How to Test the Smoke Detector in Your Home, home safety, fires safety, smoke alarms, smoke detectors

How to Test the Smoke Detector in Your Home

Last Updated on January 4, 2022

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How to Test the Smoke Detector in Your Home

Guest Post By: Jennifer

When it comes to taking the proper safety precautions, every little detail will matter. Along with having emergency plans in place, the tech you have installed will need a routine inspection. From your thermostats to the smoke detectors around your home, each device needs ongoing maintenance.

Smoke detectors are valuable devices that identify and alert homeowners about potential fire hazards. Although these sensors are reliable, they may stop working effectively over time. You should always inspect your smoke detectors regularly to ensure they are working as intended. To get the most accurate results, you will need to perform a test.

Here is how you can test the smoke detector in your home:

Warning Your Family

For anyone who has a smoke detector installed, you’ll know all too well about how loud the device can be. Smoke detectors can go off just based on the smallest detection of smoke, to everyone’s benefit. The ensuing loud, audible noise is something that will continue until the coast is clear.

Before you conduct your test, it is vital to warn your loved ones about how you are going about the process. Tell them that you are about to conduct a smoke detector test, so that you can prepare them for the incoming noise. If you have multiple devices installed in your home, let them know that you are testing each one.

Ask for Support

On the flip side, you might want to ask one other person in your home for their help. Smoke detectors, as mentioned previously, will give off a blaring noise, which can be extremely loud. In order to truly test out the efficacy of the device’s loudness, one person should be in another room.

After you start the test on the device, ask the person if they can actually hear the smoke detector. If they respond by saying it is barely audible, it might be a cause for concern. All of your smoke detectors should clearly be able to be heard. Otherwise, you might be putting your safety at risk overall.

Testing the Power

Now comes the most important part with respect to the actual smoke detector. Testing out the power on your smoke detector isn’t difficult, but it should be examined with a keen eye. First, take a look at the light indicator on your smoke detector. This will indicate to you whether or not it is properly receiving power.

Push the power button, and this will make the device sound off. If your smoke detector does not sound off, that means there is little to no power. In addition, you should also consider the type of smoke detector you have installed as well. The configuration of power on your device will vary from individual to individual.

Secondary Test

The power button on your smoke detector will not be the only viable way to check out its power levels. Another method of examining its effectiveness is by using an aerosol spray. This particular test helps you to make a note of the device’s smoke sensor, which comprises its overall efficiency.

There is a myriad of inexpensive aerosol sprays that you can purchase at your local department store. Spray some of the product near the device, and, with luck, it should be detected accordingly. If it does not pick up the presence of the spray, you’ll need to double-check the power.

Smoke Test

Should all else fail, you may want to take your device’s power test to the next practical level. However, it is recommended that you only do this test to account for safety within your given space. Grab a set of matches, and light a couple of them. Then, wave them near the smoke detector.

With enough luck and patience, the device will pick up the presence of smoke without issue. If it doesn’t, that means that you will have to replace the smoke detector as soon as you possibly can. Remember, your installed smoke detectors should instantaneously be able to detect smoke at all times.

Smoke Detector Maintenance

After all of your smoke detector tests have been completed, you are not quite done just yet. Maintenance is a huge aspect of testing your smoke detector’s effectiveness, especially if they are relatively old. Typically, if your smoke detector is nearing the end of its ten-year shelf life, you might want to simply replace it.

Some smoke detectors come with automatic signals, which will indicate to you that it is nearing its end. You never want to use a detector past its expiration date, as this can be a huge safety error. If your device is hardwired, be sure to unplug them before testing them out. Safety does not end once you begin the examination of your devices, after all!

Image by: Tumi-1983, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

About the Author


Our thanks to Jennifer for sharing her tips on How to test the smoke detector in your home.

If you would like to share your home safety tips with our readers, check out our guest post submission guidelines and get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

The importance of knowing how to how to test the smoke detector in your home cannot be overstressed. Indeed, the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) estimates that 3 out of five home fire-related deaths were caused by the absence of a working smoke detector.

So, please don’t leave it to chance. Test your smoke detectors every month and change smoke detector batteries at least once a year. For more home fire safety tips, visit our Fire Safety Hub.

Many thanks for visiting Best Panic Alarm. We hope you found this page useful. If you did, please share it with your friends on social media.

Have a great day, and stay safe!

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