Smoke alarms, or detectors, are something that every home should have – they can save your life! It’s important that your smoke alarm is working correctly, which is why it needs to be tested at least every year. Here is all the information you need about testing your smoke alarm.

What are smoke alarms for?

A smoke alarm is a device that can detect smoke in case of a fire. If smoke is detected then a loud alarm will sound, designed to alert anyone in the home, or wake up those that are asleep.

What kind of smoke alarm do you have?

Smoke alarms come in different types and models, here’s a quick breakdown of the different types:

Optical – This type of alarm can be quite pricey but is often more reliable. When smoke enters through the opening vents, the alarm sound is triggered; they check for smoke particles in the air are less likely to set off false alarms because of their accuracy.

Ionisation – This type of alarm is cheap and widely available. They quickly detect fast-growing fires and are very sensitive to smoke particles – as a result, they can have the tendency to trigger false alarms, especially when used near the kitchen.

Most often, smoke alarms are battery-powered. However, you can also get alarms that are powered by the mains in your house – this type needs to be installed by a qualified electrition.

Testing

The best way to test your smoke alarm is by pressing the visible ‘test’ button; press and hold this button until you hear the alarm sound. It should be loud and piercing – if it’s not, or if you are unable to hear the alarm, then you will need to replace the batteries or consider a replacement model. Make sure to alert anyone who is home with you that you will be testing the smoke alarm, so they don’t get a nasty surprise!

It’s important that your smoke alarm is working at all times, so you should test it at least every year. If your smoke alarm is battery-powered then it is useful to check the batteries every month – to avoid doing this you may want to invest in long-life batteries.

If you would like to get a new smoke alarm installed into your home, then contact us at EJS Electrical today – we’ll be happy to help!