New regulations in place for smoke detectors in western Massachusetts

22News explains if your smoke detector is up to code

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Home owners take note, there are new requirements for smoke detectors.

Those requirements include smoke detectors being replaced every 10 years, they must be tamper proof to prevent people from taking them down, they must use lithium batteries, and have hush buttons to silence the alarm when it goes off due to something like smoke from cooking.

Agawam Fire Chief Alan Sirois told 22News, “The purpose of the hush button is to prevent people from taking down smoke detectors, taking batteries out and deactivating them, and forgetting to put them back up. It’s tragic when we go into a house fire and there’s a smoke detector that’s in the home but it’s in the drawer because the battery was dead or they took it down because it was going off.”

The American Red Cross is working with multiple towns in western Massachusetts throughout the month of December to bring these new smoke detectors into people’s homes. Your home just has to meet certain requirements.

Crystal Smith of Springfield said, “Every time, when you fall back or spring ahead we always change the batteries. They can save your life, at the end of the day they can save your life. So if you don’t change your batteries, you don’t keep up with them. What is it, every 10 years you need to change them?”

Working smoke alarms installed before December 1st that met requirements then, can continue to be used for 10 years or until they have exceeded the manufacturers recommended life.

To be eligible to get a free smoke detector, your home has to be older than 1973, have a battery operated smoke detector, and the smoke doctor must be older than 10 years. If you meet those requirements and live in Springfield, Northampton, Pittsfield and Agawam, contact your fire department to setup an appointment.

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