20 Sep When should you test your fire or carbon monoxide detectors?
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are two of the most important devices in your home. Both alarms are life-saving tools, but to get the most of them, they must be working properly. This is where testing comes in. We recommend that you test your detectors on a monthly basis. Testing both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms is rather simple and staying on top of the devices is not too difficult. With some practice, and setting yourself up with reminders, your alarms will be operating properly at all times.
- SMOKE ALARM (BASIC TESTING): This style of testing occurs when by simply pressing the test button that is present on the alarm. Pressing this button alone will conduct a test. Once the button is pressed, a few seconds will pass before the test starts, but you’ll know the test in process whenever you begin to hear a loud, piercing siren that comes via the smoke detector.
- SMOKE ALARM (CRISIS TESTING): A crisis test on an alarm involves actually using smoke materials to make sure that a system is operating correctly in action, rather than simply knowing that alarm batteries are working. A crisis test can be conducted by simply lighting a candle, incense stick, or other material for burning. When a steady smoke stream is achieved, hold it about 12 to 18 inches underneath the unit until the alarm sounds off. If it doesn’t chirp, it could be malfunctioning and need to be replaced.
Crisis tests should not be done by yourself because, if something out of the ordinary occurs, you’ll want someone near by with a fire extinguisher to put out the flames.
- CO2 ALARM (BASIC TESTING): To test a carbon monoxide detector, hold down the “test” button until you hear two beeps sound off. Once you hear these beeps, release your finger off of the test button. After 10-15 minutes the CO detector will return from test mode back to the original settings. If for some reason the device doesn’t return to its original setting, you’ll need to perform a power cycle.
Most smoke and carbon detectors are said to last ten years, but we suggest considering replacement at the five-to-seven year mark. If you purchased an older home and don’t know the age of your smoke and carbon units, replace them entirely. If you need assistance in purchasing, installing, inspecting, or perfecting the security needs for your home or office, call the Horizon Alarms team at 800-467-1832 or send us a message and we’ll reach out to discuss all of your alarm needs.