Smoke detectors are a crucial part of your safety and avoiding fire damage, so it’s important to know if they’re working or not. Your smoke detector is pretty vocal about what it needs, if you’ll listen. It will give off little alarms or chirp sporadically to let you know that its batteries are low and that they need to be replaced.
Here’s how to check if your smoke detector is working:
Run a Test
Run a test, and warn people you’re about to run it so you don’t give anyone an unnecessary jolt of shock.
Stand on Something Stable
Unless you’re super tall (or your ceilings are really short), you’re going to need to stand on something to reach your smoke detector. Please, be safe in this endeavor! Stand on a step ladder that has been properly secured. If you don’t have a step ladder, stand on a chair that you know is completely stable and can support your weight.
It’s best if you have at least one other person helping you while you’re testing your smoke detector. Not only can someone hold your step stool or chair steady for you, but they can also stand on the opposite side of your house to let you know if they can hear the smoke alarm from a distance.
Press and Hold the Test Button
There’s a button on your smoke detector near a light. Press this down and hold it. Your smoke detector should alarm upon your touch. However, if the sound is weak or if your smoke detector doesn’t sound at all, then you know you need to replace the battery.
Clean Your Smoke Detector
Dust your smoke detector to ensure that there are no dust bunnies clogging the grates and interfering with its ability to detect smoke. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can take a small vacuum and suck out anything that might be clogging the grates. Do not use a cleaning spray or wipe to clean your smoke detector. The chemicals in the liquid can contaminate its sensors.
Test Your New Batteries
Now that you’ve replaced the batteries, you’ll want to test them to make sure that your smoke detector is working. (If not, then the problem might be with the detector itself.)
Light a match or two and douse out the flame in a small cup of water.
Place the smoking cup directly beneath the detector to see if the alarm activates.
Whatever you do, DO NOT use an incense or a candle to test your detector. The smoke from these objects contain wax and will clog our detector’s sensors.
Keep Track Of The Time
You should check your smoke detector at least once a month and replace the batteries twice a year.
Regardless of the results of your test, you should replace your smoke detector batteries once every six months. Your smoke detector itself should be replaced every 10 years. You can purchase a smoke detector at any hardware store for an affordable price.
Your smoke detector only sounds the alarm at the sign of danger, but it doesn’t fight fires or protect your belongings. If your home has been affected by fire damage, call Regent Restoration today at (214) 731-4624.