You may have heard by now that the legislation around smoke alarms in Australian homes has changed recently, or is set to change.
There’s been some really positive advancements in smoke alarm technology in recent years. To make sure these changes are put into effect, the federal government has empowered legislation to ensure our homes are fitted with these modern smoke alarms.
So, what exactly are modern smoke alarms better and what are the new requirements?
Under the new legislation, all smoke alarms fitted in Australia must be the photoelectric type, and interconnectable. Photoelectric smoke alarms are proven to be far more reliable and quicker to detect smoke than Ionisation type smoke alarms.
You’ll be able to spot an inferior Ionisation smoke alarm by the presence of the ‘radiation’ symbol.
A photoelectric smoke alarm will either feature the word photoelectric itself, or the symbol ‘PE’ with a circle around it. It’s also worth noting the replacement date which will feature on most smoke alarms.
An additional feature of current and compliant smoke alarms is the ability to interconnect with other smoke alarms in the house - Meaning when one smoke alarm is activated, they will all sound their alarms. Not only is this feature a fantastic safe guard for you and your family, it’s now a legal requirement in many homes.
All new smoke alarms must, by law, fitted with a sealed lithium-ion battery with a 10-year life span. This new battery technology means longer life and also stops the risk of a person removing the battery, rendering the smoke alarm useless.
The new smoke alarm legislation in Queensland is quite comprehensive, so we’ve covered the must know bits for you here, so you know you’re covered.
All smoke alarms must be placed on the ceiling.
There are special requirements for stairways, sloping ceilings, and ceilings with exposed beams.
Avoid installing smoke alarms in dead-air spaces. This is an area in which trapped hot air will prevent smoke from reaching the alarm. The space generally occurs at the apex of cathedral ceilings, the corner junction of walls and ceiling, and between exposed floor joists.
Any existing smoke alarm being replaced from 1 January 2017 must be a photoelectric-type alarm which complies with Australian Standard 3786-2014.
If a smoke alarm which is hardwired to the domestic power supply needs replacement, it must be replaced with a hardwired photoelectric smoke alarm.
In existing domestic dwellings, it is possible to have a combination of smoke alarms (240v and battery operated) and interconnectivity can be both wired and/or wireless.
Smoke alarms must comply with the Standard AS 3786-2014. The body of the alarm must be marked with AS3786-2014.
If you’d like to safeguard your family against fire, DK Electrical Co can help. Get in touch with us today to organise installation of your new photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms.
With a great mixture of quality, discreet looks, reliability and some great features, the Matelec range of smoke alarms is our top choice.
Matelec have a range of wired (240v) and wireless options that work in any home or commercial installation.
A great feature is the integrated remote, allowing our customers to test the function of their alarm with ease (no ladders), a locate button to zero in on which smoke detector has cause the alarm, a ’hush’ button to stop nuisance alarms (think burnt toast….we’ve all been there!) and an ‘SOS’ feature allowing you to sound all alarms in the event of a break in.
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