Bonfe Insider: October 2023

smoke detector detecting smoke

Smoke Alarms Expire Too! Here’s why…

October is Fire Prevention Month and serves as a reminder that fires can happen to anyone, anywhere. The first line of defense against a home fire is early detection, and having properly installed and maintained smoke alarms is key to keeping your home and loved ones safe. 

These small, unassuming devices play a critical role in alerting us to the presence of smoke and potential fires, allowing us to react swiftly and protect our loved ones.  

Many smoke alarms are battery powered, either with long-life lithium batteries or with 9-volt or AAA batteries, which last about 6 months. Some smoke alarms are hard wired directly from the alarm into your electrical panel.  But did you know that smoke alarms themselves have an expiration date? 

Smoke alarms typically have a 10-year lifespan. 

Whether a smoke alarm is powered by battery or hard wired directly to your electrical panel, all smoke alarms have a finite life span. Here’s why: 

  1. Limited Sensor Lifespan

The primary component of a smoke alarm is its sensor, which detects smoke particles in the air. Over time, the sensor’s sensitivity can degrade due to exposure to dust, pollutants, and environmental factors. This can lead to delayed or inadequate responses when smoke is present.

  1. Technological Advances

Technology is always advancing, and this applies to smoke alarms as well. Newer models often come with improved sensors and features that enhance their ability to detect smoke quickly and accurately. These advancements can make older smoke alarms outdated and less reliable.

  1. Battery Degradation

Most smoke alarms are powered by batteries, which also have a limited lifespan. As batteries age, they may not provide consistent power to the alarm, leading to irregular functioning or complete failure.

  1. Changing Safety Standards

Safety standards and regulations evolve to keep up with our understanding of fire safety. Newer smoke alarms are designed to meet the latest safety requirements, ensuring that they provide the best protection possible. Older models may not comply with these updated standards.

When to Replace Your Smoke Alarms

1. Every 10 Years:
Most smoke alarms have a lifespan of around 10 years. After this period, their reliability decreases significantly. Replace them promptly to ensure your home’s safety.

2. If It’s Yellowing or Damaged:
Physical damage, discoloration, or signs of wear and tear are all indicators that it’s time for a replacement.

3. When Batteries Fail:
If your smoke alarm starts beeping irregularly or the battery change doesn’t solve the issue, it’s time for a new alarm.

4. For Improved Safety:
Consider upgrading your smoke alarms if you want the latest in fire detection technology or if your existing alarms no longer meet current safety standards.

Our Pledge to Your Safety
At Bonfe, we’re your partner in home safety. If you have any questions about the right type of alarms for your home, need assistance with installation, or want to make sure your electrical systems are up to code, we’re here to help. Your safety is our top priority.

Skip to content