How to test your smoke detector

When was the last time you checked the smoke detectors in your home? Although they require very little maintenance it’s still essential to carry out maintenance checks to ensure it’s working properly, as this could be life-saving.

Test your smoke detector by following two of the simple methods below:

Method 1

  • Carefully stand on a stepladder or use a broom handle to reach up to press the test button.
  • The alarm should go off. If you don’t hear anything, then it is likely that the battery is flat.

Method 2

  • Light a couple of matches and then blow out the flame so that the smoke drifts up towards the smoke alarm.
  • If the detector is working, then the alarm will go off.

What to do if both methods fail

  • If both methods fail to trigger the alarm, then replace the battery and test again. Once the battery is replaced, carry out the tests again.
  • If the alarm still doesn’t go off, then it will be broken and it should be replaced as soon as possible.

How to carry out general smoke alarm maintenance

  • Clean dust away wherever necessary
  • Never remove the battery to use in something else because you may forget to replace it.
  • Replace the battery on an annual basis even if it is still working.
  • Replace the alarm every ten years or so.
  • A good way to reminder yourself when to test your smoke alarm is to synchronise the checks when the clocks are changed.

Why your smoke detector could be beeping

If your smoke detector is intermittently beeping, it could be a sign that the battery needs replacing. Although the bleeping noise can be a little annoying, especially if it starts during the night, resist the urge to remove the battery until you get a replacement. If you remove the battery before you have a replacement ready you could run the risk of forgetting to replace it and be without a smoke alarm when you really need it.

Did you know…

In the private rented sector, the installation of smoke detectors on each level of a property is the legal responsibility of the landlord as set out in the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015.  As part of this legal responsibility, they must check that each detector is working on the first day of a new tenancy – thereafter, it is the tenant’s responsibility to ensure that detector are working effectively.

Goldfinch Letting Agents hopes this smoke detector safety checklist helps to keep the residence of South Tyneside safe.

If you would like any further advice, please do not hesitate to contact us using the link below, alternatively call 0191 4274959

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