Wednesday, September 2, 2015

WARNING! - Replace Old Smoke Detectors!!

    I have two smoke detectors in my RV. One is also a CO (Carbon Monoxide) detector. The Stand-alone Smoke detector is one of the small round ones that use a 9 Volt battery to function. It has a TEST button on the face that temporarily (you hope!) turns on the alarm shriek to confirm the detector is operational. Mine has a 1/4 turn mounting bracket that lets me remove the entire detector to replace the battery. Likely yours is similar
But is it Really working?? If your coach isn't new, you should check how old they are immediately!  Bad things could happen f you don't!

Turns out, smoke detectors have a limited life span. Around 10 years or LESS for older models. They should ALL have a date code stamped on them or a label with the date printed on it. Either on the back or inside the unit. Mine was near where you replace the battery. At 10 years (or less) you have lost 30% of the detectors sensitivity. It will likely still work...but give you SIGNIFICANTLY less time after a warning is issued to do something about it. By then, maybe the smoke is very dense, or fire has already gotten out of control. I want as much warning and as much time as I can get. This could be life threatening and/or property destroying! Truly, very important!!

PLEASE, check and replace the detectors NOW (if needed). These things really aren't very expensive and could save your life, literally. Also, make sure you purchase good quality batteries. I use name brand alkalines in mine. You could buy the even pricier lithium ones...but I really see no benefit. In fact, they may lead you to believe that the monthly (or before EACH trip!) test isn't required. When I replace my battery, I write the date it was replaced on a small piece of white tape. Then I simply stick that on the battery. You COULD affix the tape and THEN write on it, but since I always forget to do it in the first place and have to attach the label after the battery is in, it seems counterproductive!
Replace the battery. It's simple. Inexpensive and will only take a few minutes...if that!

There are always bad things waiting to happen to unsuspecting RV'ers. An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure! You know, a couple of seconds may save your life,, why chance it?

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"


  1. Does this apply to fire detectors that are hard wired?

    1. David & Frances,

      In a word, YES!!

      Rich "The Wanderman"


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