Safelincs Ltd

Smoke alarms should be replaced every ten years

Press Release   •   Feb 07, 2011 09:28 GMT

More and more householders understand the importance of fitting smoke alarms in their properties. The government’s Fire Kills campaign encourages people to regularly test their batteries and most new properties have mains-powered smoke alarms, with a battery back-up, fitted as standard.  But there is a worry that many householders are relying on smoke alarms that are now past their useful life span.

In 1992, Building Regulations were amended requiring every new build to allow for mains-powered, interconnected smoke alarms to be installed. With many alarms installed under this regulation still in use and potentially approaching their twentieth year, the question is posed as to how many of them are still effective.

UK fire safety websites, along with those in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, generally recommend the replacement of domestic smoke alarms, whether battery or mains-powered, when they are ten years old or if they fail to respond to tests. Various studies have concluded that replacement after ten years is an appropriate balance between safety and cost. Of course some will fail sooner due to component failures that one could reasonably expect to find with any electrical device. Testing the battery or power doesn’t necessarily prove that the whole unit is functioning efficiently. In time the effectiveness may be compromised by accumulated dust, insects, airborne contaminants and corrosion of electrical circuitry.

An easy way to replace mains-powered alarms

Replacing battery-powered smoke alarms is straightforward – throw the old one away and fit a new one. With mains-powered devices householders may be deterred by the cost and inconvenience of having to call in an electrician to carry out the replacement.

A new solution makes replacing mains-powered alarms cheaper and simpler. easichange® provides householders with a replacement head containing the sensor and circuitry. Using the tool provided the old unit can be slid off and the new one easily installed. The base, which is wired into the mains, remains in situ so the process is as straightforward as changing a light bulb.

“This simple system means that householders no longer have the inconvenience of having to call out an electrician,” says Harry Dewick-Eisele, managing director of Safelincs, sole supplier of the units. “It also provides a straightforward solution for anybody moving into a house with mains powered alarms who doesn’t know how long they’ve been in place. This system means that they can swap them over easily and have peace of mind.”

easichange® is available for Ei smoke and heat alarms, which are a large proportion of the mains-powered devices installed in the UK.

About Safelincs

Since being founded in 2001 Safelincs has grown to be the UK's largest online fire safety retailer. We stock over 1500 different product lines and offer nationwide fire safety services, such as fire extinguisher maintenance and fire alarm panel installations. Our headquarters are in Alford, Lincolnshire and we are represented in the USA, Ireland, Germany, Austria, France and Italy.