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Do Smoke Alarms Expire?

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Smoke Alarms

When it comes to food, we tend to pay close attention to their expiry dates, however, many homeowners never think about the expiration date on their smoke alarms. 

Smoke alarms are a crucial tool to the safety of your home and have saved countless lives by giving families and individuals the limited, yet critical time to get to safety. Unfortunately, over time, smoke detectors lose sensitivity and will inevitably fail when it is needed most. 

This makes regular smoke alarm testing maintenance as critical as the smoke alarm itself. Here is what you need to know about the lifespan of smoke alarms. 

Why Do Smoke Alarms Expire? 

Smoke alarm sensors lose sensitivity with time, and dust, insects, and other impurities can interfere with the smoke alarm’s performance during its 10-year lifespan. In addition to this, there are a number of other reasons smoker alarms expire, including:

Smoke Alarms Are Always On

Smoke alarms are always on. This means they are constantly drawing power from their batteries and your electrical system. As such they will wear out faster than other home appliances that get shut off when not in use. 

To ensure your smoke alarm (new or old) is performing at peak efficiency, batteries should be tested every month to ensure the smoke alarm detects danger and warning signals.

Exposed To Dirt and Debris

Smoke alarms are constantly exposed to dirt, debris, cooking smoke, insects and more. This build-up will eventually impact the alarm’s ability to detect smoke particles. 

Regularly vacuuming the outside of the smoke detector with a soft brush attachment will prevent this build-up and will extend the life of your smoke detector.

Corrosion Of Electrical Components

Smoke detectors are made of plastic and do not do much to protect their internal components. As such, these electrical components tend to corrode over time from exposure to moisture, smoke and air affecting their ability to detect smoke particles.

When Should You Replace Your Smoke Alarm?

If a smoke detector’s power source weakens or goes faulty, its ability to detect smoke particles will be affected making it less effective in saving lives! While it is not possible to know how long your smoke alarm will last, you should replace both the battery and the entire unit every 10 years. 

Similarly, if your alarm looks faded, yellowed or you do not know when it was installed, it is probably time to replace your smoke alarms.  Replacing your smoke detector with a modern model will ensure it is not only up to the latest safety standards, but that you are also enjoying peace of mind.

Ensure Fire Safety With MainTag

Are your smoke alarms compliant with the most recent legislation? As a residential and commercial smoke alarm maintenance business on the Sunshine Coast, MainTag offers a range of services to ensure smoke alarms are up to code and ready to serve their intended purpose!  

As experienced professionals each MainTag technician is fully trained, certified and equipped to serve you. Get your quote today.