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.

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