Smoke Alarms Save Lives – But They Require Maintenance


Smoke detectors have saved the lives of thousands of Americans since being widely adopted for home use in the 1980s. According to the National Fire Protection Association, two-thirds of home fire deaths happen in homes without smoke alarms or with non-functional alarms installed. It’s estimated that approximately 90% of U.S. households have smoke alarms installed; unfortunately, many of them are not in good working order.  

On-site surveys conducted over the past decade reveal that more than 25% of installed smoke alarms are non-functional. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years and their batteries should be checked every month. If your alarms use regular batteries, you should change them out annually, and even though your alarm isn’t chirping, you shouldn’t assume it’s fully functional until you test it. 

New Legislation Mandates Alarm Update 

Many states have created legislation that addresses the need for working smoke alarms in homes, businesses, and other settings. Illinois has passed legislation (425 ILCS 60/3) Smoke Detector Act, a law that will require homeowners to update their smoke detectors to sealed, 10-year battery alarms. Similar legislation exists in other states already, including Wisconsin, Iowa, Vermont, Virginia, Georgia, and Florida, with presumably more to follow suit.

This steadily growing national trend should cause those operating in the construction and renovation sectors to take note along with homeowners. Any new construction and renovation/rehab projects being considered in the new year should plan on installing sealed battery, 10-year alarms to ensure that they’re compliant with changes in smoke alarm legislation going forward.  

Sealed battery alarms do not require battery replacements. At the end of their life cycle, an alert will sound indicating that the unit needs to be replaced. In addition to being more reliable and effective, closed-system alarms that are equipped with 10-year batteries can save homeowners money in the long run. Experts say people can expect to save more than $50 in battery costs over the life of an alarm.  

Crescent Has You Covered

Crescent Electric features an array of sealed battery alarms that meet the requirements of this new legislation. Even if your state hasn’t mandated a specific alarm, it’s worth considering an upgrade for peace of mind, reliability, and monetary savings. Shop 10-year sealed battery smoke detectors from BRK and Kidde today!