Is Your Smoke/CO Detector Ready?


Many fire deaths and fire injuries are actually caused by smoke and gases.  Victims inhale smoke and poisonous gases that rise ahead of the flames.  Survival depends on being warned as early as possible and having an escape plan.  It’s important to remember that new batteries are only part of what enables smoke alarms and CO detectors to save lives.

You should be able to respond “yes” to the each of the following statements:

  • There is at least one smoke detector located on every floor of my home.
  • Smoke detectors are placed near bedrooms, either on the ceiling or on the wall six to 12 inches below the ceiling.
  • Smoke detectors are tested at least monthly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and are kept in working condition at all times.
  • Batteries are replaced according to the manufacturer’s instructions, at least annually.
  • Batteries are NEVER disconnected.
  • Smoke detectors have a distinct warning signal that can be heard by those both asleep and awake.

In addition, you need to know how old your smoke alarms are CO detectors are.  Most alarms installed today have a life span of eight to 10 years.  After this time, the entire unit should be replaced. Some newer alarms have an “expiration date” stamped inside them – when purchasing a new alarm, be sure to check and make note of the date.

For more information, watch this great smoke alarm VIDEO by the United States Fire Administration.