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Does your smoke alarm need replacing?

We all know we should test our smoke alarms regularly (once a week) to keep us and our loved ones safe from fire at home; but do you know how often you should replace your alarms and batteries?

Smoke alarms don’t last forever, so here’s some tips and to help you know when it’s time for a change.

You can read more in-depth information about the choosing, fitting, maintenance and disposal of smoke alarms on this website.

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How many years will my smoke alarm last?

When you buy a new smoke alarm it will come with instructions that will indicate how long it will last and when it will need replacing.

If the instructions are no longer available, the general rule of thumb is to replace alarms every 10 years.

If I don’t have the instructions, how do I know how old my alarm is?

If you don’t have the instructions, or can’t remember when your smoke alarm was fitted, you can often determine the date it was manufactured by checking the back of the alarm where the date is often printed.

My smoke alarm is beeping regularly, is it time to replace it?

If your smoke alarm is beeping on a regular basis, you need to replace the battery immediately.

If your alarm keeps beeping after the batteries have been changed there may be a fault with the alarm so seek additional advice straight away.

How often should I change the batteries in my smoke alarm?

We recommend that you should change the batteries in your alarm each year to keep it working effectively. The only exception is if your alarm has a 10 year battery.

Never remove the batteries unless you are changing them.

How do I know if my smoke alarm has a 10 year battery?

If your smoke alarm has a 10 year battery it’s likely to be sealed, stopping you from accessing the battery.

My smoke alarms are wired, do I still need to replace them every 10 years?

Yes, even hard wired smoke alarms need replacing every 10 years to ensure they continue working effectively.

Do I still need to replace the battery each year in a hard wired smoke alarm?

Yes, although your alarm is connected to your electricity, it’s important to change the batteries each year so you can be confident your alarm would still go off if there was a power cut.

I have a hard wired alarm but it keeps beeping, what should I do?

If you have a hard wired alarm that keeps beeping you should first try replacing the battery. If the alarm continues to beep with a new battery you need to contact a qualified electrician to check the alarm is wired correctly and doesn’t have any electrical faults.