Why is that smoke detector yellow?

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Yellow Smoke Detectors

Often the yellowing of a smoke detector is an indication of age and not buildup of cigarette smoke, dust, or grease. Smoke detector manufacturers often inject a fire retardant bromine into the plastic of residential smoke detectors. Bromine serves a dual purpose. It helps protect the unit in the event of a fire and also serves as a visual signal the detector is older and likely should be replaced.

Yellow Smoke Detector
Yellow smoke detectors are an indication of age and likely should be replaced.

Smoke detectors over 10 years of age should be replaced.

The age of the unit can most often be identified on the reverse label. If you do not know the age of the detector, we recommend replacement. New smoke detectors can be purchased for as little as $10-$15. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NPFA) heating, holiday decorations, winter storms and candles are leading causes of winter house fires. December, January and February are the peak months. 

Some helpful smoke detector guidelines
  • Smoke detectors are required to be installed in every sleeping room; outside each sleeping room, and on every level of the home.
  • Smoke detectors should never be painted or covered
  • Replace batteries at least once a year
  • Test smoke detectors monthly
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Test all smoke detectors, install new batteries, and replace old smoke detectors.

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