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Check Your Smoke Detector - It May Be Expired
Posted on: 11/06/2012
By  Kylie Smith

With the time change over the weekend, many took the opportunity to check the batteries in their smoke detectors.

While that’s important to fire safety, Larry Hawn with Biehl-Hawn Insurance, says it’s just as necessary to check the smoke detector itself.

“We had a situation here recently where the people had working smoke detectors and were able to get out of their home safely; they didn’t save the home, but they saved themselves,” says Hawn. “But what many people don’t know is that the smoke detectors themselves have a shelf life, just as our food has a ‘use by’ date.”

He says detectors go bad due to an internal part wearing out over time.

“Each smoke detector has a small swab of a radioactive material that decays and stops working over time. If you’ve ever had a watch with the glowing hands you can see in the dark, slowly over time the hands stop glowing – that’s a visual illustration of what happens.”

Lawn says an expiration date should be printed on the inside or back of the smoke detector and recommends replacing them every five years.


 
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