Does your home have a smoke alarm? The answer is likely yes but do you know how old your smoke alarms are? If you're like most people, you're probably not so sure. The theme of this year's Fire Prevention Week "Don't Wait – Check the Date", encourages everyone to check the age of their smoke alarms.
All smoke alarms need to be replaced at least every 10 years, but because the public is generally unaware of this requirement, many homes have smoke alarms past their expiration date, putting people at increased risk.
To find out how old your smoke alarm is and its expiration date, simply look on the back of the alarm where the date of manufacture is marked. The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date (not the date of purchase). Smoke alarms should be tested monthly, and batteries should be replaced once a year or when they begin to chirp, signaling that they're running low.
For more information on smoke alarms and this year's Fire Prevention Week campaign, "Don't Wait: Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years", visit www.firepreventionweek.org.
Mark Hoveling, Fire Prevention Officer