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How To Test Your Smoke Detector

Smoke detectors are common to many modern homes, both rented and owned. Many municipalities require their presence in new construction, and that’s for good reason. They save lives.

The Benefits of Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors offer you several benefits if you have them in your own home:

  • They can alert home occupants to smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide dangers, depending on the configuration. You and your family can escape in the event of danger.
  • You can enjoy peace of mind. While it’s possible your nose might pick something up before a smoke detector would, if you don’t hear it going off, then you’re probably okay.
  • You might get discounts on things. Whether it’s homeowner's or renter’s insurance, having functional smoke detectors present can possibly mean discounts on your premiums.
  • You could get the chance to save your home and possessions. If you’re alerted to fire quickly enough and you have the training and tools to do it, you might be able to extinguish a fire before it consumes the whole home. At the least, you can warn local fire services to come out quickly.

Testing Your Smoke Detector

Just having a smoke detector installed isn’t enough. Regular testing is crucial for making sure they stay functional. Do this using the following steps:

  1. Determine Your Type of Smoke Alarm: Battery-powered units only have one source of power that can wear down over time. Hardwired models use the power system of your home but have battery backups for power outages. Both kinds need routine testing.
  2. Let Everyone Know You Are Testing: They’ll appreciate knowing there’s about to be noise. They’ll also know not to react this time to the emergency warning.
  3. Position People Throughout Your Home: The noise generated needs to be enough to wake up someone anywhere in the home. Rooms that are too quiet might mean you need more detectors installed.
  4. Press the Button and Hold It: Brace your ears, and wait a few seconds. The noise should be piercing. If not, then the batteries might be too weak. Replace them if so. Also replace them if it’s been more than 6 months since the last battery change.
  5. Schedule Your Next Check: Smoke detectors can last 10 years well-maintained but do need eventual replacement. Test monthly.

Keeping your smoke detector up to code can save lives. Should the worst come to pass and you need help with fire and smoke damage restoration, then contact us at our website or call us for a free consultation.