We are quick to note the milk’s expiration date and other household items. But more often than not, we ignore the smoke detector’s end date. Most smoke detectors last up to ten years, but once installed, you quickly forget about it. I mean, how long are ten years to come? It looks like a millennium!
Suppose there is a fire outbreak; expired fire alarms will be as good as having none. So, inspecting your detector to know if it is in good condition is highly advisable. So, can smoke alarms go bad? Yes! They expire!
Why do fire alarms expire?
You check your test button every month, and by the looks of it, it works fine. But unknown to you, the test button has no relation with the smoking sensor. Instead, it affirms that the electronics, batteries, and alarms are working, but not the smoke guy!
Can a smoke detector go bad? And why would a fire alarm go bad even after replacing the batteries? Picture working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These detectors work not for a year but a decade!
How Do You Know If A Smoke Detector Is Going Bad?
- Changing color to yellow
A popular belief is that the smoke detector turns yellow due to constant dust exposure in the air. Others think it’s a case of repeated cigarette smoking coming in contact with the sensor. All these are false. These sensors incorporate bromine, a flame retardant. On exposure to UV light, heat, or oxygen, bromine starts to turn yellow. If you notice the change, it’s time for a replacement.
- Chirping all the time
If your alarm seems to be taking its job a little too lightly by chirping every time, that may be a sign they want to take a break. Besides, if this happens too often, you won’t be able to gauge when it detects actual smoke. Another solution is getting a new set of batteries; if that doesn’t cut it, a new detector will!
- No response during testing
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends testing your smoke alarms monthly. The good news; it’s no rocket science. All you have to do is press the test button. If it’s functioning correctly, it will beep repeatedly and loud enough to get you away. If it doesn’t beep or isn’t too loud, consider a replacement. A report by USFA states that 60% of death-causing fires are in homes with dysfunctional smoke detectors.
- Going off unnecessarily
If your smoke detector is going off for no reason, such that you have to take off the batteries, it’s probably for a reasonable cause! As they near their end, detectors can get faulty with the sensitivity abilities. Staying with such a device puts you and your family at great risk, so replacing it is a better option for peace of mind.
Fire alarms need regular maintenance
Do smoke alarms go bad? Yes! Fire alarms are essential for keeping you and your family safe in the event of fire incidences. While you can efficiently perform a test on your smoke detectors, getting a professional to do it for you is recommended. At the same time, ensure you select a licensed and insured firm to handle your alarm systems.