Detectors need to be replaced, too

Batteries and babies aren’t the only things that need changing.

If you bought a carbon-monoxide detector when Minnesota’s law first required them to be installed in all homes within 10 feet of bedrooms, you probably need to replace it.

It has been six years since the law took effect — and most carbon-monoxide detectors last about that long, First Alert informed the Eh? desk. Many homeowners don’t realize detectors have expiration dates. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can sicken and kill people who breathe it.

A properly maintained CO alarm will last five to seven years, says Deborah Hanson, director of external affairs for First Alert. “If you can’t think of the last time you installed a smoke or CO alarm, chances are, it’s time to replace your old ones,” Hanson said.