During the holidays you will be hosting family and friends at your home. You might be cooking food, lighting candles, or lighting a fire in your fireplace. With all these things going on in your home, testing your smoke detectors should be part of your to-do list. A couple of minutes to test your detectors could be the one thing that protects you and your family from a disaster.

 Smoke detectors should be tested once a month and batteries should be changed once or twice a year. The holidays could be that one time you change your batteries and you can test your detectors at the same time.

 You can test your smoke detectors in three easy steps.

 Step 1: Tell everyone you will be testing the alarm. The last thing you need is one of the children getting scared because of an unexpected ear-piercing alarm.

 Step 2: Position one of your family members as far away from the alarm as possible. This will help identify areas where the sound is muffled. You can then install extra detectors in these areas.

 Step 3: Press and hold the test button on your detector. Your detector will let out a siren. If the sound is weak, replace the batteries and test again. If it has been six months since you replaced the batteries, replace the batteries and test again.

 Smoke detectors last for an average of 10 years. Regardless if the detector works, they should be replaced after this 10-year period is over. By following these steps and keeping your detectors in perfect working order, you can be assured that your holiday plans will stay on track!