SEATTLE, WA-Every year around this time, we're reminded to check our smoke detectors and create a fire safety plan. But the reality is, most of us fail to follow through.
Fire experts warn your smoke detector may be giving you a false sense of security.
Some smoke detectors primarily detect smoke in the air. Others are designed to sense fast moving flame and the difference can determine whether you and your family escape on time.
Home Depot employees say when you're out shopping, you need to look for two key features: one being ionization, which responds to actual flames but could take a long time to alert you about dangerous smoke.
For smoke, you need a photo-electric detector which sounds off right away but the key element is smoke- not fast flames.
For the best protection, buy a dual sensor so you're covered both ways.
And regardless of what type of smoke detector you have, when you change the batteries check the expiration date. Fire safety experts warn many smoke detectors in use right now are more than 10 years old, which means they've expired and may not work at all.
The expiration dates also apply if your smoke detectors are hardwired. So again, check the back of the unit for the expiration date.
If you don't have a carbon monoxide detector, put that on your list as well.