How to Check a Smoke Alarm

There are two sides to any fire system installation, the first is ensuring that risks are mitigated so that fires don’t start, and the other is ensuring that things are in place to prevent serious injury or damage if they do start. This is why smoke alarms form such a key part of the fire safety procedure in your building, as they will alert the premises at the faintest whiff of smoke from a fire, ensuring that everyone can get out. These alarms are not as simple as just installing and then leaving them, we must ensure that they are being constantly tested. All kinds of issues may occur with the smoke alarm which means that should the worst occur, they won’t be able to help us.

There really is no reason to have some alarms that aren’t working, as they are very simple to test. Here is how you can ensure that you carry out your fire safety maintenance and check your smoke alarms.

Testing Using The Button

In terms of testing whether or not a smoke alarm actually works, this is a very simple procedure. Most modern day smoke alarms have a button in the center which you can press in order to make sure that the alarm is working. If you hear a sound but it is not high pitched or very loud, it is likely that you need to change the batteries which you have. There is no point in a smoke alarm going off if nobody is able to hear it.

Planning the Test

Now naturally you don’t want to frighten anyone here or cause a false alarm, which is why you should ensure that you have advised everyone that you are carrying out fire safety maintenance and that you will be testing the alarms.

Life of a Smoke Alarm

Be sure that you have the date of manufacture on the smoke alarm so that you will know exactly when you need to replace it. In general, smoke alarms have a lifespan of 10 years before they need to be changed. The best course of action is to replace them every 7 years so that you are  not running any risks.

Checking Reaction

If you wish to test the reaction of your staff then don’t let them know that you will be conducting this test. Look for a smoke alarm that is out of view of most people and set it off. It is going to be good practice for people to run a mock drill, and to test whether or not they react quickly. Smoke alarms are very sensitive and can go off when cooking, this makes people get used to the non-existent alarm. It is of course imperative that your staff do react when they hear the alarm, and a drill will be the best way for you to test them out.

Always ensure that testing smoke alarms is an important part of your fire safety maintenance, lives could depend on it.

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