As featured in the Sunday Mail TV guide > Trades & Services section > The Danger of Old Smoke Alarms
Published: March 29, 2015
The Danger of Old Smoke Alarms
With the end of Daylight Savings Time soon approaching, the Metropolitan Fire Service is currently undertaking their annual smoke alarm campaign. As working Smoke Alarms SAVE LIVES emphasises the danger of being complacent with old smoke alarms.
Recent reports indicate that the majority of homes in Australia have at least smoke alarm that is faulty, damaged or too old.
To ensure constant and accurate protection, you should always replace your smoke alarms every decade (even 240v mains-powered versions).
Current Australian Manufacturing Standards dictate that smoke alarms only need to last 10 years. Beyond that point there is a risk that faults, contaminants or corrosion could affect performance and safety.
Fire Facts: Fatalities and Faulty Smoke Alarms
- SA residents historically experience more house-fires compared to those in other states
- Two-thirds of house fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms
- Four people died in Adelaide last year in fires related to faulty or non-existent smoke alarms
- The majority of deaths occur between 9pm and 6am
- There were over 640 residential fires in Adelaide last year
- Increased smoke production from modern synthetic furnishings has reduced fire escape times significantly
Q: There seem to be many types of smoke alarm, I don’t know which one to choose?
A: There are two main types of fire alarm, ionisation and photoelectric.
Ionisation alarms are good for smaller smoke particles from fast flaming fires, while photo-electric alarms are more accurate at detecting larger particles indicative of slower smouldering blazes.
Whilst both types of alarm provide protection, Fire Authorities advise that photoelectric smoke alarms are the most suitable type for residential fires and are less prone to false alarms from activities like cooking.
It is recommended that even if you live in a house built before 2014, any smoke alarms in the dwelling should be interconnected. This will enable complete coverage within the house whilst ensuring your whole family will be alerted in the event of a fire.
Signs and Symptoms: You need a new Smoke Alarm system
- Is your smoke alarm old or infrequently tested?
- Do you only have one smoke alarm for the whole house?
- Do you lack Smoke Alarms in every bedroom and passage?
- Unsure if your house meets current Governments Legislated Standards?
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Changes in legislation mean that new or extensively modified dwellings require interconnected smoke alarms. Landlords are also responsible for the testing & replacement of Smoke Alarms, to meet Australian Standards.
Sharpe has partnered with Brooks Australia to provide you with a number of purpose designed, innovative Smoke Alarm systems.
Brooks Australia now offer Smoke Alarms with RadioLINK RF technology. By removing the need to hardwire between alarms, you can experience seamless protection whilst reducing disruption and wiring costs.
Systems can also be linked to other monitoring devices such as Carbon Monoxide Alarms.
Select a Worry Free Electrical Safety Inspection: $187
Inspections and tests by a fully licensed Sharpe Accredited Electrician include:
- Visual, Electrical and Thermal Checks and Testing
- Roof and External Inspection
- Switchboard/Meter Board Inspection and Testing
- Inspect House Electrical Systems
- Includes Smoke Alarm Date/Operation Check