Typically, people want to avoid the sound of alarm systems. They can cause panic, be loud, and generally be annoying. However, it’s important to periodically test your home security system so that they won’t fail you when you need them the most.
It’s fairy simple to perform the test, but you’ll want to make sure you perform it correctly. Here are a number of ways you can test your home security system and how often you should think about doing that.
Alert the Right People
Before running a test on your home security system, make sure everyone in the house knows that’s what you are doing so they won’t think the alarm is for a real incident. This will also avoid any unnecessary panic or disruption.
You’ll also want to tell your neighbors if your system is particularly loud. This way, they won’t think there is a criminal in your house. You might just want to tell your neighbors that you’ll be testing your alarm once a month. That should give them some peace of mind.
You may also want to alert your security company if you are running tests. They will appreciate the heads up, and they will appreciate that you are trying to avoid a false alarm where emergency responders show up where there is no emergency.
The most important alarms to test first are smoke detectors and fire alarms. Out of every five deaths due to fire, three of them are in homes without working fire alarms (Vector Security).
When testing your smoke detectors and fire alarms, there are a few useful tips from the U.S. Fire Administration that will help you.
- On the back of the fire alarm or smoke detector, there will be a manufacturing date. Make sure you check it as these alarms only have a ten-year life span.
- Once a month, you should test each alarm.
- You need to test every alarm that you have.
What about your home security system? Generally speaking, you should test your symptom:
- Once every month.
- After any maintenance worker has left your home. You don’t know that he or she hasn’t accidentally messed with your security system.
- Following a stay from a babysitter or house sitter. They may have made changes to the security system so that they didn’t set the alarm off when they came over.
- Following any changes that have been made to your internet, particularly if your home security system uses the internet.