We'd all rather not have to think about it, but to ensure the safety of our homes and those who live in them, fire safety prevention is a must.

The US Fire Administration says that having working smoke detectors in a home more than double the chances of surviving a fire.

Most people don't realize that like food, smoke alarms have an expiration date. Smoke alarms should be completely replaced every 10 years.

To find out how old your smoke alarm is simply take it down and look on the back side of it. There should be a date there that tells you how old the alarm is. If the alarm is more than 10 years past that date then the smoke alarm should be replaced.

There are 3 common types of smoke detectors: 

Types of Smoke Detectors

The two types of smoke detectors most commonly encountered in the United States are ionization detectors and photoelectric detectors. Ionization-type smoke detectors contain a very tiny amount of radioactive material. Photoelectric-type smoke detectors do not contain any radioactive material. Combination smoke detectors, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors, also contain a very tiny amount of radioactive material.

How to tell the difference

If a smoke detector contains radioactive material, it is required by law to have a warning label on the body of the smoke detector. The label is usually located at the “top” of the detector, facing the mounting base that attaches to the ceiling or wall. Remove the smoke detector from its base, and look at the label... The label may have the international symbol for radiation on the label. If a smoke Detector does not include either the warning or the radiation symbol on the label, and if there is no evidence that the label has been removed or destroyed, it is safe to assume that the device does not contain any radioactive material. If the label has been removed or destroyed, it is best to treat the device as if it is an ionization unit, and dispose of it as described below. (source)

To dispose of a smoke detector you can call your garbage company and ask them about recycling. Or most smoke detector companies will allow you to mail the smoke detectors back to the company.

Make sure there are enough smoke detectors in your home. The USFA recommend that there be one inside and outside of every sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in stair ways and the basement.

If you're not a fan of that 1am beep (why do they always seem to beep in the middle of the night!?) saying the battery is getting low, then here are a couple of options on the market. These detectors are supposed to last the whole 10 years, including the battery. That means the battery in them should never have to be replaced, just replace the unit every 10 years.


Two on the market options:

1.​Kiddie P3010L  for $19.99

2. USI 2 in 1 Smoke Alarm  $14.99



Remember a small amount of prevention can save a life.

*The Cooking Real Estate Team is in no way affiliated with these companies, and are receiving no compensation of any type from them.