How to know if your smoke detector unit needs replacement, NOT just the battery


We all feel safer, mounting a smoke detector in our home. We all know that the battery should be changed at least yearly. But, surprisingly, the unit itself (both battery operated and hard-wired models)need to be replaced every 8-10 years.

Things You'll Need

  • A permanent ink marker
  • Perhaps a new unit
  • Your smoke detector monitors the air in your home constantly for 24/hrs a day.

  • So, experts estimate that in 10 years, a detector goes through 3-4 million duty cycles. Components wear out, become clogged with dust, and other air contaminants.

  • Unsure just how old your unit is?? Look on the label , on the back of the unit, for a manufacturing date.

  • To make it easy to tell when a replacement is due, write the replacement date on the back on your unit, or on a new one you install. So, when it's time to change the battery, you'll be reminded when the unit should be replaced.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use permanent ink marker.
  • Some home insurers will ask the presence and age of smoke detector units, and it may affect your rates
  • Since the units aren't too pricey, if you're worried about the age of the unit, replace it. Better safe than sorry.

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