Thursday, December 5, 2013

Get Rid Of Smoke Sensors In Ohio

A smoke detector containing a radioactive material will be labeled as such or will contain this symbol.

There are two main types of smoke detectors found in homes across Ohio and the nation: ionization detectors and photoelectric detectors. Ionization smoke detectors contain a small amount of Americium-241, a radioactive material, while photoelectric detectors do not. If your detector does contain radioactive material, it will have either a warning or the international symbol for radiation. While some states may have regulations requiring special disposal of these detectors, Ohio does not.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, smoke detectors are specifically exempt from regulation by the state and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Many solid waste authorities around the state will not accept detectors into their programs. Instead, they suggest throwing an old detector away with the trash. The more environmentally friendly way to dispose of a detector is to return it to the manufacturer.


1. Remove the old smoke detector from its placement.

2. Remove the battery from your old smoke detector and dispose of the battery per your state regulations.

3. Refer to the user's manual or warranty to find the address of the manufacturer of the smoke detector. If you have lost either document, determine which company manufactured the device. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services has a list of manufacturers' addresses and phone numbers.

4. Contact the manufacturer to see if it accepts old smoke detectors and, if so, return them and whether there is a fee.

5. Place the detector in a box or other shipping container. Write the address of the manufacturer on the label, and mark the box "For Disposal," or follow the directions given to you by the manufacturer.

6. Send the detector back to the manufacturer using the ground delivery shipping service of your choice. Because the detector contains a small amount of radiation, it is considered a hazardous material and should not be shipped by air delivery.

If your detector does not contain any radioactive material, it can be disposed of with the rest of the household trash.

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