Smoke alarms – mains powered ones – do they have a shelf life?

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  • Smoke alarms – mains powered ones – do they have a shelf life?
  • stumpy01
    Member

    I think most of them have a battery back-up incase of power cut.

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    That’s what I thought, couldn’t twist or pull anything out though to check. I’ll have another look now as at 4am I wasn’t at my focussing best..

    Premier Icon surroundedbyhills
    Subscriber

    If the batteries are getting low they will “peep peep” for around 20mins each day to warn you. They sometimes have internal batteries and the whole units (irrespective of batteries) shoud be replaced every 10 years.

    samuri
    Member

    Mine have backup batteries and the things go mad when they need replacing. They normally decide to start doing this at 3 or 4 in the morning.

    samuri
    Member

    I’ve just read your post again. For them both to go off seems a bit unusual.

    Could you have had a power glitch? Have you been drinking a particularly potent, guff-inducing single malt?

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    wasn’t a ‘peep peep’ from one or other. Was a full scale banshee cacophony, first one then the other kicked in, couldn’t tell which one had started it.

    And just read yours — they do kick off – briefly – just a chirp or three – when power is back on, and power can be a bit odd sometimes, but nothing in the RCD unit showing up.

    Got the big steps up to look at the hall one, it does twist off (eventually) – no sign of battery backup; date stamped ‘Mar 15 1999’ inside, not sure if that’s date of manufacture or replace by – assume the former. Still makes it 15 years old 🙁

    marcus7
    Member

    If in doubt get new ones, you may be able to get the same unit so that you can keep the base plate but to be honest they are easy to fit. I’ve had a load of building work done and had them all replaced as the dust etc will potentially have reduced their sensitivity, i also replaced the kitchen unit to a heat detector to stop toast alarms!.

    hammyuk
    Member

    Mains powered ones will be linked – hence them both going off.

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    By shelf life I mean usage life.

    This morning, 4am (it’s always 4am for the random ones!) the two mains powered smoke alarms in the house go berserk. I think they are linked, in any case? Not sure of model, or whether thy have battery backup. They were in the house when we moved in 8 years ago. Don’t recall having a problem with them before.

    They eventually went off, then on again 5 mins later, then off. Not struck up since. No sign of fire, smoke, heat, inside or out. Not particularly dusty, smoky or hot in the house.

    So, assume it’s a spurious alert, are they on their way out and should they be replaced?

    jp-t853
    Member

    They usually say that they have a shelf life of 10 years so worth replacing if they are playing up.

    Have you been decorating or creating dust? may be worth vacuuming the vents on the units.

    EDIT: I see you covered the dust angle.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    Not sure about smoke detectors buy CO detectors only last 5-7 years. What you want is a NEST Protect, it will say nicely in a female voice “Battery is getting low, please replace.”.

    From my brother-in-law (a fireman)

    “There will be a battery back up but if the battery is flat they will cheep. It sounds like they are linked and one has an intermittent fault. It’s difficult to determine which is the faulty one so safest thing would to replace both, the detector heads are getting old if they are over 8 years in place. If it’s a rented property it’s the landlords responsibility to maintain fire detection systems.”

    Klunk
    Member

    yeah our two mains powered ones both start the chirp when one of the batteries go flat you can turn it off for a bit by holding down the test button till it beeps.

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    No sign of any batteries folks. Might be sealed in I guess, would need to try and get the make / model and research it.

    I’ll check out like for like replacement. Thanks all.

    wobbliscott
    Member

    I’ve got 2 in my house and i’ve had to replace one of them as it became ultra sensitive and was going off all the time. The other seems to be fine. He house is mid-90’s so circa 15 yrs old. Incidentally the one that needed replacing was close to the kitchen so was going off alot from steam coming out from the kitchen, so not sure if that was a factor in its failure. The new one is far less sensitive to kitchen steam and smoke (when i’m cooking!).

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