Testing Smoke Detectors

Keep Your Smoke Detectors Working Properly

  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month by using the alarm's "test button."
  • Never use an open-flame device to test the alarm as you could burn yourself or start a fire. If the smoke alarm manufacturer's instructions permit the use of an aerosol smoke product for testing the smoke alarm, only use one that has been Listed by a third-party product testing agency, and utilize it in accordance with the product instructions.
  • Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms once a year, or as soon as the alarm "chirps," warning that the battery is low. Helpful hint: schedule battery replacements for the same day you change your clock from daylight to standard time in the spring and fall.
  • Regularly vacuuming or dusting your smoke alarm following manufacturer's instructions can help keep it working properly. Replace your smoke alarms once every 10 years. Never "borrow" a battery from a smoke alarm. Make sure that everyone in your home can hear and recognize the sound of the alarm and knows how to react immediately if it sounds the alarm.