Only Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives

We are in the season of Christmas trees and burning holiday scented candles.  They are beautiful to look at and make this time of year really seem special.  Unfortunately, they can also be a potential fire hazard.

This is a great time of year to remind homeowners about replacing smoke detectors.  Smoke alarms that are 10 years old (or older) are near the end of their service life, and they should be replaced.  You may just think they sit there and aren’t working until there is a fire.  In reality, they work every minute of every day by constantly monitoring the air to check for the presence of smoke particles.  Just like other appliances in the home, components of smoke detectors wear out with time.  When a smoke alarm reaches the 10 year mark, the chances of the unit failing increasing substantially.  To keep your family safe, please replace your detectors that are 10 years old or older!

Another important homeowner tip is to check the batteries at least once a year.  One reason smoke alarms fail to go off during a fire is because people remove the batteries.  They may remove them to either stop the low batter signal or due to a nuisance alarm, but then they forget to replace them.  When a battery reaches the end of its life, the alarm will give begin to beep from time to time until you do something about it.  It is so easy to take the batteries out to stop the beeping, but then forget to go back and put fresh ones in.  The best way to prevent this from happening is to get on a routine of changing the batteries at the same time each year before the low battery signal begins to alert you.  A good rule of thumb is to change the smoke detector batteries when the time changes so you don’t forget!