Smoke Alarms: Best Before
If you have wondered whether or not your smoke alarm needs replacing you look for the signs. The obvious signs are nuisance beeps even after you have changed the battery, discoloured yellow plastic or a more unknown way of telling is to see the expiry date.
If you pull down your smoke alarm cover there should be a date saying replace by this year and that will tell you when your 10 years are up.
The reason why it must be changed every 10 years is that smoke alarms are manufactured to a standard (AS 3786) which specifies an effective life of 10 years. After that time smoke alarms may malfunction and their efficiency may be compromised with accumulated dust, insects, airborne contaminants and corrosion of electrical circuitry.
Also insurance companies have cottoned on to this and will now use this as a loop hole if a fire occurs in your house.
If there is no date upon looking, this is an even better indication that it may be time for a change as the dates on smoke alarms have been used for a while.
Being an Adelaide Electrician I have come across many customers who are not aware of this. It is recommended to have a 230 volt hardwired 10 Year smoke alarm installed as this gives you protection with or without power to the property.
Is your smoke alarm still fresh or going a little mouldy?