One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect yourself and your family from fire is to install smoke alarms in your home. Every home should have a smoke detector, and in many states it is a requirement. Smoke alarms can be an incredibly useful tool in warning you of a fire when you are asleep, busy or in a different part of the house. Smoke detectors will provide you extra warning time when you are awake, and they will wake you if a fire occurs while you are asleep. Additionally, monitored smoke detectors such as the ones from Protect America will send a signal to the monitoring station if a fire is detected. Smoke alarms provide life-saving warnings to allow you to get out of the house before you are trapped by fire or smoke, which is often times more deadly than the fire itself. According to the Injury Prevention and Research Center, approximately 13 out of 14 homes in the US now have smoke alarms installed. However, almost half of all home fires occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Over sixty percent of fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms.

It is extremely important to not only have smoke detectors in your home, but to also test them regularly. Especially if your fire alarm is beeping, this usually means the battery is low. Make sure that every smoke alarm in your home is functional and can therefore keep you safe from a home fire. In this post we will go through the steps that you must take to test your monitored smoke detectors from Protect America!

Testing Your Smoke Detector for a Signal

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Now as many of you know, your monitored smoke detectors are synced with your main security panel. To test for a signal, please take the following steps to ensure that it is communicating properly with your panel and the central monitoring station:

  1. Press and hold the “Test” button on the unit for 15 seconds or until the smoke detector’s sounder triggers three times.
  2. Release the button and disarm the system.
  3. Verify signals with Protect America or through the central monitoring station.
  4. It is highly important that you verify your signal because it could result in a false alarm otherwise.

Testing for Sensitivity

If your smoke detector is flashing a light, you may want to test it for sensitivity. Follow the instructions below for fixing any sensitivity issues:

  • If your smoke alarm is flashes 0 – 1 times, this is an indication that unserviceable hardware is at fault. If this happens reset and run the sensitivity test. If the error persists, replace the unit completely.
  • If your smoke alarm flashes 2-3 times, then it is becoming insensitive. To remedy this, you must clean and reset the unit. Then rerun the sensitivity test. If the error persists, replace the unit.
  • If your smoke alarm flashes 4-7 times, then this means your device is within normal range of sensitivity. There is no action to remedy this as it is not a problem.
  • If your smoke detector flashes 8-9 times, this means your unit is becoming too sensitive. Verify the optical chamber is snapped down securely. Then clean the unit and possibly replace the optical chamber.

Smoke Detectors

Now that you know how to test your smoke alarms, we advise that you do so on a monthly basis. Since you must call in to test your home security system on a monthly basis to retain your warranty, the best time for testing your smoke detector is when you are already testing your home security system with one of our installation experts here at Protect America!