Do Smoke Alarms Expire?

Are you aware of the signs that your smoke alarms are getting old or need to be replaced? Find out why they expire and what to do now.

When it comes to food, we tend to pay close attention to their expiry dates to be sure that we only use them when they are at their best. However, many homeowners think the same does not apply to the smoke alarm system that is designed to keep their home, belongings and family safe. There is no denying that smoke alarms have saved countless lives by giving families and individuals limited yet critical time to get out of danger before tragedy strikes.

Unfortunately, over time these vital devices lose sensitivity which ultimately leads them falling fail when needed most. Smoke alarms are a crucial component of your home’s fire safety system and it is crucial that they are in good working condition and replaced when needed, but you may be wondering just how long their lifespans will last?

Do Smoke Alarms Expire?  - smoke alarm on roof

Why Do Smoke Alarms Expire?

Smoke alarms are a great way to keep your family safe in case of emergencies, but what happens when they lose their sensitivity? Smoke detectors have an expected lifespan between 10-15 years. Unfortunately, as time goes on these devices become less efficient and can let you down if not replaced before it’s too late!

The reason behind this decline is primarily due to dust and other impurities interfering with sensors performance over their lifespan.

Smoke Alarms Are Always On

Smoke alarms are always on, which means they’re constantly drawing power from their batteries and your electrical system. That said these smoke detectors will wear out faster than other appliances that get shut off when not in use – so you need to make sure it’s performing as it is meant to!

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

We all know how important it is to keep our homes clean and free from dirt, this includes smoke alarms. Dirt and dust build-up will eventually cause problems when trying to detect microscopic particles caused by fire and smoke. This is caused by various factors such as cooking vapours, dust particles and steam. It is recommended to regularly vacuum with a soft brush attachment to extend the life of your device.

Corrosion Of Electrical Components

Smoke detectors are a great way to keep your family safe, but they’re not perfect. These electrical components can corrode over time from exposure to moisture, smoke and air and negatively affect their ability to detect smoke particles.

False Alarms

When a smoke alarm goes off in your home, it should be an emergency. However, as they age and batteries die, they are more likely to malfunction and sound. Not only does this cause unnecessary panic, but if it malfunctions and sounds more frequently, the less likely occupants are to react.

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.

Replacing Battieries

If a smoke alarm is frequently malfunctioning or emitting an intermittent high pitched beep, this means that it is time for a battery change. While most smoke alarm batteries last up to 10 years, it is recommended that they be changed more frequently, to reduce the chance of false alarms or not sounding when it is needed.

Do Smoke Alarms Expire? - hands with scredriver working on a smoke alarm

Ensure Fire Safety With Maintag

Are your smoke alarms compliant with the most recent legislation? Are you confident it will serve its intended purpose in the event of a fire? If you want a smoke alarm that will protect your family, then MainTag is the place for it! As a residential and commercial smoke alarm and electrical 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.

Each MainTag technician is fully trained, certified and equipped to serve you. From battery changes to full system audits and testing, we’re here to help you stay safe and compliant. Don’t take chances with your safety – Get in touch with MainTag today!