Editorial: Aging smoke alarms

Smoke alarms are like that box of baking soda in the back of your refrigerator. Who knows how long it’s been there and if it is even still working?

Wilton Fire Marshal Rocco Grosso reminds residents that every smoke alarm has an expiration date. What’s yours? The Wilton Fire Department is urging all Wilton residents to know how old their smoke alarms are, and to replace them every 10 years.

Fire Prevention Week was earlier this month — Oct. 9-15 — but it’s not too late to give this matter some serious attention. A recent survey conducted by the National Fire Protection Association revealed that only a small percentage of people know how old their smoke alarms are, or how often they need to be replaced. Smoke alarms don’t last forever.

“Time and again, I’ve seen the lifesaving impact smoke alarms can have in a home fire, but I’ve also seen the tragedy that can result when smoke alarms aren’t working properly,” Grosso said. “That’s why we’re making a concerted effort to educate Wilton residents about the overall importance of smoke alarms, and that they do have a life limit.”

An old, malfunctioning smoke alarm will put you and your family at risk. To find out how old your smoke alarm is and its expiration date, simply look on the back of the alarm where the date of manufacture is marked. The smoke alarm should be replaced 10 years from that date, not the date of purchase. The Wilton Fire Department also says smoke alarms should be tested monthly, and that batteries should be replaced once a year or when they begin to chirp, signaling that they’re running low.

Want more information? Visit firepreventionweek.org or call the Wilton Fire Department at 203-834-6249.