As the end of your smoke detector’s battery life draws near, a high-pitched 'chirp' will likely serve as a reminder that it’s time to install a fresh set of batteries. But there’s another step necessary in making sure that your smoke detectors are working properly.
Smoke detectors need to be replaced 10 years from their date of manufacture, according to FEMA. But unlike those beeping 'change battery' reminders, the reminder that it’s time to replace the entire smoke detector is silent.
Check the date
- Remove the smoke detector from the ceiling.
- Look on the back of the device for the date of manufacture.
- Remember that smoke detectors should be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture.
- If it’s less than 10 years old, put the smoke detector back on the ceiling or wall.
FEMA also recommends testing the batteries on your smoke detectors at least once a month. Simply push the test button and make sure your alarms sound when tested. If they do not sound when tested, they need to be replaced.
Where to install
As a general rule, consumers should install one in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home (including the basement). You may need more alarms if you have a larger home.