This year’s Fire Prevention Week is designed to get Americans thinking about the age of their smoke alarms. Smoke alarms do age and become less effective over time. Your family, home and possessions deserve the best protection available and when that protection becomes obsolete or even aged to the point where it is offering little or no warning, it is time to replace it. The industry standard is a life expectancy of 10 years on smoke alarms.

Smoke alarms generally have a date of manufacture displayed by a small sticker attached to the underside of the base. If you cannot locate a date or cannot remember when the smoke alarm was installed, it is probably time to replace it. It is important to note the date of manufacture as the beginning of the 10 year period instead of the date of installation. The material used inside the alarm to detect smoke begins to break down and becomes less efficient over time. Changing the battery at least twice a year is extremely important. Keep in mind that fresh batteries do not increase the life span of the smoke alarm.

Today, a decent battery-powered, combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarm sells for around $25.00. Over a span of ten years the daily cost of a $25.00 smoke alarm is 0.006 cents a day (plus the cost of batteries)! Where else can you buy peace of mind for your family for literally fractions of pennies? Smoke alarms continue to be one of the best, low-cost investments for protection of your entire house.

Another reason to replace old smoke alarms is due to the changes in technology. Alarm manufactures are constantly upgrading their products. Some smoke alarms include lights, voice messages and overall better detection of smoke. Many smoke alarms are now sold with a 10 year battery as well, how easy is that? What a great way to remember when the alarm is due to be replaced.

For more information visit the NFPA website below:

http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/campaigns/fire-prevention-week

Check your smoke alarms when you change your clock! Daylight Saving Time ends November 6, 2016: turn clocks backward 1 hour.

Most fatal fires occur at night. Every home needs working smoke alarms to provide an early warning. Install smoke alarms in all sleeping rooms, hallways that lead to sleeping areas, basements and each additional level of your home.

Smoke alarms should be mounted on the ceiling 4″ from the wall; wall mounts should be 4-12″ from the ceiling. Do not install near draft areas (windows, vents).

 

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