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Smoke Alarms
Smoke Alarms and CO Alarms Life Span
A Smoke Alarm's Life Expectancy. October was National Fire Safety Month, and according to Invensys Controls, smoke alarms should be replaced every 87,000 hours, or about 10 years. In addition, carbon monoxide alarms should be replaced every five years. For more information, visit the NFPA webpage.

About Smoke Alarms

Nationally, each year thousands of people die and many more are injured as a result of fires in the home and billions of dollars worth of property is destroyed. About 75% of residential fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Most residential fires occur at night during the winter months. The chances of dying in a residential fire are cut in half when a working smoke alarm is present.

Types of Smoke Detectors
Both types of alarms will provide more protection than no alarm.
  • Ionization smoke alarms react to smaller smoke particles created by hot, blazing fires
  • Photoelectric smoke alarms react to larger smoke particles created by smoldering fires

Power Source
Smoke alarms are powered by batteries or house current. Battery operated smoke alarms are easier to install and will continue to operate in the event of a power failure. If your home has a smoke alarm that is connected to the house current and does not have a battery backup, they will not operate during a power outage. It is recommended to install a battery operated smoke alarm to complement alarms connected to house current.

Installation and Maintenance
  • Always read the manufacturer's instructions before installing a smoke alarm. Smoke alarms should never be placed near air vents or doors where drafts could affect the smoke alarm's operation
  • Always keep the alarm in good working condition. Follow manufacturer's instructions. Replace batteries every year or sooner, if needed
  • Clean the alarm face and grill opening often to remove the dust
  • Most importantly, test your smoke alarm at least once a month