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6 Reasons Why Your Smoke Alarms Must Be Tested Often

When was the last time you checked your residence for working smoke alarms? Be sure that every home is equipped with fire safety equipment so everyone can get out safely in case of an emergency. Protecting yourself and your loved ones need not be complicated; there are many things you can do to ensure safe living conditions around your household. One simple way to keep everyone safe is by testing all smoke alarms often.


Testing and Tagging Melbourne owner Ryan Hasson explains that smoke alarms can help save lives by detecting fires before they get out of control, providing homeowners and their families with enough time to evacuate the house. However, they only work if they are functioning properly. On average, a quarter of smoke alarms fail at any given time due to various issues. If you do not test your smoke alarms often, there is a real chance that your smoke alarm could be compromised without you knowing it.


It is important to test smoke alarms often because they are the first line of defence in case of fire. Here are some reasons why smoke alarm testing should be done regularly.


Smoke alarm batteries could die without warning

Smoke alarms need batteries to power them up and ensure your safety. If you forget to replace these batteries, then smoke alarms may fail when you need them most. Initial battery replacement for smoke detectors should happen at least once every year or as recommended by manufacturers based on your location (i.e., cold climate areas require more frequent battery replacement). Also, if you live with many people, it may be necessary to replace the battery twice a year since individual schedules may lead to forgetting this important safety step.


Smoke alarm chirping is not normal

According to 2018 statistics from the MFS (Metropolitan Fire Services), “A lack of working smoke alarms increases the risk of dying in a house fire by 80 per cent.” If your smoke alarms are beeping, it means that the battery needs replacement or there may be a different problem with it. When smoke alarms fail to operate due to low batteries, it is best to replace the entire unit when possible because failed units cannot be relied upon for early detection when they are needed most.


Smoke detector testing may reduce the risk of death or injury 

A lot of people do not test their alarms frequently because they forget about them or simply do not know how important it is for safety reasons. Testing your devices regularly is a great way to ensure that they are working properly and to catch issues before they become disasters. Keep in mind that smoke alarms are designed to save your life only when they work as intended, which is why it is important to follow a regular testing schedule.


Smoke alarm warning time may be shortened

When the unit is not tested for a long time, its detector could fail due to dust accumulation or other reasons. Dust build-up makes contact sensors less sensitive so you should clean them from time to time with a brush or vacuum cleaner. Without regular use, smoke detectors can also stop emitting sound warning signals after a few years of service due to corrosion caused by constant exposure to humidity or moisture in the air. Testing every month will help reduce the risk of such malfunctions.


Testing smoke alarms will increase their longevity

According to the CFA (Country Fire Authority), “New smoke alarms that have a 10-year lifespan ensure families can feel the highest level of security”. This is why it’s important to make sure you install and test your devices correctly for them to work properly and provide you with the vital seconds you need in case of a fire emergency.


Smoke alarm testing can reduce the cost of false alarms 

False alarms are extremely irritating, especially if they happen often because this may lead to disabling some devices which result in compromising safety measures for occupants of that specific home or building. Yet another problem related to lack of testing, false alarm issues might also be caused by debris accumulation on contact sensors. Regular testing will help you quickly identify the problem and save yourself from multiple irritating false alarms.

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