Smoke Detector Monthly Inspection

I work at an assisted living facility. In the DHS 83 it says to inspect smoke detectors and document it monthly. I have wired interconnected smoke detectors which all go back to the Fire Alarm Control Panel. People have told me to put the fire alarm control panel in test mode and test the smoke detectors by using canned smoke. The only problem is this can give unsatisfactory results since an aerosol chemical spray does not accurately test detector sensitivity. NFPA 72-2010, Chapter states, “The detector sensitivity shall not be tested or measured using any device that administers an unmeasured concentration of smoke or other aerosol into the detector.” So my question is, how should I inspect the smoke detectors in my facility?

This is a home inspection website.

Assisted living facilities are commercial inspections.

Questions about inspecting these facilities under these standards should be addressed directly to the authority having jurisdiction. 99.9% of the home inspectors here have no clue.


The simple answer is contact the manufacturer of the system and ask them for the recommended test procedure, as that is referenced in the NFPA documents and the DHS documents. You can use aerosol cans in some instances as they have cans and testing apparatus that let out measured amounts of “smoke”.

In accordance with the listing for the particular detector. Best advise I can give you is to call your fire alarm contractor who services your system for questions on testing. If you do not have one, call your local fire authority (fire inspector).