What is the Lifespan of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

As with pretty much everything, your smoke alarm eventually expires. Sensors can become less sensitive over time, making them less adept at doing their job: detecting smoke, carbon monoxide, or potential fires.

Replacing the equipment in your fire safety system is important both at home and in your business. We have developed a quick guide for home and business owners on when you should replace your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

In Your Home

What is the Date on the Back of My Alarm or Carbon Monoxide Detector?

The date found on the back of the equipment of your fire system is the manufacture date. The life of your smoke or carbon monoxide detectors begins once they are installed in your home, but if you do not know exactly when the equipment was installed use the date as a point of reference.

Do I Need to Replace my Fire System?

If you have lived in the same house for a few years and have never replaced your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, it is probably overdue for some new equipment. Check the manufacture dates on your alarms as listed by the manufacturers by removing the detectors from where they are hung and look on the back. The date listed is the manufacture date.

You can double-check with the company that made your specific alarm or detector, but a general rule of thumb is that you should replace smoke detectors every 7-10 years and carbon monoxide/smoke detector combos every 5-7 years. Manufacturers and equipment manuals will list the exact warranty and other important details about the lifespan of the safety equipment.

How Often Should I Check?

Smoke alarms and systems require yearly inspections and maintenance. When you replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, you can review the manufacturers date and test the device itself to ensure it is functioning properly.

A beeping smoke alarm is a highly annoying yet effective signal that something is amiss with your equipment. If your smoke alarm is beeping and you can’t figure out why, it may be that it has met its life expectancy. By reviewing the manufacturer’s date, you can be certain whether your alarm needs more than a simple battery replacement.

In Your Business


Regular Inspections will help to maintain your fire alarm system to clean any dust or debris, do a visual check, and perform necessary testing. The FSS Technologies team conducts fire alarm testing to make sure that equipment is functioning and meets local authority having jurisdiction standards.

Other Equipment

Fire alarm systems in a business are more complex than those in a home, and the additional equipment will likely require replacing on a regular basis. Your business probably has multiple fire extinguishers that are accessible to your employees. Your fire extinguisher might also need to be replaced if it’s damaged, has missing components, or has a low PSI gauge reading.

Looking for Help?

Fortunately, you don’t need to keep track of everything on your own. The expert team at FSS Technologies is available to answer any questions you may have about your fire safety system and can help assess your home or business for a system installation.

Contact a Fire Safety Expert Today

Share this post