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Warning: Many Carbon Monoxide Alarms Expired This Year - Check If Yours Is Still Working

Tech. Sgt. Martie Moore - U.S. Air Force

Carbon monoxide gas is sometimes called the "silent killer."

It's colorless, tasteless, and odorless, which explains how more than 450 people lose their lives to gas leaks each year.

Your family could become just another statistic if your home doesn't have working gas and smoke detectors.

Which is why we're sharing this timely warning about the need to check your home's gas monitors.

Check That Expiry Date

Like smoke alarms, which should never be used for more than a decade, carbon monoxide detectors have a strict lifespan.

After seven years, you should replace your monitor with a new one (or even sooner, if the expiry date tag says so).

Some experts even recommend swapping out your monitors after as little as four years.

But a quirk of timing means a huge number of families will need to change their monitors this year.

Several states passed new, tougher laws on carbon monoxide detectors in 2011, which might have been the last time your family bought a new one.

Alarms in those three states - California, New York, and Washington- are set to expire in large numbers as they pass their seven-year deadline.

But even if you live somewhere else, let this be a warning to check both the smoke detectors and gas alarms in your home.

Expired monitors are never safe to use. And if your monitor does not have a expiry date on the back, or you can't remember when you purchased it, you should consider that monitor expired.

Follow The Fire Safety Checklist

Carbon Monoxide detector.
If you need a new carbon monoxide detector, this one is highly recommended on Amazon. Click to learn more.Kidde

October is Fire Safety Month, but any time of year is a good time to review fire safety tips and check the alarms around your home:

  • Keep at least one smoke alarm and at least one gas detector on each level of your home
  • Position alarms outside of sleeping areas to help warn your family of an emergency at any time.
  • Test smoke alarms often with the "test" button, and replace their batteries once a year.
  • Replace any smoke alarms after 10 years, and any gas detectors after seven, but follow any expiry labels on these devices.
  • When any alarm makes a low power chirping sound, replace its batteries right away - don't leave it for tomorrow!
  • Gently vacuuming your smoke alarm every six months can help keep it in good condition - just unhook the device first, then be sure to turn it on again after.
  • Make a fire safety plan for your family (including emergency exits and flashlight locations) and make sure everyone learns it by heart

Let's all stay safe this year, look out for your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector!

[H/T: Good Housekeeping]

Are all of your alarms up to date?

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