Smoke alarms may be the cheapest, easiest and most effective means for protecting your family and your home from a fire—as long as they’re functioning. According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of four in-home fire deaths occur in homes without a working smoke alarm.
Having a fully functional smoke detector is essential to your safety at home. One of the things that can get overlooked is routinely checking the batteries of your smoke detector and knowing how old it is.
Stick a piece of tape on the back of the smoke detector and write down the installation date. Replace it 10 years from that date. While you’re at it, write down the date you installed the batteries, if your smoke detector requires them.
Better yet, we’ve suggested that you can change the batteries of all your smoke detectors at once. We’ve recommended that you check your smoke alarms once a month and change your batteries annually.
How to Recycle Your Old Detectors
Smoke detectors shouldn’t be tossed in the trash. Check with your local recycling organization to see if it will accept your old detectors. Many will accept photoelectric detectors but not ionization detectors because they contain radioactive material. In that case, the manufacturer for return policies or go to for more information.