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cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to fifty nine

Re: How often to change smoke detector batteries

said by fifty nine:

Absolutely. Those are BACKUP batteries that you don't change every year.

Manufacturers blanket suggestion is to replace them when you change clocks for daylight savings time. It's likely far more frequently then needed unless you routinely burn your dinner. It's merely a suggestion just like changing your oil at 3 months-3000 miles. You can probably go quite a bit longer, even years. But replacing them at some interval, even if the battery has significant usable life left in them is far better then forgetting to change them, relying on a chirp that may not happen, and living with the consequences.

Then you might as well just make them all battery powered and not go through the expense of having them wired.

And none of mine are. And I bet most aren't. But it's an option. It never hurts to have options and backups.

If you "borrow" the 9v battery from a wired detector, the detector will keep chirping.

Right...but if it's only a 9V detector and you borrow it, it doesn't. The end goal is to make sure that you're protected regardless if one of power source is non operational. They figure you'd notice if you don't have AC. And if the battery is missing or low, chirping to make you replace it.

Changing it once a year seems acceptable. Changing the battery twice a year? Seems like duracell trying to drum up business.

Possibly. But here's what First Alert says:
quote:
How long will the smoke detector battery last in my smoke alarm?

Actual battery service life depends on the particular design of your smoke or carbon monoxide detector and the environment in which it is installed. All kinds of detector batteries specified in the users manual are acceptable replacement batteries. Regardless of the manufacturer's suggested battery life, you MUST replace the batteries immediately once the unit starts "chirping" (the "low battery warning"). It is recommended that you change the batteries in your alarms when you change your clocks for daylight saving time.


workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to ArgMeMatey
said by ArgMeMatey:

How often have you been changing your smoke detector batteries?

Do you do it on a schedule or wait until they chirp?

I have eleven hardwired interconnected smoke detectors in my house. Last week and this week, I started getting chirps and I replaced two Energizer batteries that were marked February 2005. So that's over seven years on a 9-volt.

NFPA says to do it once a year, apparently. No one in their right mind is going to argue with that since there are frequently stories about people dying in houses where the detectors were disabled or had dead batteries.

Well, I would recommend...Wait What? 11?

Holy Cow what size house do you have?

Dave


workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to fifty nine
said by fifty nine:

Changing it once a year seems acceptable. Changing the battery twice a year? Seems like duracell trying to drum up business.

Yep, just like lube places saying we need to change the oil every 3 months or 3,000 miles. Pure FUD.

Dave


Draiman
Let me see those devil horns in the sky

join:2012-06-01
Kill Devil Hills, NC
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to LazMan
said by LazMan:

Most fire dept's recommend changing the batteries twice a year, at the start and end of daylight savings... Probably a little excessive, to be honest; but better that way, then the other. I keep the batteries I take out of the smoke detector, and use them in other things, as not to waste them...

There are some lithium batteries out now that last 7-10 years, as well.

No matter how they are powered, smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years at a minimum, 7 years for CO detectors... Some detectors now include a lifetime counter, and start chirping when 7-10 years (as appropriate) has elapsed...

That's is built into any unit after March 2007.

CO Alarm
"Seven (7) years after initial power up, this unit will chirpevery 30 seconds. This is an operational end of life feature which will indicate that it is time to replace the alarm. UL 2034, the independent standard applicable to CO alarms, requires CO alarms to have an end of life warning. This requirement went into effect in March 2007, meaning any CO alarm manufactured after April 2007 with a UL listing must have this feature. Most states that require CO alarms in residential dwellings mandate that the alarm meet the UL 2034 standard."

Smoke Alarm
"Rechargeable Batteries Save Money, Time, and Labor
The Kidde Silhouette Low-Profile Smoke Alarm features a rechargeable lithium battery sealed inside the unit that recharges automatically via central electricity. If there is a power outage, the battery will recharge once the electricity is restored. Over the span of the alarm's life, this no-fuss unit saves homeowners money, time, and labor on battery changes. For builders, landlords, hoteliers, and apartment managers, this innovative feature cuts down on callbacks, material, and labor costs.

The battery is designed to last the lifetime of the alarm, approximately 10 years. Once the alarm has reached the end of its life, it will chirp every 30 seconds, letting you know it's time for a replacement."

Note the new smoke detectors come with battery backup that lasts the life of the detector, 10 years. The unit is $13.79 so I'd guess it's cheaper to buy a new unit then replace batteries once a year for 10 years.

Ref:
CO Alarm
»www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00032···KIKX0DER

Smoke Alarm
»www.amazon.com/Kidde-KN-SMFM-i-S···5&sr=1-8


ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable
reply to workablob
said by workablob:

Holy Cow what size house do you have?

1916 square feet. It's no mansion.

Four in bedrooms
Three in hall & stair areas
One each:
Living room
Rec room
Den
Laundry

As somebody suggested, I am overdue to replace the whole lot.
--
USNG:
16TDN2870
Find your USNG coordinates:
USNGWeb


workablob

join:2004-06-09
Houston, TX
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit
said by ArgMeMatey:

said by workablob:

Holy Cow what size house do you have?

1916 square feet. It's no mansion.

Four in bedrooms
Three in hall & stair areas
One each:
Living room
Rec room
Den
Laundry

As somebody suggested, I am overdue to replace the whole lot.

Overkill IMHO but TEHO.

Dave

EDIT. I think I am going to replace mine and get some additional ones.

Not that I am worried but it's an excuse to be geeky and it can only help.

Dave


ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable
reply to Jtmo
said by Jtmo:

My families lives are worth more than a few lousy 9 volt batteries. Your family may not be as valuable.

That is commonly where it ends with emotional appeals.

For another approach, take note of the opportunity cost, especially when looked at on a macro level.

100 million households in the US
One detector per household
One dollar per replacement battery
= $100 million spent every time everybody replaces their battery.

What's not happening because we're spending $100 million on batteries?

If batteries are replaced once a year instead of twice a year, we collectively save a lot of money.

Now, not that it would ever happen, but let's say taxes were increased by $1 per household.

With that $100 million, every household gets a free battery per year (purchased at wholesale cost based on competitive supplier bid), $5 million is spent on program administration, and $45 million is made available to rewire houses where inspectors have found electrical fire hazards.

Is it now more likely there would be fewer fires? Yes.

Is it more likely that everybody has a good battery in their detector? Probably.
--
USNG:
16TDN2870
Find your USNG coordinates:
USNGWeb


ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
kudos:2
Reviews:
·voip.ms
·AT&T Midwest
·Time Warner Cable
reply to workablob
said by workablob:

Overkill IMHO but TEHO.

Dave

EDIT. I think I am going to replace mine and get some additional ones.

Not that I am worried but it's an excuse to be geeky and it can only help.

Dave

In my case I was rewiring and the incremental cost to add the detectors was negligible; the cable was already passing by, so it would take one more box and a couple of hours of cutting plaster and lath.

Like you say, it can only help, although the one time a detector and the interconnection system functioned in the middle of the night, I just about went crazy. (It was apparently a spiderweb in the sensing chamber area.)
--
USNG:
16TDN2870
Find your USNG coordinates:
USNGWeb


Onemeg

join:2002-04-27
Grimsby, ON
reply to ArgMeMatey
You might want to check the new batteries you buy, as well.
I bought some last year from a major store and tested them on my meter at home. The 9v registered just over 8v. The ones I was going to replace registered just under 9v after a full year.

One year is more than enough. Change them in the fall, the same time I change my thermostat batteries.


Ken
Premium,MVM
join:2003-06-16
Markle, IN
reply to workablob
said by workablob:

said by ArgMeMatey:

1916 square feet. It's no mansion.

Four in bedrooms
Three in hall & stair areas
One each:
Living room
Rec room
Den
Laundry

Overkill IMHO but TEHO.

Current building code requires a lot more detectors than in the past. In the old days a new house would have 1 detector per floor. Today every bedroom gets one inside the bedroom, and one out in the hallway. If the bedrooms are close together then one detector in the hallway can be used as the detector in the hallway for each bedroom. So 3 bedrooms right next to each other would have one in each bedroom, and a one in the hallway. If you had 3 bedrooms spread out from each other you could end up with 6 detectors for just those 3 bedrooms. You also still also have to have a minimum of one detector per floor including the basement even if it's unfinished. All the detectors have to be hard wired together and with battery backup as well. Your average new home today has 5-15 smoke detectors depending on size and floor plan.


Doctor Olds
I Need A Remedy For What's Ailing Me.
Premium,VIP
join:2001-04-19
1970 442 W30
kudos:18
reply to fphall
said by fphall:

Twice a year, when we change the clocks forward or back.

This.

It is recommended by the Fire Department where I live and they broadcast it on local channels and local radio to remind people.
--
What’s the point of owning a supercar if you can’t scare yourself stupid from time to time?

dharel1705

join:2009-06-09
Merrick, NY
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to Ken
said by Ken:

said by workablob:

said by ArgMeMatey:

1916 square feet. It's no mansion.

Four in bedrooms
Three in hall & stair areas
One each:
Living room
Rec room
Den
Laundry

Overkill IMHO but TEHO.

Current building code requires a lot more detectors than in the past. In the old days a new house would have 1 detector per floor. Today every bedroom gets one inside the bedroom, and one out in the hallway. If the bedrooms are close together then one detector in the hallway can be used as the detector in the hallway for each bedroom. So 3 bedrooms right next to each other would have one in each bedroom, and a one in the hallway. If you had 3 bedrooms spread out from each other you could end up with 6 detectors for just those 3 bedrooms. You also still also have to have a minimum of one detector per floor including the basement even if it's unfinished. All the detectors have to be hard wired together and with battery backup as well. Your average new home today has 5-15 smoke detectors depending on size and floor plan.

100% correct. My home was new construction finished in August 2008. By law every bedroom has a smoke detector, plus one centrally located in the hallway outside the bedrooms. In addition, there is one carbon monoxide detector in the hallway outside the bedrooms as well. That makes 5 detectors plus the carbon monoxide detector on that floor. After that, each floor has one detector centrally located. The one in the basement happens to be a combo smoke and carbon monoxide detector. These units are all hardwired with battery backups and interconnected. Finally, we had one additional alarm grade detector installed on each floor that ties into our alarm system. When these go off, central station is immediately notified. In total, we have 11 detectors on 3 floors.
Expand your moderator at work


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to Doctor Olds

Re: How often to change smoke detector batteries

said by Doctor Olds:

said by fphall:

Twice a year, when we change the clocks forward or back.

This.

It is recommended by the Fire Department where I live and they broadcast it on local channels and local radio to remind people.

The Fire Departments are just repeating what the detector and battery manufacturers are recommending.

I change mine once/year in the fall when DST ends. Never had a problem with this schedule.

ke4pym
Premium
join:2004-07-24
Charlotte, NC
reply to Draiman
That Kiddie alarm looks nice. And awesome that it has a built in battery.

I'm disappointed that it isn't a dual sensor alarm, though.


A non

@151.190.0.x
reply to cdru
said by cdru:

relying on a chirp that may not happen,

But you test your smoke detectors regularly, right? So even if the chirp doesn't happen, you'll still know if your battery dies prematurely.

The batteries last for years. I have a battery-powered smoke/CO detector that is now 18 months old, running on the original, factory-supplied battery.

Changing batteries yearly or semi-yearly is a waste of money.


A non

@151.190.0.x
reply to Ken
said by Ken:

Your average new home today has 5-15 smoke detectors depending on size and floor plan.

Replacing 30 backup batteries a year makes no sense.

ncbill
Premium
join:2007-01-23
Winston Salem, NC
reply to ArgMeMatey
Change them when they chirp.

My hardwired AC-only detectors were replaced with AC/battery.

Regularly tested, several years between 'chirps'.


ffblackie
You called 911 for this?
Premium
join:2002-01-13
Knoxville, TN
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Ken
said by Ken:

... Now with that said, I don't know anyone that actually does all of that.

*sheepishly raises hand*

Practice what we preach.
--
Thanks to Darwinism, I'll always have a job... | Proudly serving since 1997