The fire brigade is facing the prospect of having to replace thousands of smoke alarms after the batteries in the alarms are only lasting 1-2 years.
The smoke alarms, made by Dicon, cannot be fitted with new batteries because they have built-in batteries – designed to last 10 years.
After 10 years the entire unit will need to be replaced.
Before the battery in a smoke alarm dies, the smoke alarm goes into ‘low-mode’.
When a smoke alarm is in low mode it will warn the homeowner that the battery is low by repeatedly beeping, driving them mad.
The alarms are fitted for free for the elderly, disabled and anyone else who may struggle to replace a battery in a smoke alarm.
The chief fire officer of Lancashire, Peter Holland, acknowledged that many of the alarms ‘are needing replacing after just two or three years which clearly isn’t good enough’.
The fire service will replace any faulty alarms; the replacements are paid for by Dicon.