Home fires are a prevalent fire hazard in the US resulting in casualties and even death. According to the US fire department, an average of 346,800 home structure fires happen yearly that cause property damage worth $7.3 billion.
Regardless of how well-equipped your house is; the threat of house fire exists. One of the most effective solutions to minimize the risk of a house fire is to install smoke detectors and fire alarms.
These devices are designed to protect your house, but since they are electronic systems, you must regularly check if they are functioning correctly.
Why Testing Smoke Detectors and Fire Alarms Is Important?
With time smoke detectors and fire alarms can stop functioning due to wear and tear, or their batteries might die. So, to ensure your safety, you should regularly check your smoke detector and fire alarm.
According to USFA, smoke detectors have a lifespan of 8-10 years, but these devices can unexpectedly malfunction anytime.
How Often Must You Test Smoke Detectors and Fire Alarms?
Experts recommend that you should test your smoke detectors and fire alarms once every month. You should check the battery condition every 6 months and change them once or twice a year, as required.
Types of Smoke Detector and Fire Alarm Tests
Smoke detector and fire alarm tests can be done in multiple ways to ensure that your safety devices are functioning correctly.
Option 1 – Testing with the test button.
If the test button activates the alarm, it means that the device’s sound and batteries are working correctly.
Option 2 – Testing using real smoke
You can use real smoke to check if the device works in actual conditions. Light a matchstick near the sensor to check if the alarm goes off.
Option 3 – Testing using an aerosol spray
A reliable method to test the device is using an aerosol spray. Spraying aerosol on the detector must offset the alarm.
Things to Do Before Testing a Smoke Detector and Fire Alarm
It is essential to follow these guidelines so that there is no panic caused while you do a mock fire drill to check your smoke detector and fire alarms.
- Inform everyone about the fire testing, so there is no rush or panic.
- Keep children away from the house during fire testing
- Notify the security system company about the test; otherwise, they might send the fire department to your place.
To ensure that you and your house are financially safe from damage and loss, you should get the right home insurance that fits your unique needs and budget.