Home Improvement

How to Test a Smoke Detector

The practice of installing smoke sensors for fire prevention in the home is becoming more widespread. In Australia, there is even a specific regulation to give guidelines on properly installing and maintaining these devices: the “Fire and Rescue NSW”.

While these regulations are clear (if a little overwhelming!), it’s a good idea to call an electrician for the best smoke detector maintenance and testing. These professionals know everything about the installation and maintenance of smoke detectors. Since we are talking about the safety of your home, it is always advisable to get the pros involved!

Battery vs Hardwired Smoke Detectors

In the market, there are two types of smoke detectors: those that work with batteries and those that work connected to the general network of the house. Here are the main characteristics of each of them.

  • Battery-operated smoke detectors: these smoke detectors are powered by traditional batteries. It is advisable to use new batteries to prevent them from discharging at the most unexpected moment. Even so, they should be checked periodically to verify that they are charged and in operation.
  • Those that work with the general network of the house: the power supply of these smoke detectors is the general network of the house, but they usually have an emergency battery in case of a power outage.

Whichever model you opt for, installing and checking the smoke detectors with a professional electrician is advisable to ensure proper operation.

How to Test Your Smoke Detectors

The first step is to thoroughly review the device’s instructions. There you will find the correct way to install and test your smoke detector. Generally, it is necessary to follow the steps detailed below:

  1. The first step is to let the whole family know that you will test the smoke detector. These devices have a very shrill sound and scare some people, especially children.
  2. The second step is to test the sound of the smoke detector. To do this, press and hold the test button on the device and wait a few seconds until the sound is emitted.
  3. The third step is to test its range. Depending on the size of the house, it is possible that you can’t hear the alarm in certain places. Get to the far end of the house and test if it is heard there. You may want to install additional detectors in those places where the sound is faint.

Your smoke detector should give out a loud and shrill alarm; otherwise, if the sound is soft, it may indicate that it needs a change of batteries. Batteries must be changed once a year, regardless of whether they are battery-powered or mains-powered smoke detectors.

Conclusion

It is a good idea to enlist the help of a professional electrician not only for the installation of your smoke detector, but also its testing and maintenance. When it comes to the safety of your home and family, peace of mind is priceless.

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