Beacons always 'sleep' in their packaging to save battery life. Activate a beacon by submerging it in water. Keep it underwater for at least one minute, then take it out and dry it off. When activating, make sure that the water sensors at the bottom of the beacon are completely submerged or it will not activate.
Tip: Put your beacon(s) in a container of water such as a sink or bucket (not a drinking glass) so that the beacon can float on its side rather than upright.