Alarms don’t last forever — remember to replace

(BPT) – Being a homeowner comes with a lot of responsibilities. Seasonal upkeep, roof and gutter maintenance, plumbing repairs and more can add up — both on your to-do list and in your budget. But many home maintenance projects are simple and inexpensive, and they can help provide peace of mind.

Take smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, for example. Maintaining these devices is easy — keep them free of dust buildup and test them regularly by simply pressing the test button and waiting for the alarms to sound. On duty 24/7, alarms don’t last forever and need to be replaced at least every 10 years depending on your model.

First Alert, the most trusted name in fire safety*, recommends the following “alarm checklist” to help you and your family protect what matters most.

Test and maintain your alarms. In addition to regular alarm testing, the batteries should be replaced every six months. A good rule of thumb is to change batteries when the majority of Americans adjust their clocks.

Install the proper protection — every level, every bedroom. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends installing alarms on every level of your home, including the basement and inside every bedroom. Because smoke rises, be sure to install alarms high on the wall or ceiling. Don’t install alarms near doors, windows or ducts, where drafts may interfere with their operation.

Alarms don’t last forever — remember to replace. It’s important to select the right alarms for your home. Newer homes are generally wired for hardwired smoke and CO alarms. When they reach the end of their useful life, replace them with new hardwired alarms. In older homes and apartments without hardwired alarms, when your alarms expire, a convenient upgrade option is a 10-year sealed battery alarm, which eliminates battery replacement and late-night battery chirps for a decade. And, if your alarms are more than 10 years old — or you simply don’t know how old they are — the safest bet is to replace them.

To learn more fire and CO safety tips, or to find a retailer near you, visit

*First Alert Brand Trust Survey, March 2023 – Results are based on the responses of 1,043 adult homeowners, ages 25 and older, living in the United States who completed an online survey asking them to choose from six brands in the smoke, fire and carbon monoxide protection space.