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How do I Dispose of a Code One Smoke Detector?

Marlon Trotsky

The Code One line of smoke detectors, manufactured by Jameson Home Products, was touted as a reliable replacement for the aging detectors in most households in the late 1980s. Years later, even these units began to give away, forcing their owners to dispose of and replace their smoke detectors once again. Safe smoke detector disposal can be a tricky process, because most units are slightly radioactive. Therefore, by simply throwing them away into the regular trash (which is still legal, by the way) could prove to be a health hazard.

Most smoke detectors contain an alpha and gamma ray-emitting synthetic isotope called americium.
  1. Do not attempt to disassemble the smoke detector, except to remove the battery. This can be done simply by turning the smoke detector over, opening the battery compartment and sliding the battery out. You should then recycle or otherwise dispose of the battery.

  2. Contact the manufacturer, Jameson Home Products Inc. (2820 Thatcher Rd., Downers Grove, IL 60515), for information on how and where to ship the smoke detector. The company has a 1-800 hotline: (800) 972-2212.

  3. Package the smoke detector in a box lined with newspaper to ensure that it is not damaged en route. Send the package via UPS ground mail (never airmail) to the Jameson Home Products (who is, by law, obligated to accept its detectors for disposal as hazardous waste) or the store you purchased it from.

  4. Contact a nearby hazardous waste disposal facility if, for whatever reason, you are unable to send the smoke detector back to the manufacturer.