Time to check your smoke alarm’s 10 year replace by date

Edward ScownGeraldton Guardian
Data reveals smoke alarms do not work in 40 per cent of WA homes.
Camera IconData reveals smoke alarms do not work in 40 per cent of WA homes. Credit: pablo_rodriguez1/Getty Images/iStockphoto, Thinkstock/ iStockphoto Picture: pablo_rodriguez1

Much like that old tin of beans in the back of the pantry, your smoke alarms have a use-by date that is worth checking.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services is urging home owners to make sure smoke alarms are still within their 10-year operating life and to replace any that are past their prime.

“Australian Standards stipulate an operating life of 10 years, after which the alarm’s sensitivity and functions can decline,” building and energy acting executive director Nabil Yazdani said.

The reminder comes on the 10-year anniversary of updates to regulations which require all houses sold, rented or hired to have working smoke alarms.

If your house was built in or before 2011, pop or twist the cover off your alarm and check for a replace by, or manufacture date, on the inside.

If your alarm is hard-wired, it will need to be replaced by a licensed electrician.

After 10 years, smoke alarms can stop operating effectively as they build up dust and airborne contaminants and insects cause corrosion of the electrical components.

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