The importance of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors is widely recognized, yet once installed, these life-saving devices are often overlooked. However, these devices should never be underestimated, as they play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of your home and loved ones.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of every five home fire deaths occurred in homes without functional smoke alarms or without smoke alarms altogether. The death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes lacking working smoke alarms. Carbon monoxide is equally, if not more, dangerous, with over 400 Americans dying from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires each year, and thousands more visiting the emergency room or getting hospitalized. Many of these incidents are attributed to malfunctioning smoke or CO detectors, often due to missing, disconnected, or dead batteries, or detectors that have exceeded their lifespan.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are not “install it and forget it” devices. It’s essential to periodically check and maintain them to ensure they function correctly.

How often should you change the batteries in wireless (battery-operated) smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors?

  • Test your smoke detectors monthly, and if they are wireless and battery-operated, change the batteries at least once a year. Consider using special occasions like New Year’s Day as a reminder.
  • For battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors, it’s recommended to change the batteries every six months.

How long do smoke and carbon monoxide detectors last?

Most manufacturers specify a lifespan for these devices:

  • Smoke detectors typically have a lifespan of 8 to 10 years, after which it’s strongly advised to replace them.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors generally last 5 to 7 years, and it’s best to replace them within that timeframe.

Modern monitored home alarm systems can remotely track the presence of fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide in areas where detectors are installed, even if you’re away. This allows first responders to be alerted promptly when a detector sends an alarm signal to the monitoring center. When it comes to the safety of your family and home, early and reliable detection is paramount.

If you don’t have smoke or carbon monoxide detectors, Atlas Security is ready to assist you with their installation. If you already have these devices, remember to test them regularly. If they’ve surpassed their recommended lifespan, it’s time to consider replacing them. Contact Atlas today for installation or service to ensure your home’s safety.