Big Changes in California Smoke Alarm Law + Giveaway!!
I remember being little and learning the “Stop, Drop and Roll” technique when a fire happens. I remember the importance of having Smoke Alarms in our home growing up and that continued into adulthood. Now as parents with children of our own, we want to keep them as safe as we possibly can. One such way is by having smoke alarms placed throughout our home.
Since their introduction in the 1970s, the majority of smoke alarms have relied on 9-volt or AA batteries for power. Recently, “long-life” smoke alarms, which provide continuous protection for a decade, have come onto the market, and national fire experts like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend their use.
Are you aware that these long-life alarms are now the only type of battery-powered alarms available at stores in California? As of July 1st, smoke and combination smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms powered by replaceable batteries are no longer available for sale. To help keep families safe, this new law requires that all battery-powered alarms approved for sale by the state fire marshal must be powered by a sealed, 10-year battery.
Did you know that Smoke Alarms with Replaceable Batteries are no longer available in California? That’s right! The law aims to save lives by permitting only sealed-in, long-life battery-powered units. As of July 1st, smoke and combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms powered by replaceable batteries are no longer available for sale. Instead, all battery-powered smoke alarms or combination alarms approved for sale by the state fire marshal must be powered by a sealed, 10-year battery. Kidde Worry-Free smoke and combination alarms comply with the new law requirements and are available throughout California. Kidde Fire Safety, a leading manufacturer of residential fire safety products, is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
A 2014 survey conducted by Qualtrics on behalf of Kidde found two-thirds of California homes use battery-powered smoke alarms, and nearly one out of three have alarms that are over 10 years old. The state fire marshal and national fire organizations like the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend replacing smoke alarms every 10 years, yet 41 percent of Californians surveyed didn’t think they needed to do so.
“The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms,” said Tonya Hoover, California state fire marshal. “Installing sealed, tamper-proof alarms with long-life lithium batteries provides the home’s occupants with 10 years of continuous smoke detection and no need to worry about changing batteries.More important, it will help save lives.”
The NFPA reports three out of every five home fire deaths occur in homes that do not have a smoke alarm or where the alarm didn’t work –mainly due to dead or missing batteries. A long-life battery sealed inside an alarm makes it virtually tamper-proof and eliminates the risk associated with disabling the alarm.
The law, SB-745, also requires owners of rented or leased residential dwellings to ensure smoke alarms are located in every bedroom, in hallways leading to bedrooms, and on each level of a home by Jan. 1, 2016 in order to comply with current building standards. U.S. Census Bureau data from 2013 shows 5.6 million renters occupied homes in California.
The average new U.S. home needs four or five smoke alarms, based on code requirements to install alarms on each floor and inside and outside of bedrooms. However, survey results found 70 percent of California homes have fewer than four alarms, leaving families unprotected.
“Having smoke alarms throughout the home can help save lives by alerting families to potential fire risks,” said Chris Rovenstine, vice president, sales and marketing, Kidde. “We applaud the state of California for requiring homes to be protected with smoke alarms with sealed, 10-year batteries and making it a priority for homeowners to be proactive in their steps to safety.”
Ten-year sealed-battery smoke alarms, such as Kidde’s Worry-Free line, are safer alternatives that require less maintenance,are available at home improvement retailers and cost between $25 and $50. With no need to replace batteries, consumers save about $40 in battery costs over the life of one alarm. After 10 years, the alarms will sound a warning to indicate it is time for replacement. Additionally, the line offers units with location-based features, such as an added voice-warning in the bedroom alarm.
Long-life Sealed Lithium Battery: Why it’s needed
While smoke alarms are installed in 96 percent of US homes, 20 percent of those alarms are not functioning, mainly due to dead or missing batteries. Moreover, two-thirds of residential fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms or in homes with non-functioning smoke alarms.
With a sealed, long-life lithium battery smoke alarm, homeowners can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their homes’ smoke alarms are always on–operating24 hours per day, seven days per week for 10 years –that’s a decade of hassle-free protection.The National Fire Protection Association recommends replacing smoke alarms every 10 years.
Benefits of Worry Free Smoke Alarms
- It’s Always On: 24 hr/day, 7 day/week protection from smoke and fire
- Decade of protection: sealed lithium battery provides 10 years of continuous power
- Maintenance-free, hassle-free: never replace a battery during the alarm’s operating life and no need to worry about the batteries being removed
- Goodbye late night low battery chirps: an end-of-life chirp tells you when it’s time to replace the alarm
- Location-based attributes make it simple to select the right alarm for the right location in your home
- Money savings: no batteries to buy and replace every six months, save up to $40 over the life of the alarm
- Quick and easy installation: simply twist the alarm on to the mounting bracket and it activates
Overall Product Line Features
- UL Listed
- 85 decibel alarm
- Only smoke alarms with a photoelectric smoke sensor programmed to reduce nuisance alarms
- Sealed-in lithium battery prevents tampering or removal; operates 24/7 for a decade
- Hush button temporarily silences nuisance and false alarms
- Test-Reset Button tests the alarm circuitry and horn. Resets memory after alarm has sounded.
- End-of-life signal chirps every 30-45 seconds when alarm needs replaced
- Deactivation switch disables the alarm and makes the batteries safe for disposal once the unit has reached the end of its 10-year life. Tamper resistant feature prohibits a disabled alarm from being placed back onto the mounting bracket.
- 10-Year Limited Warranty
The Kidde Worry Free Smoke Alarms will be available at The Home Depot in early November 2012. Suggested retail prices range from $25 to $50
For more information, visit www.worryfreealarm.com.
Kidde is a leading manufacturer of residential smoke alarms, carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and fire extinguishers, and has been delivering advanced fire-safety technology since it produced the first integrated smoke detection and carbon dioxide extinguishing system more than 90 years ago. Kidde is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp., a leading provider to the aerospace and building systems industries worldwide.
For more information, visit www.kidde.com or follow @KiddeSafety on Twitter and @KiddeFireSafety on Instagram
1 lucky California resident on The Mommy-Files will win a Kidde Worry-Free Smoke Alarm!!!
Where in your home do you have your smoke alarms installed?