Don’t Wait. Check the Date.

Don’t Wait. Check the Date.

Age matters when it comes to your smoke alarms. Did you know that three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms? All smoke alarms need to be replaced when they are 10 years old or if they don’t respond when tested. Don’t wait – check the manufacturer’s date on the back of your smoke alarms. At Great North Insurance, we recommend that if you purchase a new home that you check the smoke alarms before closing.

Smoke Alarm Care:

  • Always save the instructions that come with the alarms for testing and maintenance. Test alarms at least once a month by pushing the test button.
  • Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries are made to work for up to 10 years. If the alarm ‘chirps’ warning that the battery is low, replace the alarm with a new one.
  • For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. If the alarm ‘chirps’ replace the battery right away.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or if they do not respond when tested. Look on the back of the alarm for the date.
  • Replace combination sensor smoke/carbon monoxide alarms according to the instructions that come with the alarms.


The importance of smoke detectors really cannot be overestimated given the impact they can have in saving lives. At Great North Insurance, we want to provide tips to prevent the fire from happening at all.

Here are some Fire Safety Tips:

  • Clean your dryer exhaust hose and any lint that has collected on or around your dryer once a year to avoid Dryer Fires.
  • Replace your smoke detector batteries as part of your Spring and Fall maintenance checklists.
  • Prior to cold weather, have your furnace / heating system and chimneys serviced to ensure efficiency and safe operation.
  • When using space heaters, never run them unattended or too closely to other content items.
  • Watch for signs of electrical issues, such as tripping breakers or inconsistent service and contact a qualified electrician to have any issues resolved quickly.
  • When grilling or burning, follow safe grilling practices and do so far from your home and away from other combustible items such as trees or other structures.
  • Have Fire Extinguishers in high risk areas of your home such as the Kitchen, Basement, and Garage. Most importantly, know how to use it.
  • Have an escape plan and go over it with your kids regularly so that they know what to do in the event of a fire.


House fires can be devastating but, with the proper use and maintenance of your smoke detector, they don’t need to take lives. Remember to always call 9-1-1 or the fire department after you exit the home. We know it is cold during the winter months in Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo and surrounding communities, but have a plan with your neighbors and children. We hope that you found this information helpful and will be able to get the proper smoke detectors in place to ensure the safety of your family. If you have additional questions, please contact one of our insurance professionals locally at Great North Insurance.


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