When should a smoke alarm be replaced? Survey shows 90% of people don’t know

smoke alarm

Photo: Chimpinski/iStockphoto

Quincy, MA – Nine out of 10 people in the United States don’t know how often smoke alarms should be replaced, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by the National Fire Protection Association.

Alarms should be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture – not the date that the alarm was purchased or installed – printed on the side or back of the device, NFPA states in a press release.

Other findings from the survey:

  • 50 percent said they have three or more smoke alarms in their residence.
  • 19 percent reported that the oldest smoke alarm in their residence is more than 10 years old.
  • 18 percent of respondents said they aren’t sure how many years their current smoke alarms have been in place.

NFPA recommends testing smoke alarms once a month, and replacing the batteries if the alarm starts to make a chirping noise. According to NFPA, 24 percent of smoke alarm failures are caused by dead batteries.

“Working smoke alarms reduce the risk of dying in a home fire in half,” Lorraine Carli, vice president of outreach and advocacy for NFPA, said in the release. “That’s why it’s so important to make sure they’re working properly.”

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