Do you know which smoke alarm works best?

smoke alarms sydney

Which is the best smoke alarm for your home?

Functional smoke alarms are one of the important assets in saving lives and properties during a fire. They are crucial safety devices that should be installed in every home and every building.

How do you choose which smoke alarm is the best for your home?

Most people think that having a smoke alarm is enough. However, before buying a smoke detector for your home, it is important to understand how they work.

Basically, there are two types of residential smoke alarms which contain either ionization or photoelectric sensors.

Ionization smoke alarms will typically respond about 30 to 90 seconds faster to “fast-flame” fires than photoelectric smoke alarms. But when it comes to smouldering fires, ionization alarms respond an average of 15 to 50 minutes slower than photoelectric alarms.

Photoelectric alarms, on the other hand, are more advanced and are generally considered superior to ionisation alarms. They can respond faster to most fire types and are less prone annoying false alarms. Photoelectric alarms are especially effective at detecting smouldering fires.

So which one should you buy? If you have the budget, consider buying one of each type of smoke alarms. This provides you with the peace of mind knowing that you have a sufficient fire alarm system.

Which leads us to the next question: how many fire alarms do you need for your home?

The minimum requirement for smoke alarms in Sydney is at least one per level. However, it is advisable to install smoke alarms in every room occupied and the hallways leading to them.

Local legislation requires all Sydney homes to have at least one smoke alarm per level. This law covers privately owned properties, rental properties, caravans, campervans and other properties where people stay and sleep.

What should you look for when buying smoke alarms?

All smoke alarms should have the Australian Standard symbol in their packaging. This means that these smoke alarms have meet the requirements of Australian Standard AS 3786. This is important in making sure that the smoke alarm you installed in your home is working correctly and according to standards.

Here are also some tips you should consider when installing your smoke alarms:

  • If you have ionization smoke alarms, install them away from kitchens or bathrooms as steam can damage the alarm, or set it off by mistake.
  • Consider installing a smoke alarm with a 10 year battery. This is the same as the life span of your smoke alarm so you don’t have to worry about replacing your battery every time.
  • Fit extra smoke alarms if you have difficulty leaving the house quickly to give you an advanced warning. If you have many rooms in your house, install an alarm in each one of them so you are alerted immediately.
  • Test your smoke alarms regularly to make sure they are working all the time.

So how do you make sure your smoke alarms are working perfectly fine?

  • Test your smoke alarm every month. Schedule a regular test every start or end of the month. Inform the people living in your home regarding the test so they don’t panic.
  • Change the battery when the low battery warning operates. Sometimes defective batteries go out even before their usual life span. When you see the blinking or hear the beeping low battery warning, replace your battery immediately.
  • Never disconnect or take the batteries out of your alarm if it goes off by mistake. Smoke alarms these days are equipped with the Hush function which you can press to silence the alarm.
  • Do not try to remove batteries in 10 year smoke detector as they cannot be removed or replaced. You will only be damaging the product by doing this.
  • If you have family members or resident s that have difficulty hearing or are deaf, you should install specialty smoke alarms designed for hearing-impaired people.  These alarms usually have strobe lights and bed shakers as alert mechanism.
  • When the smoke detector goes off, drop everything you are doing and get out of the house immediately. Once you’re out, call Triple Zero for help.


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