Testing your smoke detector
Smoke detectors save lives
A working smoke detector will give you the earliest possible warning of a fire starting, allowing time for you and your family to safely escape.
This is particularly important at times when you may be unaware of a fire starting, such as in the night when you are asleep.
At L&Q, we provide smoke and heat detectors or alarms. Heat detectors, as opposed to smoke detectors, are fitted in the kitchen or in open living spaces.
Smoke detectors are fitted in the hallway and landings within your home where other bedrooms and living rooms open.
In cases where a resident lets us know that they use medical oxygen, or is bed bound and smokes, we will also install additional smoke alarms in bedrooms to reduce the additional risk of fire.
We will also carry out a Person-Centred Risk Assessment to see if there’s anything else we can do to keep them safe.
If you don’t have heat or smoke alarms or detectors in your home, or you have a medical condition as above and haven’t told us, please get in touch so we can help you.
Make sure your smoke and heat detector is working
It’s your responsibility to test your smoke and heat detectors regularly and replace the batteries when needed.
We recommend that you test them weekly.
Testing regularly will help you familiarise yourself with the sound of your alarm and help to make sure that you stay safe.
Both mains wired and battery-only detectors will have a battery fitted inside them. These may either be replaceable or a non-replaceable long-life battery (typically 10 years).
When the battery starts to run out the unit will start to sound a low battery warning (usually high frequency ‘chirps’ every 30 – 60 seconds. This will continue until the battery is replaced.
It is important that you don’t remove or disconnect the battery before you are ready to replace it, in case you forget to replace it later.
How do I test a domestic smoke and heat detector?
To test your smoke and heat detector, press and hold the test button on the unit, until the alarm sounds.
If it doesn’t sound, you may need to replace the battery.
If there are other detectors that are linked in the system these may also sound. If not, test each of them individually.
If you can’t reach the detector, it’s often easier and safer to use a stick, like a broom or mop handle, to push the test button, rather than stand on a chair or steps.
Sometimes a remote testing switch is provided at an accessible level on the wall of your home. Use this to test your alarm(s) instead of trying to reach the detector.
Replacing the batteries in your detectors
For replaceable battery detectors, you can buy the required battery at most local newsagents or supermarkets.
Once you replace and fit the battery, it’s important to test the new battery to make sure it’s working.
A non-replaceable long-life battery (clearly identified on the unit), may need the whole unit replaced if it’s not working.
We advise you not to remove the battery. Instead, refer to the instruction manual if you have one, and contact L&Q as soon as possible for advice on what to do.
What should I do if my detector doesn’t work?
You should report any faults immediately to us by calling the customer service centre on 0300 456 9996.