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How often should I test my smoke alarm?

Batteries in smoke alarms must be replaced twice a year. The Canada Safety Council suggests that you replace that batteries in your smoke alarms after changing the clocks for Daylight savings time.

As a tool used only in case of emergency, it’s easy to accidentally forget to perform regular maintenance on your smoke alarm. At the same time, unless you’re doing regular tests, the first time you find out it’s not working might also be your last. Smoke and fire are unforgiving, which makes it vitally important to ensure your smoke alarm is in working condition.

The test button on most smoke alarms is effective to ensure the function of the sound and that it’s receiving power. But what about its ability to sense and detect smoke? This is why it’s important to regularly test your smoke alarm using real smoke. The Canada Safety Council recommends testing once a month using the test button and once a year by lighting a match and holding it a few inches below the smoke alarm. Take care not to hold it too close or you risk damaging your alarm.

If you hear the alarm, you know your alarm is functioning properly. If you don’t hear the sound ring out, replace the batteries and try again. If your alarm is connected electrically to household circuits, double-check to ensure the fuse is working correctly and try again. If neither of these steps help, replace the unit.