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How to Test Your Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors at Home

Two of the most important safety devices in our homes are our smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Here is how you can test and ensure that your crucial smoke and carbon monoxide home alarm systems are working properly.

Invasive, hardwired security systems are a thing of the past. At Frontline Security, we offer clients wireless devices with minimal disruption, and quick and efficient installations.

Wireless solutions are available for:

  • Smoke detectors
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Theft sensors
  • Water temperature sensors
  • Door and window sensors

Our Calgary Alarm Company Provides Affordable and Custom Home Security Solutions

At Frontline Security, we can design and install highly effective and affordable customized home security systems to keep your property and loved ones safe. Whether you’re looking for IP surveillance cameras, alarm systems, doorbell cameras, live video feeds, or the latest in home automation products, we pride ourselves on having everything you need to build an effective home or business security system in Calgary.

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How Do I Ensure That My Alarm Systems Are Working Properly?

With winter around the corner, the safety of your family, friends, and loved ones who enter your home is paramount. While you may already have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms installed, it is vital to make sure that they are functioning correctly. Testing them regularly and replacing old batteries and outdated devices is how you can protect your home in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide leak.

Here is how you can test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors:

How to Test Your Smoke Alarm

On every smoke alarm in Canada, there is a button for testing, typically labelled test, silence, or hush. To conduct a test on your smoke detector, simply press the button, and after a few seconds, you should hear a loud ringing siren.

If this is the case, congratulations, your alarm’s circuitry, siren, and battery are functioning properly. If your smoke detector does not make a siren or beeping noise, it is likely either the batteries are dead or that the unit is defective and needs replacing.


Testing the alarm’s electrical components is only one part of guaranteeing that your smoke detector is functioning. It is just as important to make sure that your smoke alarm actually detects smoke!

You can quickly test this by lighting a candle and holding the flame 6-12 inches below the smoke detector. If the alarm sounds, you have a fully functioning smoke detector. If not, it may be time to get your smoke alarms replaced.

When testing your smoke detectors, don't forget to inspect the manufacturer's expiry date. Every smoke detector comes with an expiry date that can be found by examining the backside of the device. The date itself is likely not an expiry date but is the date the device was manufactured. You should be replacing your device with a new one ten years after the manufacturer date, not the date of purchase.


How to Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Did you know that during the winter months, carbon monoxide poisoning spikes? According to Statistics Canada, there are around 300 carbon monoxide related deaths each year. Testing your carbon monoxide detectors and following these preventative measures may save your life:

  • Check the ventilation of your household appliances
  • Inspect the condition of your chimney and furnace ductwork
  • Remove snow from your car prior to starting your engine
  • Never run your engine in your garage — even if the door is open

Testing the electronics and battery of your carbon monoxide detector is quite similar to testing your smoke detector. However, since we do not want to be releasing carbon monoxide into your home, it is slightly more challenging to test your CO device’s sensing functionality.

Before beginning your test, we recommend putting your alarm on “Test Mode” by contacting your home security company so that the test does not cause a false alarm. Once done, you can then test your CO Detector by holding down the test, silence, or hush button until you hear two beeps. Once you hear the two beeps, release your finger from the button. Repeat this step, but hold down the button until the device beeps four times.

Similar to smoke detectors, every carbon monoxide detector comes with a manufacturer's date of expiration, which can also be found on the backside of the detector. If the date printed on the device is the date of expiration, you should be replacing your device before that date. If the listed date is the date of manufacture, you should be replacing your device approximately five to seven years after this.

If you successfully complete this process, you can feel secure knowing that your carbon monoxide detectors are working.


Where Can I Find a Local, Highly Responsive Alarm Company in Calgary?

Looking to get a home security system or upgrade your current one, but don't know where to start? We can help! With IP cameras and alarm systems, the latest home automation products, 24/7 monitoring, and same or next-day service, we can install security systems that will work best to protect your valuables at your construction site, warehouse, corporate office, or home. To find out more, visit our Calgary alarm company at 6025 12 St SE, Calgary, Alberta, T2H 2K1.

Or you can contact us by calling 403-291-9311 or by filling in our online contact form.

Get the Peace of Mind You Deserve

You’ve worked hard to build your business or buy your home. Now it’s time to protect them properly and give yourself the peace of mind you deserve. Our full-service security solutions can give whatever matters most to you the 360° protection it needs. Contact us today by calling (403) 291-9311 or by filling out the form below and put us on your frontline.

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