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Fire Security: How Long Do Smoke Detectors Last?

Smoke detectors are an important device that can save lives. But unfortunately, they don't last forever. Let's learn how to monitor their lifespan in this post!

Fire Security: How Long Do Smoke Detectors Last?

A smoke detector is an important device that can save lives, but unfortunately, smoke detectors, like other appliances and gadgets, don't last forever. It’s important to track your smoke detector’s lifespan, as it could be the difference between life and death. 

In Chicago, especially in the winter months, many fires can occur with so many candles and heating devices in use. Fire alarms must always be tested and updated to ensure safety in commercial properties like offices and apartments.

The Lifespan of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

The National Fire Protection Association or NFPA recommends the replacement of smoke and fire alarms every ten years. However, a smoke and carbon monoxide detector lifespan can range from five to seven years and should be replaced every seven years at the very latest. 

To best take advantage of the latest technological advancements, it is highly recommended to replace these alarms every five years. You might be wondering how long batteries last in a smoke detector. The answer is only six months, so keep track! 

9-volt Battery Smoke Detectors

how long do 9v batteries last in smoke detectors

How long do 9v batteries last in smoke detectors? The lifespan of 9v smoke detectors can last seven to ten years, however, the 9v battery itself needs to be replaced every year. 

Lithium Battery Smoke Detectors

Lithium battery smoke detectors, also known as long-lasting battery smoke detectors, can last up to ten years. Though the life of smoke detectors like this is long, keep in mind that the lithium batteries themselves can’t be replaced on their own, so the entire unit will need to be replaced when the time comes. 

Hardwired Alarms

Hardwired smoke detectors look like the 9v battery-powered smoke detector, but the difference between them is that the hardwired detectors use electrical cables that run behind ceilings and walls and connect to the smoke detector. You will need to change the battery once every year for hardwired alarms.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Smoke Detector

Installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is an important life-saving measure for any premises. It is important to replace them often to prevent any potential stress about their efficacy in case of an emergency. 

There are clear signs that can indicate when a smoke or carbon detector needs to be changed. Old smoke detectors will turn yellow over time, a visual indication that a replacement is needed. If your smoke detector randomly emits chirps, or worse yet, beeps all the time, it should also be changed. If your fire alarm system doesn’t respond when you test it, it must be replaced right away. 

Proper Smoke Detector Maintenance Will Prolong Its Lifespan

Time to replace a smoke detector

To increase a smoke detector’s lifespan, it is important to maintain it properly. This is crucial for smoke and carbon detectors, as well as other fire alarms. 

  • Clean your smoke alarm once a week without removing it. Gently wipe it down with a dry cloth or use a vacuum cleaner.
  • Once a month, it is important to test your alarm.
  • If your smoke alarm chirps constantly or emits strange beeps, then you must replace the batteries.
  • Once every six months to a year, you must change the batteries.

What Is the Lifespan of a Smoke Detector? 

Forbel recommends replacing your smoke detector every five to ten years, depending on the make and model. A well-maintained smoke detector can last up to ten years. It is important to keep that in mind to ensure you can keep everyone you care about safety in case of an emergency. Contact us!

Dzmitry Beliayeu
Dzmitry Beliayeu

Dzmitry Beliayeu is a commercial building security expert, technology consultant, and licensed alarm contractor

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