When is it time to buy a new smoke alarm?

Posted at 4:04 PM, Jan 02, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-02 19:22:02-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Don't forget to change the batteries in your smoke detector.

It is advice you get twice a year, usually at the beginning and at the end of daylight saving time. But do you know when you should actually replace your working smoke detector with a brand new one?

If your smoke alarm is more than 10 years old, you should consider buying a new one. The mechanism that actually detects the smoke becomes less reliable over time, firefights said.

Depending on what kind of smoke alarm you buy, you may not have to change the batteries twice a year... or even twice a decade.

"Technology has changed a little bit," Colonial Heights Deputy Fire Marshal Joe Boisseau said. "They now offer 10-Year Battery Smoke Detectors, which are great because now, those batteries can't be used for toys and other things and they're hard to remove."

A quick scan of Amazon showed 10-Year Battery Smoke Detectors on sale for between $20 - $40.