You may give little thought to your smoke detector but this inconspicuous piece of equipment can save lives and what’s more without a smoke alarm your risk of dying in a house fire is up to three times higher. In Queensland almost ¾ of house deaths happen in homes without smoke alarms and practically half of those deaths happen when people are asleep. Pretty alarming figures, right?
Under Australian law all units and homes in Queensland must have a smoke alarm installed and it’s up to you to make sure that it is working. In addition pre July 1997 built homes need to have a minimum of one 9-volt battery operated smoke alarm and post July 1997 built or renovated homes should be in possession of a 240 volt smoke alarm (hard-wired).
Choosing a smoke detector
Generally speaking photoelectric smoke alarms are preferable to ionisation types as they work by ‘seeing’ smoke through the detection of visible particles of combustion. They’re not as prone to false alarms which are often caused when cooking because they detect fires which are smouldering and dense smoke. There are two kinds: 240 volt which connects to the electrical system of your house and has battery power supply back up and 9 volt which are battery operated smoke alarms that stand alone.
How to maintain your smoke detector
It’s all well and good having a smoke alarm installed but if it isn’t working then it’s of little use to anyone. Here are some tips on keeping your smoke alarm in good working order:
Be sure to check your battery on a monthly basis by pressing the test button. If it’s high up, then you can do this using a broom handle.
Keep your alarm clean as dust can interfere with it working properly.
Replace batteries at least once a year. In most models you’ll hear a short beep which sounds every minute, once your batteries are low.
Don’t disable the alarm if cooking sets it off. Instead open a window to clear it or fan it with a tea towel.
Never ever paint smoke alarms.
Do not remove batteries from your alarm.
Be sure to replace a smoke alarm before the date of expiry as listed on the manufacturer’s warranty.
If you need advice on smoke detectors or need help in installing a 240 volt or hard-wired smoke alarm then we’ll be pleased to assist. Just call Static Electrics on 07 3359 7537 and we’ll send one of our experienced technicians to come and see you.