How to Test Smoke Alarm?

RE: First Alert Smoke and CO detector.

PROBLEM: My tests to phone me are unsuccessful:

  1. “Smart Home Monitor” says “Everything OK” and lists “Smoke” (only listing) as “OK”. (My phone number is successfully recorded).

  2. “My Home” “Things” also displays my Fist Alert detector.

  3. BUT the First Alert icon is NOT highlighted as is my other active/working 12 “Things”.

Can you help me run a successful test, please?

in our house we just make a homemade pizza and let the cheese drip on the bottom of the oven :laughing:

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I think if you press the test button on the smoke detector this should trigger a test event.

Thanks, Jimmy. Gosh I love pizza!

Best regards,

Thank you, Philippe, but it doesn’t send the alarm. I guess my heading is misleading? But I really do love pizza.

In the US, most smoke alarms have a “test“ mode which is where you can check if the siren works. It’s typically a button on the device itself.

However, you cannot use that to test whether an automation that you have set up to trigger when the smoke alarm goes off is working, because the code which is sent to the hub from the test button is different.

So if what you are trying to do is test your automations based on the smoke alarm, then you have to actually trigger the smoke alarm. That includes notifications.

however, be aware that every time you do this you slightly reduce the useful life of the smoke alarm, just because that’s how the sensor works. So it’s not something you want to do a lot more often than you have to.

For the smoke alarm part, the easiest way is usually just use a blown out match close to the detector. (Do not use anything with an active flame.)

You can also buy “smoke in a can” type products which are specifically designed for testing sensors. You won’t typically need one for the smoke detector, as the blown out match should work fine. But if you do want to test the carbon monoxide sensor, get one of these can products. (Do not follow any of internet suggestions for capturing car exhaust or smoke or anything else in a plastic bag. That is not a safe procedure. Just use the can tester if you want to.)

By the way, the can testers are really expensive to ship, so it’s usually not a good idea to buy them from Amazon. Just go to your local Home Depot or Walmart, they should have some at a much less expensive price.


I did not say it would trigger the alarm but you should see the test event in the mobile app device Recently section.Screenshot_20190711-181228_SmartThings



THANK YOU for all your time and super detailed-clear explanation.




The messages ARE there!! Thanks so very much.