How to Test Your Smoke Alarms

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Let us start by saying, it is ALWAYS a good time to test your smoke alarms. Unfortunately, many people leave this vital household job at the bottom of the list. The best habit to get into is testing your smoke alarm weekly, with more in depth maintenance carried out regularly.

Household smoke alarms are the best way to keep you and your family safe from fire.

According to Gov.uk, in the year ending December 2021, FRSs attended 147,295 fires and there were 280 fire-related fatalities, you can read more statistics here.

So, how do you test your smoke alarms? Let’s take a look:


Once a week, locate the test button on your smoke alarm, usually a red button located on the outside of the smoke alarm and is labelled ‘test’. Press and hold the button for a few moments and if your alarm is working correctly you will hear a loud sound. If you feel like you won’t remember this weekly task, then it is worth setting a recurring alarm on your phone to remind you.

Changing Batteries

If your smoke alarm is working correctly, it will alert you when the batteries are running low and continue to make a regular short repetitive sound until you change them. Although the recommendation for changing batteries is once a year, a good rule of thumb is to change them twice a year when the clocks go backwards and forwards. The battery compartment can be found by unclipping the cover. Always replace the alarm with new batteries as soon as you take the old ones out.

Replacing your Smoke Alarm

Battery operated smoke alarms usually have a lifespan of around 10 years and will need to be replaced after this. It might also be necessary to reset your smoke alarm. If your smoke alarm is beeping and there is no fire, replace the batteries. If the alarm continues to sound, try hoovering any dust from it with a brush attachment. If none of these steps work, locate the reset button to reset the unit. If you are still hearing noise from your alarm after these troubleshooting tips, it might be time to have the unit replaced completely.

Not all smoke alarms are battery operated, some are connected to the household electric mains which cuts down on weekly maintenance and testing batteries.

If you have a problem with your smoke alarm that you can’t fix yourself or you would like to get a mains smoke alarm installed, contact our Handy Experts for a quote here.

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