Nebraskans are reminded twice a year to change the batteries in their smoke detectors, but now, they’re being urged to change out the entire device.
Sioux City Fire Marshall Mark Aesoph says even if your smoke alarms have never gone off, they wear out over time.
“They don’t last forever. They should all have a manufacture date on the alarm somewhere,” Aesoph says. “If that alarm is over ten years old, it really needs to be replaced.”
This is National Fire Prevention Week and the theme this year is “Don’t Wait – Check the Date! Replace your Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years.”
Aesoph says keeping smoke alarms that are too old could leave you unprotected in a fire.
“As the sensors age in that alarm, they are not as sensitive,” he says. “They are more prone to failure.” Sioux City Fire Rescue offers a SAFE Home Program that is free to residents who want to make their homes safer.
He says they will come out and do a home survey to look for potential fire hazards. They also have a home fire and safety guide and can also provide free smoke alarms.
National statistics show three of every five home fire deaths in the United States result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
Almost 40% of the fire deaths that occur in the U.S. are in homes with no smoke alarms. Check with your local fire department if you have questions about smoke alarms or fire safety.
By Woody Gottberg, KSCJ, Sioux City