Residential smoke alarms should be replaced after 10 years, according to The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). More than one-third of the country’s smoke alarms are past their recommended life span. That translates to 77 million smoke alarms in need of replacement and the number is growing by 5 million each year.
“Residential smoke alarms have a 10 year life and must be replaced,” said Pat Coughlin, a former fire chief and direction of Operation Life Safety for the IAFC. Operation Life Safety provides educational and training programs for fire services nationwide. “After 10 years, smoke alarms can accumulate significant levels of dust, dirt and debris” Coughlin said.
“A smoke alarm works 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s more than 87,000 hours over 10 years. It makes sense to be safe and replace your smoke alarm regularly just as you would any other household appliance – especially one that could save your life” said Coughlin.
The NFPA recommends placing smoke alarms in each sleeping room, the hallway adjacent to sleeping rooms and one on each level of the home. Maintaining those alarms is also critical. Alarms should be cleaned and tested regularly, batteries need to be replaced annually, and the smoke alarm itself should be replaced every 10 years.
Should you have questions about your home smoke detectors please call us for a free scheduled home safety inspection.