Home Smoke Alarms Can Save Your Family from a Fire, But Don’t Wait, Check the Date

You may have talked with your family about what to do in the event of a home fire and planned an escape route. You may even ensure you have working smoke alarms on each level of your home and check the batteries twice a year. If this is the case, you may have just cut your chances of dying in a fire in half.

But the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) wants to remind you: Don’t Wait – Check the Date. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. Sadly, only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced, according to the NFPA.

To find out how old a smoke alarm is, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm; the alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date.

In addition, follow these home fire safety tips.

· Have a fire escape plan and practice it regularly.

· Never take out the batteries in your smoke alarm, even if the alarm is bothering you or you want to borrow the batteries for something else.

· Install at least one UL-listed smoke alarm on every level of your home, including the basement and outside every sleeping area.

· Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

· Replace the batteries twice a year.

· Before bed, close doors to prevent a fire from spreading more quickly.

Take a look at the NFPA’s infographic below on replacing smoke alarms every 10 years. Then take SafeBee’s quiz to test your home fire safety smarts.


Fire alarm change instructions

Never take out the batteries in your smoke alarm, even if the alarm is bothering you or you want to borrow the batteries for something else. A smoke alarm without a battery is like not having a smoke alarm. If the alarm goes off and there’s no fire, press the “hush” feature if it has one and open windows to clear the air.