When it’s time to turn the clocks back an hour from daylight saving time (DST), it’s also the recommended time to change smoke/carbon monoxide alarm batteries and test the alarms. During cold weather, there’s an increased chance of fire and carbon monoxide build-up in homes, so making sure the alarms are working properly is very important.
Changing the batteries is simple – detach the smoke detector, find the battery compartment and install the new batteries. Next, it’s time to test the smoke alarm. If the test fails, it should be performed again. Otherwise, the detector should be replaced. Here’s an overview on how to test smoke alarms:
- Everyone in your household must be aware that a smoke alarm test will be performed. In addition, if the smoke alarm is connected to the home security system, the security system company should be informed that a smoke alarm test is being carried out.
- To ensure that the alarm is heard in all rooms of the home, someone should be designated to stand in the room farthest away from the alarm being tested. Additionally, someone else should stand outside the house to check that the alarm is heard around the home, as well.
- The alarm can be triggered by pushing and holding the “test” button for a few seconds. If the alarm is silent or if the sound is weak, the detector is not powered properly. If the alarm sounds, it can be turned off by pushing the test button again or it will shut off automatically, depending on the type of alarm.
- Besides testing the alarm’s sound, its sensors should also be tested using:
- An aerosol smoke detector tester that should be sprayed towards the alarm; it should go off after a few seconds.
- Using real smoke by lighting 2 or 3 matches at least 2 feet underneath the detector.
- If these methods don’t work, the alarm may be malfunctioning and should be replaced or serviced. However, some alarms have a “silence” button that should NOT be active during the test. Also, the alarm must be cleaned and dusted before conducting the test.
Remember to purchase batteries (compatible with your smoke alarms) in advance to ensure that you can replace the old batteries when daylight saving time ends. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.