How to Test a Smoke Detector

In modern times, smoke detectors are installed in every home that is built by a constructor, to prevent the risk of death or injuries due to a fire in the house. As its name suggests, a smoke detector only alerts you when a fire breaks out; it will not be able to stop the fire in any way. Nevertheless, it is important to install them in any building. In addition, it is also important to ensure, from time to time, that the smoker detectors in your home are working properly and take steps to fix them if required.

Things Required:

– Smoke detector
– Ladder
– Smoke detector test aerosol
– Handheld vacuum cleaner


  • 1

    Alert all family members in the house of your plans to test the smoke detector. This will prevent the possibility of your family members running around the house thinking there is a fire. Moreover, notify the alarm company from where your smoke detector is being monitored. This is important because you would not want the fire department running needlessly to your home.

  • 2

    To determine how far the sound of the alarm can be heard, ask someone to stand at an appropriate distance from the smoke detector outside your house or apartment unit. Keep in mind that the sound produced when an alarm goes off has to be loud enough to easily wake up even the deepest of sleepers.

  • 3

    Carefully climb a ladder until you can easily reach out to the smoke detector you want to test. Press down and hold the test button on the smoke detector for a short while. This will make the smoke detector produce a loud noise. The noise means that the smoke detector has qualified the first test.

  • 4

    It would be best to ensure that the detector will work if a fire breaks out in the house. This can be established by spraying a small quantity of smoke detector test aerosol into the detector. The detector should produce the same loud noise as before within 5 to 10 seconds. If that does not happen, try to fix the smoke detector by changing its batteries and clean its opening to get rid of possible dust particles that might be blocking the detector’s opening. Repeat the smoke detector aerosol test once again. If the detector still does not work, consider replacing it with a new one.

  • 5

    To turn the detector off, hold a handheld vacuum at its opening in order to suck out the test material and eventually silence the detector.

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