Here are some helpful tips that will help to make sure that your smoke alarm can do it's job and alert you incase of fire in your home. These tips wil also helkp you to stay on track with your home insurance policies requirements.
Prepare Your Household
- Gather all members of your household and let them know we are testing the smoke detectors. You may also use this oppourtunity to do a fire drill. If you have children explain this so they recognize the sound your alarm makes and if they here this we get and follow our fire drill plan.
- Make sure you go to a part of the house or apartment that is farthest away from the smoke detector to determine the alarm can be clearly heard at that distance. Remember, it has to be loud enough to awaken the deepest sleeper in the household.
Testing Your Smoke Detector
- Push and hold the test button for a few seconds. The detector should produce a loud noise.
- To test whether the unit will actually work in a fire, you will need a small spray can of smoke detector test aerosol. You might find this in a well-stocked hardware or home improvement store. If not, you can find it by searching the Internet. They cost only a few dollars, and one small can will last for years. Just spray some of the test material into the detector, and wait 5 to 10 seconds for a response. If the alarm sounds, you know the unit will sound in a fire. If not, you have a non-functioning smoke detector, even if it beeps when you push the button. Try changing the batteries and cleaning the detector to remove any dust that may be blocking the openings, then repeat the test procedure. If that does not get it working, it is useless. Replace it as soon as possible.
- To turn off the alarm after testing you can hold a small, hand-held vacuum under the detector, suck out the test material, and the alarm will silence. If you only have a full-sized vacuum (the kind with wheels) use the extension tubes to reach up to the alarm and suck the test material out of your smoke detector. Newer smoke detectors may have a silence button that can silence the alarm until the residue leaves the unit. Alternatively, you can just wait for it to turn off by itself, but that wastes battery power, and the sound is very annoying.
- Test you smoke alarm regularly. We recommend it at least a few times a year. Always test alarms after battery changes to ensure that the device is working.