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Most deadly fires happen at night when people are asleep. Smoke alarms provide an early warning of a fire, giving people additional escape time that can save lives. According to the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).

  • In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.

It’s important to properly install and maintain your home smoke alarms.

  1. Replace alarms every ten years

  2. Smoke alarms lose effectiveness over time and should be replaced at least every ten years.


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 ten years from that date (not the date of purchase).

Help with smoke alarms

You can sign up directly with the American Red Cross by visiting

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