Consumer Report: Time to replace old smoke alarms

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - This weekend is the time change and a reminder to change your smoke alarm batteries.

If your smoke alarm is more than ten years old, it's time for a new one as the sensors can lose sensitivity.

Consumer Reports tests smoke detectors by creating two types of common household fires.

Photo electric alarms are best at detecting smoky, slow-building fires, while ionization alarms are best at detecting fast, flaming fires.

Consumer Reports recommends getting an alarm that has both types of sensors.

Bernie Deitrick, with Consumer Reports, says "When they're interconnected if one alarm goes off every alarm in your house is gonna go off. That will protect you from a distant fire and give you more time to get out of the house."

These two $30 models from Kidde and First Alert are top-rated.

Some newer smoke alarms are made with lithium-ion batteries that last as long as the unit.

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