A fire alarm can make all the difference in an emergency situation.

Having an early warning system is crucial during a fire situation. That is why it is highly recommended that a working fire alarm system is installed in every residential, commercial and industrial building.

Fire alarms work by producing a sound that tells people there’s a fire. The earlier the alarm goes off, the more time people have to evacuate the building or to control the fire. This is especially useful for fires that break out in the middle of the night or in the wee hours of the morning when people are deep in sleep.

But how do you choose which fire alarm is suited for your place? What features do you have to look for?

Before you head out to buy and install your fire alarm, read first below the things that you should for when shopping for a fire alarm.

  • Standards Australia certification
    To make sure that the fire alarm adheres to the Australian standards, ask for AS 3786 certification. The Australian Standard for smoke alarms is required by law so every fire protection product must carry this certification. Most states follow the latest standard which is AS 3786:2014, but there some states that still accept the older version which is AS 3786:1993.
  • 10-year battery
    Most fire alarms come with a 10-year battery. This is true even with fire alarms that are connected to the property’s electrical wiring. It is usually a non-removable lithium battery that should last for the lifespan of the device.
  • Test button
    When choosing a fire alarm, don’t forget to ask how the test button works. There are some models that can be tested by holding a fire or smoke near it while some test buttons can be triggered using remote control. Remote-controlled fire alarms are better because you don’t have to use a ladder or climb up dangerous places just to test fire alarms that are in high places.
  • Hush button
    When you’re doing testing or your device had a false alarm, DO NOT turn it off just to get rid of the sound. The hush button is there to silence nuisance alarms.
  • Battery alarm
    If you’re planning to buy a battery-powered model, don’t forget to look for the battery test or monitor. The fire alarm sends out a beeping noise to let you know that the battery needs changing.
  • Escape light
    Some fire alarm models come with a light that turns on when the alarm is triggered. This is helpful especially when theirs a power outage during the fire. It helps people see where they’re going and what’s going on in the surrounding so they can safely escape.
  • Hearing assistance
    If you have someone staying in your building that has hearing problems, you might want to consider a fire alarm with features designed for them. Aside from the regular alarm sound, people with hearing difficulties can be warned using ultra-loud alarms, strobe lights, and vibrating pads.


There are many fire alarms out there and it is sometimes confusing to choose which is perfect for you. By following this guide, you’ll have a clear idea of what features to look for to ensure that you are protected all the time.


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