What You Need to Know About Smoke Alarm Installation

smoke alarm installation

It may surprise you to know that home fires kill more Aussies than other natural hazards, including bushfires, floods, and storms combined! Professional smoke alarm installation in the home can help prevent these needless deaths as these devices alert you of potential fire hazards instantly, which could be enough to save lives.

Research conducted by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade of Victoria and Risk Frontiers found that over 900 people died in Australia’s preventable home fires between July 2003 and June 2017. Sadly, a third to a half of the fatalities could have been prevented if the homes had functioning smoke alarms and practiced home escape plans according to Fire and Rescue NSW.

This article explores the importance of professional smoke alarm installation and the devices to install to comply with government legislation to keep your property and its occupants safe and protected.  

Why Are Smoke Detectors and Alarms Important?

The primary purpose of smoke alarms is to alert property occupants of a potential fire, enabling them to act in time and evacuate the property before it’s too late. 

Simply put – smoke alarms save lives! 

Installing smoke detectors in the right location can also help firefighters locate and put out the fire quickly, reducing the damage to your property. 

That is why professional electricians do not recommend installing smoke alarms in kitchens and boiler rooms because there is always something producing smoke and steam, leading to multiple false alarms. Your local professional electrician will advise you on the smoke alarm placement plans to ensure the proper coverage while avoiding pointless false alarms.

Professional Smoke Alarm Installation – Types, Models, and Government Placement Regulations

If you are a home or business owner, you must understand the types of smoke alarms and detectors available in the market to ensure that you procure the right devices for your premises. 

The two types of smoke alarms commonly used in homes and businesses are:

  • Ionisation detectors – these rely on a small electrical current, which emanates from the smoke alarm chamber. During a fire, smoke enters the smoke alarm chamber, altering ion levels in the air, which causes the electrical current to drop, sounding the alarm. 
  • Photoelectric detectors – these detect smoke using a light beam; the smoke scatters the light, which triggers the alarm. 

Smoke alarms are the first line of defence against a potential fire, so for your total peace of mind, you must ensure that they are working correctly at all times. 

Depending on where you live in the country, you may need to install either an ionisation smoke detector or photoelectric smoke detector. For instance, in Queensland, there is new legislation stipulating that all homes must have photoelectric smoke alarms, which are more effective.

In NSW, however, both photoelectric and ionisation smoke detectors are permissible, but they must be installed according to precise guidelines. As a basic rule, professional electricians and governmental authorities recommend installing interconnected smoke alarms:

  • Between each sleeping area and the rest of the property 
  • In each bedroom (in residential properties)
  • On each level of your property (in multi-level properties)
  • Inside a camper van near the bed plus in the annex 
  • In the garage

Since 2006, all residential and shared buildings in NSW must have smoke alarms fitted. Shared facilities include guest houses, bed and breakfast accommodation, hostels, backpacker accommodation, hotels, schools, aged care, and health care buildings, and detention centres. 

Additionally, all smoke alarms must be fitted with a “hush” button that enables the user to silence the alarm for 10 minutes. Since May 2006, all smoke alarm devices must also comply with AS3786.

If you are a renter, your landlord is responsible for installing all smoke alarms and the replacement of hard-wired smoke alarm back-up batteries in the property. As the tenant, you are responsible for battery replacement in battery-operated smoke alarms only. If you are physically unable to change the batteries in your smoke alarm, notify your landlord as soon as possible.

Schedule Professional Smoke Alarm Installation and A Free Safety Inspection With Saunders Electrical Group Today

At Saunders Electrical Group, we understand how essential smoke alarm installation is to your residential or commercial property’s safety. 

We can help you protect your property by installing the right type and amount of smoke alarm devices to ensure the proper coverage.  

Call on us for:

  • Professional smoke alarm installation
  • Servicing of existing smoke alarms, including removing obstructions and replacing worn-out batteries
  • Testing of alarm functions and fire panels to avoid false alarm notifications

All our smoke alarms and detectors work together to warn you about potential fire hazards, saving you thousands in property damage and future repairs. What’s more, our smoke detectors and alarms adhere to the Australian industry standard for smoke alarms (AS 3786) to ensure total compliance.

Contact us today on our website or by calling 1300 993 560 to determine how our qualified electricians can secure your property through comprehensive smoke alarm installation services and free safety inspections.