When to Replace Your Smoke Alarms

Whether you're a new homeowner or just brushing up on fire safety tips, knowing when to replace your smoke alarms is crucial for keeping your loved ones safe. Unfortunately, most people don't think about their smoke alarms until they hear the low-battery or end-of-life beep. 

In this post, we'll talk about the signs indicating it's time to replace your smoke alarms and offer tips to make sure they're always in top shape. 

When Should You Replace Your Smoke Alarms?

Over time, your smoke alarms' sensors degrade, making them less effective. Watch out for these signs to know when to replace your smoke alarms: 

1. Your smoke alarm is over ten years old. 

your smoke alarm is over ten years old

Age is a huge indicator that it's time to replace your smoke alarm.

Smoke alarms usually last for ten years. They become unreliable once they go beyond this age. 

It's pretty simple to check the age of your smoke detector. Just look at the back of the alarm to find its manufacturing date. If that date was ten years ago or more, replace your smoke alarm right away. 

2. Your smoke alarm is turning yellow.

your smoke alarm is turning yellow

Many people think smoke alarms turn yellow when exposed to light or dust. Unfortunately, they're wrong.

Most smoke alarms have bromine, which is a flame retardant. It helps smoke alarms withstand the heat from a fire, so they can warn you of smoke. 

Over time, bromine changes the color of a smoke alarm. Hence, a yellow smoke alarm is a tell-tale sign that it needs to be replaced. 

3. Your smoke alarm keeps beeping. 

your smoke alarm keeps beeping

Constant beeping might mean that your smoke alarm needs new batteries, is about to die, or there's a fire. Whatever the case, don't ignore the noises from your smoke alarm. 

If your smoke alarm has fresh batteries but is still chirping, ask a technician to hardwire the device. If the beeping persists, replace your smoke alarm as soon as possible. 

4. You encounter a lot of false alarms. 

you encounter a lot of false alarms

Smoke alarms become more sensitive as they age. As a result, they randomly go off, and you have to remove their batteries to keep them quiet.

However, this is not the best solution because taking out the batteries means your alarms can't warn you of smoke. The only way to guarantee that your smoke alarm will pick up on real smoke is to replace it. 

5. Your smoke alarm fails the monthly test. 

your smoke alarm fails the monthly test

Test your smoke alarm at least once a month to make sure it works. 

If your smoke alarm works, it should beep after you press the test button. Otherwise, consider replacing it. 

6. Your smoke alarm has been recalled.

your smoke alarm has been recalled

Thousands of smoke alarms are recalled yearly, so you should check if a recall has been done on the ones you have at home.

Do a quick Google search to see if your alarm has been recalled. If it is, replace it right away. Plus, don't forget to check now and then since your smoke alarm could be recalled later. 

7. Your smoke alarm was painted over. 

Your smoke alarm was painted over

Paint prevents smoke particles from reaching the sensor, making the alarm useless. So, if you have a painted smoke alarm at home, replace it as soon as possible.


Keep an eye on your smoke alarms and know when to replace them to keep your loved ones safe. 

Consider getting a fire safety kit with an emergency fire blanket, fire spray, and fire protection gloves as well. These tools work hand in hand with your smoke alarms to offer extra safety and peace of mind. Staying prepared can make a big difference, so don't wait until you hear that beep or see a recall.