How do you test a smoke detector?
|Which detectors should you test?||All smoke, gas, heat, and carbon monoxide detectors|
|How often do you need to test?||Once per month|
|How long does it take to test?||About 20 seconds (per smoke detector)|
Why is testing important?
You test a smoke, heat, or carbon monoxide detector to check if the battery and alarm are still working. Smoke detectors don't work forever. When your smoke detector reaches the end of its lifespan, it won't function properly anymore. Some smoke detectors have a replaceable battery and other models have an integrated battery. Integrated batteries usually last 10 years, after which you replace the smoke detector. Smoke detectors with a replaceable battery have a battery life of 1, 2, or 5 years. After this, you replace the battery.
How do you perform a test?
Test your smoke detector once a month. Choose a fixed moment that you can easily remember. Hold down the test button until the alarm goes off. Release the button or press it again to make the alarm stop. Is the smoke detector not sounding the alarm? Try holding down the test button a little longer. Sometimes, it can take as much as 20 seconds for the alarm to go off. Replace the battery if it's empty and test the smoke detector again. If the alarm (still) doesn't go off, buy a new smoke detector.
How do you test a smart smoke detector?
A lot of smart smoke detectors perform a test each month automatically. This is the case with the Nest Protect, for example. In the app, you can see when the detector performed its last test and what the result was. On top of that, a smart smoke detector often has a light that indicates whether something is wrong. It's wise to regularly test manually as well, so you can be sure the smart smoke detector still functions. That's why we still recommend a monthly test.