The importance of testing alarms

If you’re a resident in rental accommodation, it is crucial to understand the importance of testing smoke and fire alarms in accordance with British standards 5839 part 6. This set of standards ensures that all residential properties are fitted with suitable smoke alarms and fire alarms that meet specific safety requirements. Unfortunately almost a quarter (23%) of households have never tested their smoke alarms.

Why should you test your alarms?

Smoke and fire alarm systems provide early warning signals in the event of a fire, giving you time to evacuate safely from your home. These systems can save lives! Testing them regularly helps to ensure they are working correctly, so you can be sure that if something does happen, your system will alert you to the situation.

Testing these alarm systems may seem like a chore, but it’s necessary to ensure your home life safety. Not only does this help keep everyone safe but also means any faults in the system can be identified immediately so repairs or replacements can take place right away if needed – helping prevent further damage caused by faulty equipment down the line!

When should you test your alarm?

Ideally, alarms should be tested weekly but they need to be tested, at least, once a month to ensure they are working correctly.

How do you test your alarm?

  • Check that the green light on the alarm is on.
  • Press the ‘Test’ button for 10 seconds.
  • The alarm will sound loudly, so that you know the alarm is functioning.

How do you maintain your alarm?

You should clean your alarm at least every 6 months. For mains-powered alarms, you should:

  • Before cleaning, turn off the mains power to the alarm and the green light should go out.
  • With the thin nozzle attachment, vacuum around the vents of the alarm.
  • Using a damp cloth, clean the cover of the alarm, then dry it with a lint-free cloth.
  • Turn on the mains power and ensure the green light is on.

Why is your alarm beeping?

Never ignore a beeping alarm, as it is a warning sign of either a danger in the home or that an alarm needs maintenance.

If there is an issue with your alarm make sure you report it to your landlord.

You can find a wide range of domestic fire safety advice on our blog.


Written by Martin Przewozny, Regional Specification Manager, Aico

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