Don’t forget to Tick Tock Test
The clocks are going back this Sunday – why not check your smoke detectors while you’re at it?
It’s important that you test them at least twice a year – do it when the clocks change you’ll never forget.
There are several ways to test your detectors
Use the test button
It’s fairly easy to do. Your smoke alarm will have a test button on it. Press this button and you’ll hear a beep if your detector is working.
Check the batteries
You can test your smoke detector batteries using a battery tester. A popular model is Gold Plus. It will give you detailed information about the battery, including the DC voltage and the actual Ah capacity available.
This is a great test to carry out; even if your batteries haven’t run out yet, you’ll be able to tell if they’ll need replacing soon.
Mimic real fire conditions
You can check that your smoke detectors are working with detector testers
– smoke, CO2 or heat detector testers are all available.
Smoke and CO2 detector testers release non-toxic gas that mimics the function of smoke (or CO2). Heat detector testers normally have a cup that you place over the detector, so that the temperature around the detector can be raised. Don’t worry – they come with safety handles so you won’t get burned.
If your detectors activate, you know that they’re working and that they will respond to real fire conditions.
Maintaining your smoke detectors
To ensure your detectors continue to work, here are some general maintenance rules you should adhere to.
• Test them once a week
• Change the batteries once a year (unless it’s powered with a ten year battery)
• Replace the whole unit every ten years
• Clean your smoke alarms every three months
Get advice on choosing domestic detectors here
, and business alarm systems
photo credit: DrJohnBullas
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