How to Test a Smoke Alarm

Feb 8, 2009

Using the test button will ensure an accurate and complete test that your alarm(s) are working properly.  When testing interconnected units be sure to verify all the alarms in the system sound. 

Aerosol products can be used to test a smoke alarm.  If using this method be sure the follow the instructions supplied by the manufacturer of the aerosol, and direct the spray so it enters the alarm sensor area.  The holes on the cover of the alarm are for the sound to emit.  If the spray is aimed directly at this area it will not enter the sensing chamber area.  Smoke entry in an alarm is through the opening around the perimeter. 

Hold the aerosol can about 2 feet away from the alarm.  Make sure the can is parallel to the wall or ceiling, depending on where your smoke alarm is mounted.  This will allow the test spray to travel along the wall or ceiling and enter the openings on the perimeter of the alarm.

NOTE:  Excessive spraying at close range may permanently affect the smoke alarm's sensitivity. 

NOTE:  Igniting combustible materials to test your alarm is not recommended.  An accident could occur and result in a fire.