Statistics show that being careful to replace detectors in your home on time can save lives. Over 25 years after smoke detectors began to be installed in households, residential deaths due to fires have been cut in half. Widespread installation of carbon monoxide (CO) detectors is relatively recent, but news accounts of lives saved by a beeping CO detector in a home are increasingly common.
While most homeowners are familiar with the requirement to regularly test detectors and install fresh batteries, many people are unaware of the need to replace detectors. Both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have a finite expected service life. After that span has elapsed, the units become unreliable and may not alert you when fire or deadly carbon monoxide are present in the house.
Here’s how to make sure you replace detectors on time.
If you don’t replace the battery on time, smoke detectors will emit an audible “chirp” sound that the battery is weakening. However, most smoke detectors do not include any warning that the unit has been on the job too long and needs to be replaced.
The lifespan of a smoke detector is about 10 years. Every detector has its manufacture date stamped on the back of the unit. Remove the detector and check that date. If its age is getting close to 10 years, go ahead and replace it now.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The sensor utilized in carbon monoxide detectors begins to lose sensitivity after five to seven years on the job. During that time span, the unit should be replaced. Since 2010, new CO detectors have been required to produce an audible chirp warning to alert you that the unit’s sensitivity is declining and replacement is required. However, it’s preferable not to depend solely on the audible alert as a reminder.
Look at the back of the carbon monoxide detector for the date of manufacture that is stamped on every unit. If the detector is more than five years old, replace it now.
For professional service to replace detectors in your home, contact Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).