I never knew that!
Earlier this summer we had family visiting us for a weekend at the shore. It was a great weekend filled with fun, good food and perfect weather for the beach. On their last night here, in the middle of the night we heard a faint beep.....beep.....beep from somewhere in the house. I quickly glanced at the time, 3am...too early for anyone to be up due to a malfunctioning smoke alarm! I knew it wasn't an emergency as there was no evidence of fire or smoke. I nudged my husband and we started up the stairs hoping the sound was coming from an unoccupied area of the house. No such luck. Sure enough, it was in their bedroom! We grabbed an extra 9 volt and a step ladder and knocked lightly. They were up and had removed the smoke detector battery but it was still beeping. We replaced the battery, silence at last and everyone went back to bed.
One week later, the same detector went off again. I knew we had put in a new battery so I thought perhaps it was something with the unit that was causing it to go off again. I twisted the unit from its base and drove to the local hardware store for more batteries and a replacement smoke detector just in case.
Knowing there is a large range of smoke detectors out there from battery to hard wired and even smoke detector/carbon monoxide combinations I knew I needed some guidance. A very helpful employee offered to help to answer all my questions. Luckily I decided to bring the removable part of the unit with me so that I could get the same kind and just click it into the base without removing it entirely from the wall. It was then that I learned smoke detectors actually have a date on the back that states when it was manufactured. I never knew that! On the photo above you will notice the manufacturing date of June 5, 2007. The sensory mechanism in the detector is only good for about 10 years. Since our house was built in 2008, I had a hunch that the rest of our detectors might also be out of date. To be safe I replaced them all. Be sure to check the exact model as during this process I learned that one of them was a smoke/carbon monoxide detector. In addition on the back there can also be a guide as to what the various sequence of beeps mean. For example, 3 beeps replace unit.
It is a good idea to change the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year. Daylight Saving Time can be a helpful time to remember to do this, once in the spring and again in the fall. This year Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 5th. This would be the PracticallyPerfect time to check the back of your units and replace any that are out of date. Stay safe and sleep well!