How often should you replace smoke detectors? Did you know that two-thirds of residential fire-related deaths happen in homes with either faulty smoke detectors or no smoke detectors at all? This shocking statistic illustrates just how important smoke detectors are for each and every homeowner.
In fact, they’re the only way to truly ensure the safety of your property and family. But in order for them to protect you, you have to make sure they’re working correctly.
If you’re wondering how often should you replace smoke detectors or how to check their efficacy, keep reading. We have all the information you need right here.
How Do Smoke Detectors Work?
In order to better understand smoke alarm testing and how often to replace smoke detectors, let’s find out how smoke detectors work. These are the two most common smoke detector technologies:
Ionization smoke detectors are most responsive to flaming fires. They have a tiny amount of radioactive matter between two electrically charged plates which causes a current to flow.
When smoke enters this current, it interrupts the flow. This is what sets off the alarm.
Photoelectric smoke alarms are most responsive to slow-burning fires. They work by using light.
Inside the detector’s sensory chamber, there is a source of light which shines away from the sensor. When smoke enters this chamber, it reflects the light onto the sensor, setting off the alarm.
How Often Should You Replace Smoke Detectors?
The average lifespan of a smoke detector is ten years. However, this doesn’t mean that a smoke detector can’t stop working before it hits the ten-year mark. In order to ensure that your smoke detectors are working properly, change their batteries twice a year. As a rule of thumb, you should also remember to test all smoke detectors at least once a month.
Why Replacing Matters
Why does testing and replacing smoke detectors matter so much? Here are just a couple of reasons:
Peace of Mind
There’s enough to worry about in life as it is – especially if you have a family. So you should never underestimate the peace of mind that making sure that you have working smoke detectors in your home will give you. If a fire happens, you’ll know you’ll have enough time to get to safety.
It’s common for insurance companies to require that you have working smoke detectors as a part of their home insurance policies. But if they don’t, letting your agent know that you have detectors that work and aren’t expired may actually help to lower your insurance costs. Should a fire occur, having smoke detectors in good standing will also help during any post-fire investigation.
So how often should you replace smoke detectors in your home? Well, the simple answer is every ten years, but as you can see from the information above, there’s much more to it.
For maximum safety, you also need to replace your smoke detectors’ batteries twice a year and perform a fire alarm test once a month. Having working, non-expired smoke detectors can not only help you out with your homeowner’s insurance costs, it can save your life.
Have any questions or comments? Feel free to contact us. We’re here to help.