By: Elizabeth D
Did you know your smoke detector has a shelf life of 8-10 yrs? I did not and learned my lesson.
The stove burner was accidentally left on with food in the pan around 7 pm. Around 3 am I woke up coughing. My husband and toddler were sound asleep. The dogs weren't barking. But I could smell smoke. My husband opened our bedroom door and there was a wall of thick smoke. We had to wet face cloths just to breathe so we could open all the windows and doors.
With both of us working in the insurance industry, my husband and I are diligent to replace the batteries in our smoke and CO detectors and to push the test buttons regularly. What I didn't know is that the sensors get desensitized over time. We do use our fireplace in the winter. And sometimes our dinner ends up a little crispy. But looking back, the alarm hasn't gone off in a while. It was 7 years old, just shy of the average life span.
Smoke detectors are now made with "born on dates". If yours doesn't have one, write on the inside cover the date you install it. Another scary thought - while they are required to be installed, do you know how old the smoke detector was before the person rented or sold your place to you? Was it one from their house/ another unit just to satisfy a requirement?
Please REPLACE your smoke detectors if they are old or if you don't know how old it is. While I am grateful everyone is OK, who needs this kind of hassle/ excitement when it's summer on Cape Cod?
Elizabeth grew up on the Cape and moved back after college. She is a mom to her 2 yr old son and 16 yr old step-daughter. She stumbled into an insurance career out of college and currently works at Almeida & Carlson.
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