How much does it cost to replace smoke detectors?

Knowing the cost before shopping can equal big savings

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According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years. While having working smoke detectors throughout your house is a must for safety, replacing them can be expensive, especially if you have a large home. Here’s what you should know.


Key insights

  • Smoke detectors can cost anywhere from $5 to more than $150.
  • The type determines the price of the smoke detector.
  • Your home warranty may cover the cost of replacement.

Smoke detector replacement costs

How much you pay to replace your smoke detector comes down to the type of smoke detector and additional costs like installation and monthly fees.

Smoke detector repair costs by type

There are two main types of smoke detectors: wired and battery-powered. Wired smoke detectors are exactly what they sound like — they’re wired into your home's electrical system to get power. Battery-powered smoke detectors easily detach from a wall plate so you can access a panel on the back to change the battery.

Wired smoke detectors tend to cost more, but not too much. You’ll probably end up spending around $10 more for wired.

Battery-powered smoke detectors are both cheaper and easier to install than wired models, and they still work if the power goes out. On the other hand, wired smoke detectors have two potential sources of power, so they are thought to be the most dependable.

Some wired smoke alarms can also connect to your security system and alert emergency services when there’s a fire. This can be particularly helpful for those with hearing issues.

Wired and battery-operated smoke detectors have features and detection types that can also affect the price:

  • Ionization: This detection system is less expensive than others. Ionization smoke detectors can cost anywhere from $5 to $25.
  • Photoelectric: This type of system is particularly good at detecting smoldering fires. You might pay $10 to $30 for one of these.
  • Smart-home features: There are very few smart detectors on the market. They offer features like fire alerts, the ability to shut off alarms from your phone and smart assistant capabilities. These detectors cost $50 to several hundred dollars.
  • Dual-sensor: These combine ionization and photoelectric detection (the National Fire Protection Association recommends using both types of detection in your home). Considering these combine two different technologies, you’ll pay around $40 to more than $150 for dual-sensor smoke detectors.

Additional smoke detector costs

There are some additional costs to consider before you go shopping for your replacement smoke detectors. First, if you get a smart smoke detector or one that connects with a security service, you may need to sign up for the monthly service plan. Our research team reviewed quotes from various companies and found these can run anywhere from $5 to $60 per month.

Also, if you choose a wired smoke detector and have been using battery-powered ones until now, you’ll need to hire an electrician to install them.

Can you DIY a smoke detector replacement?

Battery-powered smoke detectors are simple enough to install in just minutes. You usually just need a screwdriver to complete the installation. If you get the same brand as your old smoke detector, you may be able to install it on the old wall bracket.

On the other hand, wired smoke detectors likely need to be installed by a professional. If you know simple wiring, though, you may be able to replace your wired smoke detectors.

» MORE: Do your smoke detectors need to be replaced?

Does your home warranty cover smoke detector replacement?

While you may think your home warranty covers only appliance repair and replacement, you may be surprised to find out that some also cover smoke detector replacement. Often, smoke detector replacement comes with higher-level home warranty packages.

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FAQ

How long does a smoke detector last?

Smoke detectors last up to 10 years, though some may die early due to improper maintenance.

Do I need to have my smoke detector serviced regularly?

Battery-powered smoke detectors need a battery change around once a year, according to the National Fire Protection Association, but if your smoke detector beeps or chirps, it needs a battery change sooner. All smoke detectors need testing each month.

Does a smoke detector have a warranty?

Smoke detectors come with a manufacturer’s warranty that can last for several years. Make sure to check the documentation that comes with your smoke detector to learn about specific terms and limitations. You may also be able to get an extended warranty through the retailer when you purchase the smoke detector.

Bottom line

You can expect to pay anywhere from $5 to several hundred dollars to replace your smoke detector. It all depends on how many you need, the type of smoke detector you want and your installation costs. Fortunately, some home warranty companies cover smoke detector replacement.


Article sources
ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
  1. National Fire Protection Association, “What Kind of Smoke Alarm Should I Buy?” Accessed Feb. 22, 2024.
  2. National Fire Protection Association, “Ionization Vs. Photoelectric.” Accessed Feb. 22, 2024.
  3. Angi, “How Much Does Smoke Detector Installation Cost?” Accessed Feb. 22, 2024.
  4. National Fire Protection Association, “How Do I Maintain My Smoke Detector?” Accessed Feb. 22, 2024.
  5. National Fire Protection Association, “Changing Clocks and Batteries.” Accessed Feb. 22, 2024.
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