Each year when Daylight Saving Time rolls around, newscasters remind everyone to replace the batteries in their smoke alarms. Wouldn’t it be great if smoke alarms had long-life batteries that never need changed? Simply replace the whole unit every decade or so, and never worry about falling off a chair or ladder trying to change smoke detector batteries.
Fortunately, First Alert’s newest technology in smoke detectors does just that. The First Alert SA3210 is a “set it and forget it” device – good for 10 solid years with no battery replacement required and a 10-year limited warranty.
Dual sensors detect all types of fires
In addition to its remarkable long-life battery, the First Alert SA3210’s dual sensors mean the alarm detects both flaming fires and smoke. Many alarms detect only smoke and may miss a flaming fire for awhile.
The SA3210 uses both Photoelectric Sensing Technology and Ionization Sensing Technology for detecting all types of fires – both smoldering, such as those caused by a cigarette catching furniture on fire, and quickly erupting flames, like kitchen grease fires or paper burning.
Safety advocates such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend dual-sensor alarms for the quickest detection of all types of fires. A house could contain several smoke alarms that might not go off in time to save the family from a type of fire the devices aren’t designed to detect.
Never change the battery
The SA3210 costs more than other smoke alarms at around $60, though it’s likely to come out even in the end, or possibly save money since it doesn’t need new expensive alkaline batteries every year. It could also save lives by detecting all types of fires and never needing a battery change.
The unit sports a single button to silence alarms or test functionality. It looks exactly like any other smoke detector and installs the same way, too, with its included mounting hardware.
The First Alert SA3210’s sealed, long-life battery is designed to last for the life of the device. There’s no more annoying low-battery chirping, just an end-of-life alert after 10 years of service.
All smoke detectors lose sensitivity over time and should be replaced every 10 years. If a house’s smoke alarms are more than 10 years old, they probably need replaced.
10-year batteries now required in some states
Some states and municipalities have begun requiring 10-year batteries in smoke detectors for certain types of residential buildings. These include California, Georgia, Florida, Oregon, Louisiana and Maryland, plus the cities of Louisville, Milwaukee, New York City, Indianapolis, Philadelphia and Phoenix. Legislation to require 10-year smoke alarm batteries also passed the New York state legislature and awaits action by the governor.
The NFPA reports that each year, an average of 2,650 people die as a result of fires, 12,890 are injured and property damage totals $7.1 billion. On average, seven people die in U.S. home fires each day.
Fire protection professionals say that homes need a working smoke alarm in every bedroom of the house – one alarm on each floor just won’t cut it. Next time a smoke alarm starts chirping its low battery warning, remember the SA3210 by First Alert and never change the battery again. Like other smoke alarms, the SA3210 should be tested once a month, per NFPA recommendations.
The author received a demo product for the purpose of this honest review.