Ask someone to test a smoke alarm, and chances are they’ll tell you to press the ‘test’ button on the alarm.
Pressing the ‘test’ button only tests if the sound of the alarm is working; it has nothing to do with whether the device can actually detect smoke.
Every smoke alarm contains 3 main elements – a smoke detection mechanism, a sounding alarm and battery power source.
Pressing the ‘test’ button will only test 2 out these 3 elements. Conducting a smoke test using a smoke simulant is the only way to make sure all 3 elements are working properly.
Moreover, many smoke alarm manuals expressly discourage using an open flame near the device.
This eliminates the idea of lighting a match and holding it near the alarm. Instead, all Detector Inspector technicians use UL-rated cans of smoke for their tests.
Every smoke alarm inspected by a Detector Inspector technician is placed through a rigorous testing process. This involves:
- replacement of the 9v battery in all battery powered smoke alarms
- a decibel test to ensure the audible output of the smoke alarm is no less than 85 decibels (dBA); AND
- a smoke test using a smoke simulant to ensure the smoke alarm is working effectively.
Only by testing all 3 elements of a smoke alarm, can we ensure the device will operate properly during a fire.
A false sense of security is no way to protect a home and family. Let Detector Inspector manage the fire safety in your property.