FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Regarding Testing, Maintenance & Inspection of Smoke Detectors


Who is UL, and what is the importance of a UL Listing?

UL is the trusted source across the globe for product compliance. Benefiting a range of customers - from manufacturers and retailers to consumers and regulating bodies - we've tested products for public safety for more than a century. We can offer one of the conformity assessment industry's broadest portfolios of capabilities and certification marks. Our unique mix of local expertise in global markets and deep industry knowledge helps bring safer products to markets faster than ever before.

An UL/ULC Logo assures the consumer of Safety, Standards Compliance and Regulated Testing. You know a product is safe when it bares the UL/ULC logo.


What are the Code Requirements for Testing Smoke Detectors?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets national fire alarm codes and standards. NFPA 72, 2002 Edition details the standards for testing, maintenance and inspection in Chapters 11, 10 and with references to Chapter 2. The code states, in brief, that "single and multiple station detectors in commercial facilities and multi family residential dwellings be tested in their installed position for both smoke entry and for sensitivity to ensure an alarm response". Furthermore the code says that "aerosol testing is approved provided that the aerosol product is listed and approved by the manufacturers concerned".


Who Enforces Code Compliance?

Fire alarm codes and standards are enforced by the Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AJH) which typically refers to the local fire department or State Fire Marshal.


How Often Does the Fire Alarm Code Require Testing of Smoke Detectors?

NFPA 72 requires annual functional testing of smoke alarms as well as during initial installation.


Are there Manufacturing and Quality Standards for Smoke Alarms?

Yes. Underwriters Laboratories sets specific standards for the manufacture of smoke detectors and fire alarm initiating devices and accessories. Manufacturers who meet the quality testing standards are allowed to use the UL mark of approval. Smoke Detectors fall under three UL standards: UL 217, UL 1730, and UL 268.


What About for Smoke Alarm Testing Tools and Accessories?

These products, aerosol testers in particular fall under the same UL standards as above.


Are The Chemicals In Your Aerosol Harmful?

No. They are safe and non-toxic when used as directed. The active ingredient of our spray is used in most household cosmetics. The propellant is the same gas used in the great majority of earth friendly aerosol products. Our products are and have always been 100% ozone safe. We have never used freon or any other propellant that damages the ozone layer. Yet, the aerosol is gas under pressure, and should not be stored where the temperature exceeds 120˚F.


Will Your Product Harm Smoke Detectors?

No. SmokeCheck™, Smoke Detector Tester has been on the market for 25 years, and has been used in literally tens of millions of tests of smoke detectors of all kinds under all conditions with no report of any adverse effect upon smoke detectors. In addition, many smoke detector manufacturers use our product in the testing of their own products.


I've Heard That Some Aerosols Leave a Residue. Is This True?

Unfortunately yes. There are some aerosols which have an 'oil or greasy' formulation. That's why you should trust and use only a UL listed aerosol as instructed and one that is also approved by virtually all commercial alarm manufacturers. Only SmokeCheck™, Smoke Detector Tester meets these requirements. It is the industry's first aerosol smoke tester, and it clearly remains the industry's best. Beware of imitations!


Why Is SmokeCheck™, Smoke Detector Tester A Sure Way To Test Smoke Alarms?

SmokeCheck™, Smoke Detector Tester aerosol smoke puts the smoke detector through its paces. It tests the circuitry. It checks the alarm system. It tests the sensor. It tests the power source. It makes sure the detector is actively sampling the air for any hint of fire. Its chemical formulation is designed to simulate the full range of fire molecules that activate all types of smoke detectors. When your alarm sounds during aerosol testing you will know you can depend on it to operate as it was intended. Plus, it is UL Listed and alarm manufacturer approved (by many exclusively).


We Installed UL 217 Type Detectors in Our Hotel. The Owner's Manual That Came With My Smoke Detector Says I Should Press The Test Button. Is This The Best Test?

No, the test button simply tells you whether or not there is power in the detector, and that the alarm circuit is functioning. It does not test the sensor! It cannot indicate whether the detector will sound the alarm in the event of an actual fire. The only way to be sure is to do a complete functional test for smoke entry as required by NFPA 72, chapters 2, 10, and 11 per the 2002 Edition of the National Fire Alarm Code.


Why Shouldn't I Use Cigarette Smoke, Cigars, Etc., To Test My Smoke Detector?

The National Fire Protection Association strongly recommends not using an open-flame device for testing because of the inherent danger the flame could pose. Creating a fire to test smoke alarms is unsafe. Cigarette smoke also has an adverse effect upon the smoke detectors sensor and it is toxic.


What About Industry Approvals?

All commercial aircraft manufacturers specify our product for testing smoke detectors aboard their planes. We enjoy the endorsements of highly respected government and regulatory agencies worldwide including: Underwriters Laboratories, National Fire Protection Association, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Safety Council, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and even the White House. In addition, Fortune 500 companies, local fire departments, alarm maintenance companies, insurance companies, and home inspection and home security companies rely on SmokeCheck™, Smoke Detector Tester every day.


How Much Does Your SmokeCheck™, Smoke Detector Tester Cost?

Just pennies per test. Using SmokeCheck™, Smoke Detector Tester is the best peace of mind your money can buy to save lives and protect your property from fire.


Where Can I Buy SmokeCheck™, Smoke Detector Tester?

SmokeCheck™, Smoke Detector Tester is sold thru a global network of distributors serving the fire alarm, security, safety, industrial, maintenance, and other commercial markets. For a local stocking distributor, contact expert@homesafeguard.com