SAN MATEO − On July 1, 2015, a new law will go into effect that aims to phase out conventional, battery-operated smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in favor of new, one-use-only models. Equipped with tamper-proof 10-year batteries, the new alarms are designed to diminish the number of fire-related deaths that result due to dead or missing alarm batteries. In addition to creating a safer home environment, the new detectors have a “hush” feature, which allows residents to silence the alarm when it’s triggered by a benign source like cooking smoke or shower steam. After 10 years, an alarm will sound to let you know it’s time to replace the unit.
If you’re planning to remodel your home or replace your HVAC system, be aware that California building code will require you to replace your existing smoke and CO detectors in conjunction with the job. While this will add to the cost of your project, it’ll also add to the safety and security of your home. Additionally, you’ll save an estimated $40 in battery costs over the alarm’s 10-year lifespan.