The Billerica Fire Department, Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, & Massachusetts State Fire Marshal are asking that while you’re changing your clocks this weekend, you also check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. We also request that you check the alarms in the homes of elderly relatives and neighbors who may struggle or be unable to check their own.
Do my alarms need fresh batteries? Unless you have newer alarms with 10-year sealed batteries (most of us do not have these), your alarms probably need fresh batteries! Even hard-wired alarms depend on battery backup when the electricity is out. Still not convinced? Keep in mind that power is sometimes lost during emergencies such as fires – the battery power source is absolutely essential. Please, replace your batteries and press “test” to ensure you have working alarms in your home.
Do the alarms need replacing? The Massachusetts State Fire Marshal’s press release reminds us that “smoke alarms need to be replaced after ten years usually, and carbon monoxide alarms usually after 5-7.” Like anything else in your home, these alarms are only reliable for so long. All alarms should have the date of manufacture visible on the device. It’s likely displayed on the back of the alarm which can be easily checked while replacing the batteries. A smoke alarm that shows a date that is prior to November 2008 should be replaced. You can check the manufacturers recommendations for more information on your specific alarms.