Clover Electric Blog

Helpful Electrical Tips and Advice For Your Home

Do Smoke Detectors Expire?

We all pay attention to the expiration date on bread and milk, but never think about the expiration date on our smoke detectors. Yes, they DO expire! In fact, an expired smoke detector is worthless in saving you from a fire.

It’s a good idea to have a look at your smoke detectors to make sure they’re safe and ready to operate.

Most new smoke detectors are made to last 10 years. In the early years, smoke detectors were built to last an even shorter period of time. The bottom line is you need to check the smoke detectors in your home to make they’re safe and functioning properly.

Do smoke detectors expire?

How can you tell if your smoke detector is doing its job? There are three ways.

1) Look for the expiration date on the detector. To check, carefully twist the detector off it’s mounting plate. The expiration date is printed on the back is the unit. If you don’t see an expiration date it means the unit is too old to operate and needs to be replaced immediately.

2) To test the sensor, use an aerosol can of smoke alarm test spray that simulates smoke. If the alarms go off, you’re probably OK. But keep in mind, the older the alarms get the more the alarm sensors lose sensitivity

3) The third way is to have Clover Electric perform a home safety evaluation. We’ll check and test your smoke detectors, CO alarms and your entire electrical systems to make sure everything is functioning properly.

Mike Talty says, “Don’t be fooled by the test button.”

He goes on to say, “The test button only tells you that the battery, electronics, and alarm system are working. It doesn’t mean that the smoke sensor is working. Without a functioning sensor, the smoke detector is worthless.”

Play it safe. Call Clover Electric. You’ll be glad you called.
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