Have you ever sat in your lounge room at night and wondered just how long it had been since you last tested that your smoke alarm was working?

Many people don’t know the answer to this question simply because they never think about it, or they don’t know how to test their smoke alarm properly.

The answer is that you should test your smoke alarm every month. But, if you haven’t tested it in a while, or if it’s been more than 10 years since you last tested it, then now would be the time to do so!

Smoke Alarms Should Be Tested Monthly

Working smoke alarms are essential to keeping your family safe and testing them is quite easy – almost anyone could do it. All smoke alarms will have a “test” button. Depending on the type of smoke alarm you have installed, you can either test the alarms directly on the smoke alarm, or by using the remote that came with your alarms. 

If you find your smoke alarms aren’t working, it may require changing the battery or changing the entire unit. 

How to Test Your Smoke Alarm 

As mentioned, you can test your smoke alarm using the test button on the alarm or remote control. 

When testing, you should check that the light is flashing – it should flash at least once every 60 seconds. Press and hold the ‘test’ button until the alarm sounds, and then release. Every other alarm in the home should sound as well being interconnected. 

The smoke alarm should stop sounding when the ‘test’ button is released, and you will hear the alarm chirp at regular intervals. This should stop once the battery has recharged. 

Repeat these steps for each alarm in the house. 

If any of these things do not happen, it is time to consider changing the battery or the alarm.

Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions

While most smoke alarms look alike, and all work in pretty much the same way, different models of smoke alarms may have different requirements for testing. When you purchase new smoke alarms, the manufacturer would have included instructions on how to test, clean and change the battery in your alarm. 

If you live in a rental or the alarms were installed before you purchased your property, most alarms will have a brand name on them, and you can then search for the relevant instructions. 

Smoke Alarm Replacement

Smoke alarms do only have a 10 year lifecycle and many of the smoke alarms on the market now include a 10 year lithium battery – so you need to replace the alarm at that 10 year mark. 

If your smoke alarm fails a test, whether that be sounding when tested, setting off other alarms or doesn’t stop chirping after being tested, the first step is to replace the battery if possible and see if that fixes the issue. 

If replacing the battery doesn’t solve the issue, or it only temporarily solves the issue, you should replace the actual smoke alarm unit. They can become faulty, or could simply be too old. 

Keep Your Smoke Alarm Working 

In addition to testing regularly, to make sure your smoke alarm keeps working, don’t:

  • Tamper with or open your alarm, particularly if hardwired, as this could cause an electric shock
  • Try to remove to replace batteries in an alarm with 10 year lithium batteries
  • Allow paint, water or dust to contaminate your alarm
  • Spray solvents and aerosols near the alarm

Do you need new smoke alarms in your home? Or are you looking to install photoelectric interconnected smoke alarms? We have a large range of smoke alarms that you can install yourself in your home. With a 7 year product warranty and 10 year lithium batteries, we have a smoke alarm to suit your needs.