North Shore Electrician Explains How to Test a Smoke Detector

North Shore Electrician Explains How to Test a Smoke Detector

Day by day, more and more people are becoming aware of the security that their family needs at home, and smoke detectors are now found in nearly every building. Unfortunately, not many people keep up to date with the maintenance of their smoke detectors.

In this post, an expert in the electricity field explains how to test a smoke detector in order to avoid failures in times of emergency.

Smoke Detectors with Batteries or Cables

There are two types of smoke detectors on the market – hardwired and battery-operated.

The home's electrical system powers hardwired smoke detectors. They have built-in battery backup in case of a power outage in the house.

Smoke detectors that operate with batteries are not hooked up to the mains. They depend entirely on the battery – which is fine if the battery is working well, but can be a problem if they lose charge or have connection problems.

How to Test Smoke Detectors

To test smoke detectors, you should review the instructions that come with all these devices, where you can see how to install them correctly and test them. If your smoke detectors are difficult to access or you aren’t confident with testing them, it is important to call an electrician to help test and maintain your smoke detectors on a regular basis.

The following are steps that you should take:
  • Step 1: Let the family know that you are going to test the smoke detector. When you start the test, you’ll notice these devices have a very loud sound that may startle people – especially children.
  • Step 2: Test the sound of the smoke detector. Press and hold the test button on the device, wait a few seconds, and then check that the alarm is loud when the sound is emitted. The device may require battery replacement if the sound is soft.
  • Step 3: Test the range of the device. Check that the alarm can be heard in all parts of the house. If not, you should consider whether or not you need to install additional detectors where the sound is quiet.
Regardless of the type of smoke detector you have, you need to change the batteries every year. Write it on the calendar, or tie it in with changing the clocks for Daylight Saving Time. Always use brand new batteries in your smoke detector – your life could depend on it.


All over the world, homes need security – and one device that contributes to this security is a smoke detector.

The ideal person to install and regularly check smoke detectors is an electrical professional. Remember that you are making decisions about the future safety of your house and family – so it’s worth the cost!