Smoke alarms are one of the most important safety devices in your home. They can alert you and your family to a fire before it spreads and becomes life-threatening. However, smoke alarms are not meant to last forever. They have a limited lifespan and need to be replaced periodically to ensure they work properly and effectively.
How Long Do Smoke Alarms Last?
According to the US Fire Administration, most fire alarms have a lifespan of between 8 and 10 years. After this period, you should consider replacing the device because the unit becomes less effective. The sensor inside the alarm can lose its sensitivity over time, making it less responsive to smoke or fire. The test button only confirms that the battery, electronics, and alert system are working; it doesn’t mean that the smoke sensor is working. To test the sensor, you need to use an aerosol can of smoke alarm test spray that simulates smoke.
The date of manufacture can be found on the back of the alarm4 Smoke alarms should be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture. Carbon monoxide alarms should be replaced every 5-7 years, depending on the model.
Why You Should Hire an Electrician to Install Smoke Alarms
While it may seem easy to install or replace a smoke alarm yourself, there are several reasons why you should hire a professional electrician to do it for you.
Installing new units that do not fit existing hardware. If you want to upgrade your smoke alarms to newer models that have different features or specifications, you may need to change the mounting plates or wiring as well. An electrician can help you install new units that fit correctly and securely.
Rewiring existing units or putting in new ones. If you have hardwired smoke alarms that are connected to your home’s electrical wiring, you should not attempt to replace them on your own. Working with electrical wires can be dangerous and requires proper training and tools. An electrician can safely and correctly rewire your existing units or install new ones that are compatible with your wiring system.
Working with a connected alarm system. Some smoke alarms are interconnected, meaning that they communicate with each other and sound off simultaneously when one detects smoke or fire. This can provide extra protection and alert you to a fire in any part of your home. However, interconnected smoke alarms are more complex and require an understanding of how they operate as a network. An electrician can help you install or replace interconnected smoke alarms and ensure that they work together properly.
When you are unsure of how many alarms you need or where to put them. The number and placement of smoke alarms in your home can affect their performance and coverage. You need to have enough alarms to cover all the rooms and levels of your home, and you need to place them in strategic locations that can detect smoke or fire quickly and effectively. An electrician can help you determine how many alarms you need and where to put them, based on the size, layout, and features of your home. They can also help you follow the local building codes and requirements for smoke alarm installation.
Smoke alarms are essential for keeping your home and family safe from fire hazards. However, they need to be replaced every 10 years to ensure they work properly and effectively. You should also hire an electrician to install or replace your smoke alarms, especially if you have hardwired or interconnected units, or if you are unsure of how many you need or where to place them. By hiring a professional electrician, you can get your smoke alarms installed in a code compliant manner and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your home and family are protected.