testing smoke detectors

Just curious what others do for testing the smoke detectors?

I press the “Test” button (only)…

  1. To insure they have power,

  2. They actually “sound”,

  3. They are “Inter-connected” (if required)

I remove one unit (oldest looking)…

  1. Check for manufacture date,

  2. Adivse client of Life expectancy, batteries, etc.

I also perform the same…

  1. For CO detectors/alarms.

Hmm, never thought about looking for a manuf. date. Great idea. It actually paid to read the boards today. Thanks.

Now what if the home has an alarm system, will pushing the test button cause the fire dept to show up?

I just disclaim those and inform them to have their security/smoke system tested by the hosting company when they sign up.

Ditto… typically by the time I get to testing the smokes (towards the end of the inspection) I have determined if there is an alarm system installed (op’ing or not doesn’t matter) or not. Now… I have heard that the higher quality units will not dispatch the FD if the TEST button is pressed, but I have no evidence of that. Anyone else know?

There is either a ‘sticker’ or ‘printed date’ on the base of the unit. If there is no date evident, I always call it out as being beyond it’s life expectancy, as it is. They have been dating the units for over 15 years now, so if no date, it’s wayyyyyyy past due!

Smoke detectors in the home were hard wired into the security or mointoring system and couldnot be manually tested for operation. These can be tested when the alarm system is activated by the monitoring comapny. If No alarm system will be used then we recommend having additional smoke alarms installed for safety purposes.

I have issues with testing and I will not certify smoke detectors… Sure I test them to see if they make noise when the test button is pushed, but that only means the circuit to the horn works, it has nothing to do with detecting smoke. Here in Florida I still see many homes with single station battery-only detectors I refuse to take responsibility for their performance when people’s lives are at stake.

Now, here is a question for you… Is it a defect if the number of, and location of the detectors do not meet current standards?

In Minnesota… yes, along with CO detectors, as “standards” are dictated by MN. law.

Here is my comment

I use this…

disclaim nothing and actually test it…easier, safety and pretty easy to do. One can lasts a LONG time…I bought a case and think I still have 10 cans left (12 cans in a case)…after a year

You got a cost on those Russ? Nothing on their website and nowhere to order.

Thanks for posting the link Russell! What an awesome policy at the bottom of the page!!!

I agree and always tell the buyer. When you move in it would be in your best interest to make sure they work. I only advise where they should be located and if a CO detector is needed. With such a critical safety device the life you save may be your own.

I don’t test smoke alarms, but you can buy the stuff here:

<a href=“http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009HOCFIU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B009HOCFIU&linkCode=as2&tag=ledflarev-20”>SDI Smokesabre Aerosol Smoke Detector Tester, Case of 12</a><img src=“http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=ledflarev-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B009HOCFIU” width=“1” height=“1” border=“0” alt="" style=“border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” />

I use a can of smoke or watever its called. Yellow can and inexpensive. They last forever. I can sell some to you guys if you want as I dont think I will ever finish the case I have

How many houses do you think a can will last for, seems like a can must last awhile for you guys.

Couple hundred houses and it costs about $6 or something a can.

The guys who test smoke alarms (The sprinkler guys) use it…that’s where I got it from. Hell, one of the guys gave me a can.

Funny how people freak out about calling non existent GFCI’s out because of safety and then don’t check the smoke alarms…Interesting.

Hell why not just walk in and tell them to check everything…hey these things may or may not work…check it all before you move in.

Isn’t a purpose of ours to find these defects BEFORE they buy the house? Or have we become a profession of disclaiming?

Heck what does a customer expect for a $200.00 check list format home inspection;-)