smoke signalSmoke detectors are some of the most important items in your home when it comes to keeping your family safe. These devices help to alert your family to the smoke from fire while there is still time to evacuate, but did you know that they need to be regularly tested to ensure they are in full working order?

How to test a smoke alarm

No electronic device is infallible. Batteries can die, and some of the other parts of a smoke detector will wear out over time. Testing them regularly and replacing the batteries or the device itself is therefore essential. It is recommended by fire services that smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month – preferably every week on #TestItTuesday – and the batteries should be replaced twice a year. A way to remember to do so is to always change your batteries when you put the clocks forward or back.

A battery change can also be the solution to some other common problems:

  • The detector gives false alarms.
  • It emits short beeps regularly without being touched.
  • It has activated often, perhaps due to kitchen smoke.

How Do You Test A Smoke Alarm?

You should check the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper way to test your smoke alarms. But most battery-powered and hardwired smoke detectors can be tested in this way:

Step 1. Warn family members that you are testing the alarm. Smoke detectors make a high-pitched sound that can frighten small children.

Step 2. Ask a family member to go to the furthest point away from the alarm in the house. This helps to check that the alarm can be heard everywhere in your home. If you have more than one alarm (it is recommended to have at least one per floor) then test each one – the smoke from a fire will not be detected everywhere at once unless you have linked mains-powered alarms.

Step 3. Press and hold the test button on the smoke detector. It may take a few seconds, but soon a loud, ear-piercing siren will emanate from the smoke detector as long as the button is pressed. If the sound is missing or weak, replace your batteries.

Step 4. Take a look at your smoke detector and make sure there’s no dust or other substance blocking its grates. This could cause false alarms or even prevent it from

Most smoke detectors have a life-span of 10 years. If this time has passed, or if you are unsure if its age, you should replace it.

Digitalquill: Experts in smoke alarm monitoring

Smoke alarms are crucial as an early indicator of a fire in the home, but all too often their batteries are not checked, and so the alarm does not sound in the event of a fire. Digitalquill’s free smoke alarm testing app, Smoke Signal, supports the #TestItTuesday campaign by reminding people to test their smoke alarms every week.

You can download Smoke Signal at the Google Play store or, find out more at