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Does my fire alarm expire?

Though every house is legally obligated to contain a fire alarm, many people sleep in their beds blissfully unaware that their fire alarm is past its expiration date — leaving their home and their families at a considerably higher fire risk.

In fact, fire alarms need to be replaced at least every ten years, starting from the manufacturer date. This article is going to explain the reason for this and how you can check when your fire alarm needs to be replaced.

example of a smoke detector

Why do fire alarms have a ten year expiration date?

It’s first important to explain that fire alarms have not been programmed to automatically cease to function after a period of ten years. Rather, ten years is a guideline set by British Standards after research showed that a large portion of fire alarms, much like the majority of other household appliances, will begin to show natural signs of degradation and functionality errors around this time. The smoke detectors may fail to sufficiently recognise an excess of smoke, or an alarm may fail to provide a loud enough sound to wake you.

Thus, it’s vital you change your fire alarm before the ten year expiry limit to ensure that your fire alarm is working correctly and you, your home and your family are kept safe.

How do I know when the expiration date is?

Every fire alarm will be printed with the manufacturing date. This will be found somewhere on the device — most likely the back, but in some cases you may need to open the alarm up to find it. The expiration date will be ten years from the manufacturing date. It is important to remember ten years from the manufacturing date, and not from the date of purchase. Keep the expiration date in your mind or write it down somewhere and ensure your fire alarm is changed before the date arrives.

What if my fire alarm isn’t showing any signs of fault?

The ten year limit has been used as a safety precaution, as not all signs of degradation and error are noticeable. Plus, the fire alarm could start to malfunction at any time — and the last thing you’d want is for that to occur at a time at which you need it most.

Should I always replace my fire alarm or just have my existing alarm serviced?

After the expiration date has gone, the fire alarm should be replaced rather than serviced. If your fire alarm is showing signs of fault long before the expiration date, you could choose to have it serviced by a reputable team of professionals.

Here at Protect & Detect, we have a wealth of experience supplying, replacing and servicing fire alarms and fire alarm systems regardless of type. We have a team of trained and highly experienced workers who are dedicated to ensuring that your home is completely safe in the event of a fire. To learn more about the extensive range of products and services we provide to customers around Ipswich, Cambridge and surrounding areas, give us a call today.


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