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#92559 - 03/24/05 07:28 PM Testing Smoke Alarms
George Little Offline

Registered: 01/18/04
Posts: 1492
Loc: Michigan USA
Does anyone know of a code requirement for an electrical inspector to test the smoke alarms and just how are they being tested?
George Little

2014 / 2011 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
#92560 - 03/24/05 10:33 PM Re: Testing Smoke Alarms
e57 Offline

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Try this site: (Scroll down)
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#92561 - 03/25/05 05:16 AM Re: Testing Smoke Alarms
Electricmanscott Offline

Registered: 01/12/02
Posts: 1478
Loc: Holden, MA USA
I guess it depends on jurisdiction. Here in MA the fire depts are responsible for that.

#92562 - 03/25/05 06:59 AM Re: Testing Smoke Alarms
Active 1 Offline

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 684
Loc: Grayslake IL, USA
The fire dept checks the smokes if it is comercial. Residential the electrical inspector checks them.

For testing residential ones I see them push the button and listen for the other smokes beeping. They will ask if they are all interconected and what circuit they are on. Sometimes the look for a breaker lock. Maybe they look to see if the power light is on.


#92563 - 03/25/05 10:31 AM Re: Testing Smoke Alarms
shortcircuit Offline

Registered: 06/27/04
Posts: 608
Loc: massachusetts
In a recent discussion with a local fire chief(Massachusetts), he said he doesn't use the "aerosol smoke test" products anymore and tests each unit with the test button on the unit.

The instructions that come with the detectors I use say to test by pushing the test button. They further state that if an aerosol test product is used, be certain to use one that has been Listed to Underwriters Labortories, Inc. Safety Standards, and use only as directed.

It further states that improper use of a UL listed aerosol product or use of a nonlisted aerosol product voids warranty and also may affect the sensitivity of the smoke detector.

No wonder he only uses the test button anymore.

The above would apply to residential AC/DC residential smoke detectors...


#92564 - 03/25/05 02:45 PM Re: Testing Smoke Alarms
e57 Offline

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Anyone ever seen this? Smoke candle test. I have and only once for duct detectors. Aerosol wouldnt make it down the duct. We had to put it near the return air grate and reset the system and do it at all of the other DD's to test if the sample tubes were working properly.

And, yep, its true, you can destroy a smoke by spraying the stuff too close. I have also had inspectors who are OK with just the test button (if it has one, most addressable systems don't), but an equal amount of those who want to see full operation at each device, and want to test supervision, by pulling wires out, with the right address called back to them.
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#92565 - 03/25/05 03:19 PM Re: Testing Smoke Alarms
luckyshadow Offline

Registered: 01/04/05
Posts: 305
Loc: Maryland USA
Most of the systems I have been installing lately come with a magnet that you place in a certain spot. This sets them off. The duct detectors are the same way.

#92566 - 03/25/05 07:52 PM Re: Testing Smoke Alarms
Joe Tedesco Offline

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 3325
Loc: Boston, Massachusetts USA
Joe Tedesco, NEC Consultant


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