, time to shop for a new one.

During fires at home, 3 out of every 5 deaths happen in buildings without working smoke alarms.  The good news is that your risk of dying in a home fire is halved when they are working.
Regardless of the age of your smoke alarms, it’s a good idea to test them regularly. In fact, USFA says to do it monthly. You can make it easy to remember by putting a recurring reminder on your calendar.

And don’t forget about checking your smoke alarm batteries. A good way to remember is to check them with the twice-a-year clock change for daylight saving time. (Or now. Now works, too.)
Smoke alarms are already on many people’s mind after watching “This Is Us” so let’s put those thoughts into action!

For more tips on home safety, check out this graphic from Get Ready.

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