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If It’s Yellow… It’s NOT Mellow. Time To Replace Those Smoke Detectors!

I’ve been wanting to replace our smoke detectors since the day that we moved in. They were super gross and you’ll see why it has been bothering me so much as you look at all of the pictures…

Anyway, the only reason that I put it off at all is because I thought that it was going to cost a small fortune to replace them. We have the kind that are hard-wired into the house so I assumed that it was going to cost a couple hundred dollars to replace all eight of them and buy new back-up batteries. Well, in doing a little research and shopping around, I found that I was able to order them in bulk here, and it was less than $85 to replace them all…Score!  Plus they came with back-up batteries so I didn’t have to worry about that extra expense either. You can also find the battery back-up kind, in bulk, here for cheap.

There were two kinds of smoke detectors in our house, super nasty smoker-yellow and covered in fly poop
or non-existent
Both just would not do! The existing 3 (yes, only 3 of the possible 8 even had them installed) units still had their original factory batteries in them when we moved in. Our house was built in 1999, so that is just a tad bit scary! Don’t leave your family’s safety in the hands of the previous owner that replaced them who knows when…or never! Just take care of it and then you won’t have to worry about it anymore.
Installing them took about three minutes each and was easy enough I think I could have managed it solo. My husband was sweet enough to do it for me though. Here is a good resource on how to replace them if you need a little more direction. We didn’t need a tutorial because it’s pretty straight forward, but I thought I’d give you that link just in case. Don’t you love our ladder and the audience my husband had? Hopefully I can find a ladder while I’m out and about junking this summer.

The new unit that came with a battery. It looks so much better than the old one!!! I did a before and after right next to each other below, so keep reading.

I thought it would be a courteous future reference, for us or for the next owner of our home, to write when they were installed…so there’s no guess-work or unnecessary expense replacing them too early later on. We got to this a little while ago, I just hadn’t posted it yet.
Replacing our home’s smoke detectors was actually a surprisingly inexpensive update, took minimal time to install, AND is very important for our family’s safety. *This would be a good thing to replace while gas prices are so low so there’s a bit more wiggle room in the budget than you’re used to…just sayin’*
As promised, the before and after next to each other. I just gag when I look at the before. This was the one that was right as you walk in the front door so now I’m a bit less self-conscious about the house when people walk in. Luckily the base for the new units was slightly larger than the old ones so you can’t see a ring from previous paint jobs.
Precautions to consider:
When you replace the hard-wired ones it’s a good idea to remember to turn off the power so you don’t get zapped!

Did you know that smoke detectors contain radioactive material? I didn’t, but it says it right on them and they should not be thrown away the normal way. Here is an E-How article that talks about proper disposal of smoke alarms. I’m just going to store them in the garage until our city has its next disposal event.

Don’t forget that while smoke detectors are important, it is also illegal in most states to not have a Carbon Monoxide Alarm. They’re pretty inexpensive and should be close to the ground…where the gas would be if you did have a leak. These are the ones we have, with a battery back-up. We keep one on the floor where our bedrooms are, and one in the basement near the heater and water heater. I thought that having one on all four small levels of the house would be a bit excessive so we put them where we’d need them most!
So, to wrap this up, if your home is older than 10 years and/or your alarms are really yellow, you should probably get around to replacing them sooner rather than later. Thanks for stopping by. -Sarah
Some of my other prepper posts: