How to Test Smoke Alarms

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You should always test smoke alarms to make sure they are working properly throughout the year. Test smoke alarms with help from a certified firefighter in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Home Safety
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Gabriel Williams, I'm a certified fire fighter in the state of Illinois. Today, we're going to talk about how to test smoke alarms. Now, each smoke alarm is different. You want to make sure to read the user's manual for your individual smoke alarm. To make sure you know how test and operate yours specifically. But generally, most smoke alarms are set up very similarly. They're going to have a button that says, push to test. So, simply, whether you do it on the wall, or take it off the wall, like this one. You want to push and hold that button, until you hear an audible beep. Once you hear that beep, you know your smoke alarm is working properly. Do not take a piece of paper or newspaper, and light it on fire. To test that it actually works with smoke, this is too dangerous to do in the home. You could also have your local fire department come out and test it. They have pressurized smoke in a can, is what they call it. That they can spray to make sure that it's functioning properly in that capacity. But as far as you personally testing it, the only way that should be done, is by pushing the test button. Remember, change your batteries twice a year. When you change your clocks, change your battery. This thing can and will save your life, so you want to make sure that it's functioning properly. When you test your smoke alarm, it's a good idea to go ahead and take the time to clean it then. With a dry rag, wipe it off, or blow it out with some compressed air. I'm Gabriel Williams, and we've been talking about how to test your smoke alarms.


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