Smoke detectors contain a small amount of radioactive material, which does not travel very far, even in air. Nonetheless, do not open the insides of a smoke detector, as that could remove the shielding, possibly exposing you to levels above background. Vermont residents may dispose of smoke detectors as trash.
Alternatively, smoke detectors may be mailed back to the manufacturer for recycling. Mail smoke detectors by surface or UPS ground mail. (Specify on the package that they should not be shipped via air.) Contact the manufacturer’s toll-free number for instructions and mailing address.
Two manufacturers that make a large percentage of the smoke detectors in use may be reached at the following numbers:
- First Alert/BRK Brands (Aurora, IL) 800-323-9005
- American Sensors (Canada) 800-387-4219
Businesses with smoke detectors should call the Vermont Environmental Assistance Division in at 1-800-974-9559, to receive information about proper disposal.