One day you’re awakened by the sound of your smoke alarm with no signs of smoke or gas leaks, what do you do? This “chirping” or “beeping” sound could possibly be a sign that your detector has a low battery. After changing the battery, it is important to check the test alarm.
But what does it mean if after changing batteries, the test alarm is not functioning? If your detector was installed over 10 years ago it is possible that your detector has passed its expiration date. Hard to believe, but just like milk, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can go bad over time.
Now that time have sprung ahead, it is an appropriate time to change all detection devices in the home. Here are some interesting facts about detectors and the necessity of replacing the entire unit and not just the batteries of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- The first commercial battery powered smoke detectors came to market in 1969.
- The first commercial battery powered carbon monoxide (CO) detectors were introduced in 1993.
- Batteries for all detectors should be checked at least once per year.
- The National Fire Protection Association states that CO detectors have varied expiration dates, but if unsure, consider replacing it. Many newer CO detectors have end-of-life indicators. Replace all CO detectors according to manufacturer’s instructions, or when the end-of-life signal sounds.
- Smoke/CO alarms become less reliable with time, primarily due to aging of their electronic components, making them susceptible to nuisance false alarms and inoperability.
- It is especially important to have a functional CO detector since it is considered the “silent killer” based on its odorless, tasteless, and invisible properties. (Dangers of CO)
As you spring ahead to home safety, remember to check all batteries and if need be, replace the devices. Smoke/CO alarms are vital devices used to prevent accidental injury and poisonings in the home. Also remember to post the phone number to the Illinois Poison Center in some place easily accessible – 1-800-222-1222. We’re available 24/7!
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