Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does a single smoke alarm last?
This depends on the type of smoke alarm that you have. Generally, smoke alarms should be replaced every 5-10 years. Some smoke alarms come with non-replaceable 10-year batteries, which are designed to work for the full 10 years from installation. Once the battery has run out, however, the entire unit needs to be replaced. For smoke alarms with replaceable batteries, batteries should be changed every year, and after 5 years, consider replacing the unit for optimal protection.
What should I know about the different types of detectors for smoke alarm installation?
There are two types of smoke alarms: ionization smoke alarms (that are more responsive to flaming fires) and photoelectric smoke alarms (that are more responsive to smoldering fires). Each bedroom in the home needs alarms that can detect both flaming and smoldering fires, which is why combination ionization-photoelectric alarms (also called dual sensor smoke alarms) are often used and recommended for the best protection.
Which power source is best for smoke alarm installation?
Smoke alarms are usually either hard-wired or battery-only. The best type of alarm for your home is mostly up to preference. Hard-wired alarms are connected through the home’s circuitry, with back-up batteries in case your home loses power. Replacement is less frequent and requires a licensed electrician to do so. Battery-only alarms are easier to install and work during a power failure. Batteries, however, will require yearly replacement. It’s best to consult with a professional concerning the best smoke alarm for your property.