Do you know how old your smoke alarms are? Here’s why you should check…
Be Prepared: Smoke Alarms Should be Replaced Each Decade
It’s Fire Prevention Week and the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) is campaigning to ensure our homes are kept safe from fires. If you happen to know anyone who has endured a house fire, you know how devastating it can be. The best defense is fire prevention and preparedness in the event of an accidental fire.
This year, the NFPA is focused intently on fire alarms for Fire Prevention Week – specifically, helping people understand the importance of replacing them on a regular basis.
Don’t Wait – Check the Date!
According to statistics gathered by the NFPA, the general public has several misconceptions about smoke alarms, including how often they should be replaced. When they approach 10 years, smoke alarms can begin to lose their sensitivity – and this is why the NFPA recommends replacing them every decade.
If this is news to you, you aren’t alone. In a recent NFPA national survey, 90 percent of respondents were not aware of the 10-year guideline. Meanwhile, three out of five home fire deaths in the United States happen in homes without functioning smoke alarms. The survey also revealed that only a small percentage of people know how old the smoke alarms are in their homes.
For all of these reasons, the NFPA is focused intently on smoke alarms. Here’s what they want you to know:
- Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.
- Make sure you know how old all the smoke alarms are in your home.
- 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.
For more information about Fire Prevention Week, visit the NFPA website here. And while we are on the subject of fire prevention, it’s also very important to consider fireplace safety in the home.