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The original item was published from 5/14/2014 3:12:16 PM to 1/1/2015 12:25:00 AM.

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Fire Department

Posted on: May 14, 2014

[ARCHIVED] “End of Life” Alarm – What To Do About It

CO Alarm

“End of Life” Alarm – What To Do About It

Did you know your Carbon Monoxide detectors have an expiration date? Many people don’t realize it, but Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors have an expiration date. That is why if you have a Co detector in your house you need to listen up!

Because of changes in the manufacturing, many of the CO alarms are starting to expire, which has caused the Fitchburg Fire Department to respond to more false alarms.

Since January first, the Fitchburg Fire Department has responded to 4 carbon monoxide calls. However just last year, the Fitchburg Fire Department had responded to 21 calls. However, 13 of the 21 calls received were for false alarms.

Many times when the fire department arrives at the location of the call, it was simply a battery that needed to be changed or the alarm had reached the end of its life span.

In 2007, manufacturers were mandated to start installing the “end of life” alarms in CO Detectors. Many of the detectors last seven years, then their sensitivity is no longer accurate. Now in 2014, those detectors are starting to reach the end of their life and it is catching many people by surprise.

When an actual carbon monoxide detection in made, the CO alarm makes three loud, very quick beeps in succession. A true activation is very loud and constant until the CO levels are reduced.

However, most “end of life” alarms chirp sporadically, are usually not as loud, with lots of pauses between chirps, sometimes as long as 30 seconds. Most CO detectors have a label on the back that tells the manufacture or expiration date and includes an explanation and meaning of the sounds particular to that alarm.

Please take a look at how long your alarm is good for, and write the expiration date right on the alarm, somewhere visible. This will serve as a reminder to change the CO detector.

Also push the “test” button each month to verify it is working. By pushing the “test” button you will also hear what the actual CO alarm sounds like.

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