How often should I replace my smoke detector?
Some manufacturers recommend replacement after 5 years. If you don’t have the manufacturer’s information and your smoke alarms are 10 years old or older, it’s time to replace them with new ones. Since smoke alarms can become desensitized over time, replacement is strongly advised.
If possible, replace old smoke alarms with interconnected alarms. These alarms are linked together so if one alarm is activated, all alarms will sound. In the event of a fire, this gives you extra time to help get family members to safety. You may also want to consider a monitored smoke/heat detector installed by a home security company.
Test smoke alarms once a month and change the batteries in your smoke alarm at least twice per year. Also, be sure there is at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home and inside or near sleeping areas. In addition, only purchase alarms certified by Underwriters Laboratories (U.L.), an independent testing organization that sets quality and use standards for electronic and consumer products.
Some smoke detectors can’t be manually tested and are the type monitored by a security company. If you have this type and they are not being monitored you may want to contact a local security company to have the activated or have manual detectors installed.
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