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fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to FiReSTaRT

Re: How often to change smoke detector batteries

This is one thing I never understood - what's the use of having AC powered detectors (apart from linking) if you have to change the batteries every year?

I change ours when it chirps, and the detectors were changed last year... turns out they expired 1 year before we bought the house in 2007. So add that to your checklist if you buy a house - check and change (if necessary) the smoke detectors.


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

This is one thing I never understood - what's the use of having AC powered detectors (apart from linking) if you have to change the batteries every year?

Why does your alarm clock have a battery when it also plugs into a wall? Why do you have flashlights/candles when you have lamps that plug into a wall?

Two studies in the 80s and 90s found that in 69% of house fires where the alarm didn't sound, the cause was dead/missing battery or other power source issue. People "borrow" the 9V battery for other purposes, or it just dies and they forget about it. Neither of those things are an issue with AC powered smoke detectors. But AC powered smoke detectors aren't very useful if the power's out.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
said by cdru:

said by fifty nine:

This is one thing I never understood - what's the use of having AC powered detectors (apart from linking) if you have to change the batteries every year?

Why does your alarm clock have a battery when it also plugs into a wall? Why do you have flashlights/candles when you have lamps that plug into a wall?

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

Two studies in the 80s and 90s found that in 69% of house fires where the alarm didn't sound, the cause was dead/missing battery or other power source issue. People "borrow" the 9V battery for other purposes, or it just dies and they forget about it. Neither of those things are an issue with AC powered smoke detectors. But AC powered smoke detectors aren't very useful if the power's out.

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

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

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


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


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.