May 15, 2016

Smoke Alarms

Why choose photoelectric?

A significant amount of home fires occur each year in Australia. According to fire authorities, fire hazards present the highest risk when occupants are sleeping. The most likely type of fire encountered while occupants are sleeping is a smouldering fire.

Our sense of smell decreases when sleeping, so early warning of any fire is imperative, to allow enough time to escape. Photoelectric smoke alarms provide the earliest detection of a fire hazard in the home, so occupants can escape quickly and safely

Photoelectric smoke alarms are also recommended by Australian Fire Departments and contain no radioactive material, making them easy to dispose of and better for the environment.

Smoke alarm maintenance

Like other electrical accessories in the home, smoke alarms require maintenance to ensure efficient and effective operation.

Test the smoke alarm and battery every month.

It’s important that the smoke alarm and battery backup is checked regularly, to ensure the best protection for any home. To test, press the Test/Hush button on the unit, or via the remote Test/Hush wall switch (remote function only available on surface mounting bases).

Checking the battery should be done with the mains power switched off. The alarm should sound, indicating that the battery condition is acceptable. If the unit fails to respond, the battery should be replaced without delay.

Ensure to clean the alarm from dust or insect ingress each month to avoid any unwanted false alarms. At least every six months, use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to clean dust, lint or cobwebs from the outside of the smoke alarm. Any other cleaning should be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Test the smoke alarm after cleaning.
Lightly spray around smoke alarm with an aerosol insect surface spray.

Replace the battery every year
Your customers should replace smoke alarm batteries once a year, to ensure that they work correctly. Recommend to them they choose a common date, which occurs every year and is easy to remember (i.e. birthdays, end/start of daylight saving).

Replace the smoke alarm every 10 years
All smoke alarms have a limited service life, of 10 years. After that period, the entire smoke alarm unit must be replaced with a new one.

Smoke alarms in the home

The Building Code of Australia mandates the installation of smoke alarms located outside of sleeping areas and at least one on each level of every new home (interconnected) – but is one enough? And where should it/they be located to ensure correct operation?

Smoke alarm locations require careful consideration. Avoid certain areas that could cause false alarms or nuisance tripping. It is recommended to install an alarm in every room (excluding kitchen, laundry and bathrooms) and interconnect them for maximum protection.

MFS download “what you need to know about smoke alarms”