If the answer is “Yes!”, it might be time to replace your smoke detector. The life expectancy of smoke alarms is generally 8-10 years, after which point their sensors can begin to lose sensitivity.
Don’t be tricked into a false sense of security. Keep your home safe and your family protected by ensuring your smoke detectors are replaced before they expire.
- Ensure you have the correct number of units for your home – in Lexington, KY, smoke detectors are required within eight feet of each sleeping area, plus on each level of the unit
- Check your batteries regularly to ensure your units are functioning – if your unit isn’t functioning, you may not be alerted to fire in time for you and your family to exit your home safely
- Monitor each unit’s expiration date, and replace them every 8-10 years – even if your unit beeps, the smoke sensor may not be functional
Know How Many Units Your House Should Have
Unless your house was built recently, it’s likely that you may not have enough smoke detectors. Here are the guidelines published by the National Fire Prevention Association:
- Choose smoke alarms that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
- Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
- On levels without bedrooms, install alarms in the living room (or den or family room) or near the stairway to the upper level, or in both locations.
- Smoke alarms installed in the basement should be installed on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs leading to the next level.
- Smoke alarms should be installed at least 10 feet (3 meters) from a cooking appliance to minimize false alarms when cooking.
- Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings (remember, smoke rises). Wall-mounted alarms should be installed not more than 12 inches away from the ceiling (to the top of the alarm).
Check Your Batteries Regularly
You should test the batteries in your smoke detector monthly.
To test the battery in your smoke detector, press and hold the test button. After a few seconds, you should hear a loud, ear-piercing siren while the button is pressed. If the sound is weak or nonexistent, replace your batteries.
Replace Expired Smoke Detectors
“Don’t Wait – Check the Date!”
Once you have ensured you have the right number of smoke detectors, you’ll need to replace them before they expire. Unless your house was built within the last decade, chances are one or more of your smoke detectors is expired.
- Remove the smoke alarm from the wall or ceiling.
- Look at the back of the alarm for the date of manufacture.
- Smoke alarms should be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture.
- Put the alarm back on the ceiling or wall if it's less than 10 years old.
What is the average life span of a smoke detector?
A smoke detector is built to last 8-10 years, and has an expiration date printed on the bottom. Check and make sure your unit is not expired – if it is expired, Synergy can help replace your unit.
How many smoke detectors should I have in my home?
Lexington municipal code states there should be a unit on the ceiling or wall outside of each bedroom, plus on every floor, including the basement.
Can cigarette smoke set off a smoke detector?
The short answer is yes, it can, as can all types of smoke. Modern smoke detectors are more sensitive than older models because smoking indoors is prohibited in most public buildings today. However, reports of such incidents are rare.
Will a smoke detector work if it is not attached to the ceiling?
No, a smoke detector will not function properly if it is not correctly installed.