Don’t wait! Check the date


Replace smoke alarms every 10 years

Did you know that smoke alarms expire? If you didn’t, you’re not alone.

“We tend to underestimate the remarkable job of a smoke alarm and the technology it uses,” says Acting Fire Commissioner Spence Sample. “Many people tell me they had no idea that smoke alarms need to be replaced every ten years even if they are hard-wired.”

One of the perceived challenges can be finding out how old the alarms are.

“It’s actually quite simple,” explains Sample. “Each alarm will have a date of manufacture on the back.”

Sample recommends investing some time in your family’s safety by checking each alarm and writing down the date of manufacture. Keep this information where you can easily find it each year or enter replacement dates into your calendar. This will help families keep track of when alarms need replacement.

“Smoke alarms are one of your family’s best safety tools. Make sure they are going to work when you need them most.”

While smoke alarms have been encouraged for decades, Fire Prevention Week provides an opportunity to re-educate people about their importance, new features and new options for installation and maintenance:

. Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button, and make sure everyone in your home knows their sound.
. If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
. Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they’re 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.
. Never remove or disable a smoke alarm.

For more information on fire safety in Alberta, contact your municipality’s fire or emergency service or the Office of the Fire Commissioner at 1-800-421-6929, email, or visit and select Public Education tab.

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