Did you know your smoke alarm needs replacing every 10 years?
As is the case with the majority of our home electrical devices, smoke alarms cannot last forever. Smoke alarm sensors will degrade over time, leading to a reduced sensitivity in detecting heat or smoke. As a result, fire alarms need to be replaced every 10 years.
Yet a worrying number of people are not aware of the fact that their fire alarms may need replacing.
Checking and being aware of your fire alarm(s) expiry date is imperative to safety. Whilst the alarms will still function when the replace-by date is reached, it is unlikely they will be sensitive enough to detect smoke within a suitable timeframe (as outlined in the British Standards). The alarm may even begin to behave erratically.
How do I check if my FireAngel smoke alarm needs replacing?
For a smoke alarm to certified to British Standard EN 14604:2005, they must have a “replace by” date on them. This applies to all smoke alarms, from those that have “sealed for life” batteries, removable batteries or are powered by mains-supply. On FireAngel alarms, you can check the alarm expiry date on a small panel on the back.
To check this, you need to remove the alarm from its base by twisting it in an anti-clockwise motion and check the replace by date printed on the bottom.
If your alarm has exceeded this date it should be replaced as soon as possible.
Don’t leave it too late, check the date!
As seen in Fire Statistics England there was no fire alarm present in 36% of all fire fatalities in homes between 2016/17, and you are twice as likely to die in a fire if you haven’t got a fire alarm. However, having an alarm, but not checking it that it is working, is just as dangerous.
A smoke alarm is the easiest way to alert you to danger, giving you precious time to escape. They are easy to get hold of and easy to fit.
The most common causes of accidental fires in the home between 2016/17 were as follows:
For more information on preventing fire at home, please get your free Fire Safety In The Kitchen eBook here (suitable for homeowners, tenants and landlords)
What’s the best fire alarm for me?
The new SONA by FireAngel range also enables alarms to interlink throughout your home, as each alarm is connected via Wi-Safe 2 Interlink (a wireless radio-frequency connection) . Within this meshed network, if one alarm detects a problem - whether it be fire or CO - this triggers all the alarms to sound. This warns all occupants simultaneously throughout the home, regardless of where they are.
You can find out more about interlinking fire alarms - what products can be used in the network, and how this provides an extra level of safety in the home - in our Interlink Fire Alarms – What’s The Connection? blog post.
Did you know that Andy, from the Check The Date Campaign video, didn’t know he needed to replace his alarm? Hear his advice here: https://vimeo.com/238657542
How do I look after my smoke alarm?
Once installed, it important you continue to test and maintain your fire alarms at regular intervals. The testing process for FireAngel alarms is as follows:
Ensure the alarm is properly attached to the base plate
- Press the test button in the centre and release
- Wait to hear an audible alarm consisting of 2 cycles of 3 loud beeps (thenstop automatically)
- Test your alarms once a week
It is also recommended to delicately clean your fire alarms once every 3 months. As these are sensitive electrical units, the best way to do this is to fit a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush, and to move this around the edge of the alarm. No soapy water or sponges!
If you wish to find more quick user guides on how to test, replace batteries “sleep easy” and “smart silence” functionalities, please see our Kitchen Safety Guidelines For Tenants - A Handout For Landlords
For more information on toxic carbon monoxide, and how best to prevent it at home, please see our free CO eBook here: