Everybody knows that you need to change your smoke detector batteries every six months. Change your clocks on daylight savings day and change those batteries too.
What most people don’t know is that, just like batteries, the actual smoke detector has a limited useful life span as well.
Not only do smoke detectors get blocked by dust and other contaminants, they actually have circuitry that can fail over time.
The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that detectors be replaced every 8-10 years. New detectors now actually have expiration dates right on the body of the device.
If your smoke detector doesn’t have an expiration date on it, you should assume that it has passed its useful life date and go ahead and replace it.
If, during a regular battery change, you discover corroded batteries or corrosion on the detector terminals, that’s another sign that it is time for a new detector.