Smoke alarms are one of the first ways you will be notified if a fire starts in your home. However, batteries often die and the detector may wear down as time goes on. It’s important to test each smoke detector unit in your house every month to keep you and your family safe. How can a smoke detector be tested?
How to Test Your Smoke Alarm
1 – Find out how many alarms you have.
First, go on a search in your house to find all the smoke detectors. Each one will need to be tested.
2 – Look for and use the “test” or “reset” button.
Often times, the button is very small and will need a thin tool (such as a paperclip) to access. If you can’t find the button, look at the manual for the detector. If the alarm goes off, it’s in working condition. However, if it doesn’t, you may need to replace the batteries.
3 – Make sure the test can be heard
You should be able to hear the alarms from anywhere in your home. Try standing at the farthest point in your home from the alarm that’s being tested. If the sound is weak, you may need to replace the batteries.
Make Sure It’s Working
Even after the tests, you will want to ensure it continues working.
Replace the batteries.
Regardless of the test results, the batteries should be replaced if you haven’t done so within the last six months.
Replace the alarm.
The alarms should be replaced roughly every 10 years depending on the manufacturer. Read the detector manual and make sure the alarms are replaced when they need to be.
Look for dust and debris that may be blocking the smoke detector grates. Regardless of the battery life, blockage may prevent the alarm from working properly.