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When to Change the Batteries in Your Smoke Alarm

It’s that time of year again! Daylight savings times is around the corner and while the rule of thumb is to change the batteries in smoke detectors when adjusting your clocks, this year New York residents may want to change the actual device. This is due to a new law in the state that requires all businesses that sell the devices to only sell two particular kinds. These models are safer than older smoke detectors, and may require less maintenance. However, there are still some safety considerations those who purchase them will want to keep in mind.

The New Law in New York

The only two type of smoke detectors allowed to be sold after April 1, 2019, are hardwired detectors or 10-year, sealed detectors with a non-removable battery. Hardwired detectors are those that are wired to each other in a home. When one goes off, they all go off, alerting everyone in the home that there is smoke or fire.

The 10-year, sealed detectors with a non-removable battery are more expensive than traditional smoke detectors. Firefighters say these are safer than the conventional devices currently used by many simply because their batteries cannot be removed. Too often, homeowners remove the batteries from a smoke detector and forget to replace them.

While they do come with a higher cost, officials also state these smoke detectors will actually save home and business owners in the long run. This is due to the fact that the costs of purchasing new batteries over a timespan of 10 years add up. Due to that fact that these new smoke detectors do not require a battery change, eliminating the cost of new batteries, they are actually less expensive than traditional models.

The law does not require that homeowners, tenants, or business owners replace their actual detector with the new models. However, for those who want to remain as safe as possible, or who simply need to replace their old detector, they will no longer have a choice.

Other Smoke Detector Safety Tips

While the new law helps ensure that smoke detectors will always work, they still need some maintenance. This is a crucial part of ensuring they can perform their job in the event of a fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost three out of five home fire deaths were a result of smoke detectors that did not properly work. This was either due to age or smoke detectors that were not properly maintained. To avoid becoming a statistic, follow the below smoke detector safety tips.

  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month by pressing the safety test button. If you are uncertain if a smoke detector works, replace it with a new one.
  • Make sure you have all the necessary smoke detectors in your home. It is recommended to have one in each sleeping room, and in any hallways that are directly adjacent to those rooms.
  • Make sure you have at least one working smoke detector on every floor in the home, including the basement.
  • Gently clean your smoke detectors by vacuuming them out once a month. This will remove dust and cobwebs and help ensure the smoke alarms remain sensitive to dangers.
  • Replace any smoke detectors that are over 10 years old.

All of these tips will help keep you and your family safe, regardless of the model of the smoke detector you are using.

Injured in a Fire? Call the Experienced Long Island Personal Injury Attorneys

Most homeowners, business owners, property managers, and landlords are diligent in ensuring their smoke detectors work properly. Unfortunately, some do not take the proper measures and people become seriously injured or killed in a fire. Other times, a smoke detector is faulty or defective, and this can also have catastrophic consequences. When either of these are the case, those hurt must speak to a New York personal injury attorney who can help.

At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, we are the attorneys with the necessary experience to assist with your case. If you were hurt by someone else’s negligence, we will hold them accountable for providing compensation for your injuries. This can help ease the financial burden of the injury while you try to recover from it. Call us today at (866) 878-6774 or fill out our online form for your free consultation so we can get started discussing your case.


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