How to Test your Smoke Detector

Home Maintenance Guides

Over time your smoke detectors' sensors may start to deteriorate even with fresh batteries or a good electrical connection. Regularly checking the sensors with a smoke detector tester will make sure your smoke detectors are working in an emergency.

Tool's needed Optional tools Task Details
Smoke detector tester Step ladder Est time: less than 30 min
9 volt batteries
Cost: $11 per can of smoke detector spray
People needed: 1

Step 1

Identify the location of all the smoke detectors in your house and make a plan for the order in which we'll test them. We want to make sure we don't accidentally forget to test one.

Step 2

Stand up to four feet away from each smoke detector and spray the smoke detector for 3 seconds. If the smoke detector alarm sounds your smoke detector is working properly!

Step 3

If the alarm doesn't sound and your smoke detectors are battery powered then change your smoke detector batteries and try spraying the smoke detector again for 3 seconds. If the smoke detector alarm sounds then your smoke detector is now working properly!

Step 4

If you change your smoke detector batteries and the alarm still does not work, or if your smoke detectors are hard-wired to your electric power, then it is time to install new smoke detectors.

Looking to make homeownership easier? Consider Homebuddy! Generate a custom maintenance plan, get automatic reminders, store records, compare options, and more. It's homeownership made simple. Check it out!


You also might be interested in...

How to Treat Pipes with Septic Tank Cleaner

Posted by Ethan Mansoor on April 13, 2019

Over time sludge builds up in your septic system that can cause blockages and prevent drainage. Septic tank treatments add good bacteria into your sept... Read More

How to Change your Air Filter

Posted by Ethan Mansoor on April 13, 2019

As your heater and air conditioner run, air is cycled through your house via a system of ducts. Before passing through the ducts, air must pass through... Read More