5 things that expire besides the milk

Life-saving products have expiration dates, too

SAN ANTONIO – Milk, medicine and your car registration — all things you know expire. But a closer look around your house and car will reveal that some life-saving items also have expiration dates.

For example, smoke alarms help protect you and your family, but only for about 10 years.

“The sensors can degrade over time, so you should look at the manufacturer or expiration date to know when to replace it,” said John Galeotafiore with Consumer Reports.

The same goes for fire extinguishers.

They last about 12 years because they can lose pressure. Also, they might have broken or missing parts and corrosion.

After it expires, you shouldn’t throw an extinguisher in the trash. It has to be disposed of as hazardous material.

You may be tempted to reuse a car seat or buy one used, but keep in mind they’re only good for six to 10 years to ensure that seats on the market are current with the latest safety features and standards. The materials they’re made of degrade over time, which could make them less safe.

If yours is expired, check online for trade-in programs or see if your local recycling center will accept it.

Just like car seats, the components that make up bike helmets can degrade over time. Consumer Reports’ experts recommend replacing your bike helmet every five years.

Any bike helmet in a crash should be replaced, and any car seat in a moderate or severe crash also needs to be replaced. You can check NHTSA.gov for details.

If you like to stock up on sunscreen when it’s on sale, you have about three years to use it. After that, sunscreen starts to lose its sun protection powers.


Find more Consumer Reports stories on KSAT.com here


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