Remember to check the age of your smoke detectors


Chris Allingham

Staff member
Battery powered smoke detectors have a useful life of 10 years...not the batteries, but the unit itself and its ability to detect smoke particles.

We moved into our home in 2010 and I've been meaning to check the age of our smoke detectors, not just throw new batteries into them. Sure enough, the previous homeowner replaced them around 2009 and I should have done so back in 2019. Off to The Home Depot for some replacements.

For your own safety and the safety of those you love, please remember to check the date on your smoke detectors!

Good point Chris! I change batteries on my birthday (usually) but, I have let units themselves run beyond expected service life. I need to be better about that. Just replaced mine last summer so, as of this post,I should be good.
I replaced all mine 2 years ago with combination smoke and CO.

Hard wired battery backup wired interconnect.
I believe many newer smoke detectors automatically beep constantly after a set amount of time.
We had one "die" in the middle of a camping trip last year. We added a trip to Wally World to the schedule the next day.
Just replaced my dad's yesterday. I put in one Smoke/CO combo in the basement near the furnace and water heater. Installed the smoke only unit outside the bedrooms. The 2 wirelessly talk to each other and have non replaceable batteries so they last 10 years and you discard them. I installed the same ones in my house
Good advice, Chris. Our home was built in 1997 and a few years ago, it occurred to me to take one of them down and look at it. Sure enough, it was original. Bought a big multi-pack and replaced 'em all. Generally easy to do even for the hardwired versions - I think the wiring harnesses are mostly compatible.
I need to go through and do that. Mine might be older than that. I still think they need a better way to tell you the battery is low than beeping every 2 minutes at 2 in morning. I have a carbon monoxide detector that starts beeping at end of life. It went off at 2 or 3 in the morning and I thought we were going to die.
I mentioned this today to my upstairs neighbor. He's never changed his smoke detectors, "they still work", he says. They're 27 years old! After we talked, I think he'll be replacing them soon.