Every year fire fighters put out thousand of fires, they are able to save property and even lives. However, not everyone is lucky enough to make it out of these fires. No one wants to be faced with a situation where they have to fight their way out of a fire. Which is why a warning minutes before the fire gets big is very important. That is why every residential house in Australia has to be fitted with a smoke alarm. These alarms can help save many lives that could have otherwise been lost in a fire. However, if the smoke alarm proves to be faulty, it could greatly reduce your chances of surviving the fire.

Smoke alarm Legislation

Smoke alarms are a legal requirement in residential houses in Australia. They should be mains-powered with at least one on each level. However, laws vary depending on the state that is why you need to check with your state government for more details concerning the regulations.

Smoke alarm Legislation

Any house that was built after 2007 is legally required to have a mains-powered smoke alarm. The same case applies to houses bought or sold after 1st October 2009. This kind of installation requires the services of a licensed and honest electrician Sydney. After every ten years, the smoke alarms have to be replaced.

The ActivFire registration ensures that all alarms comply with the set Australian Standard for smoke alarms, AS 3786.

Is your house safe?

The first instinct when planning to install smoke alarms in your house is to hire a licensed and honest electrician Sydney to do the job. However, it is good that you confirm some of the following issues:

  1. Confirm if the smoke alarm is battery powered or mains powered, simply by checking the presence of a green light on the alarm to show that it is connected directly to the 240 mains power.
  2. Confirm if the smoke alarm is installed in the right location.
  3. Lastly, consider smoke alarms as more of a necessity than a requirement, this way you will take good care of it.

Types of smoke detectors

In Australia, the two major types of smoke detectors are Ionisation and Photoelectric. The main difference is their respective ways of detecting smoke. The ionisation alarm detects fire using “smell” once the flame ignites. It is the most common smoke detector in Australia. On the other hand, Photoelectric smoke detectors detect smoldering fires or slow burning using “sight”, which means that they are fast acting thus giving you plenty of time to escape. It is the recommended smoke detector; however, they are more expensive than the former.

Other smoke detectors include:

  1. Carbon monoxide
  2. Alarms for the deaf and hearing impaired
  3. Special models for relocatable homes and kitchens
  4. Heat alarms

Dual sensors: these are alarms that combine both photoelectric and ionization sensors. They provide additional which ensures that you are protected from slow smoldering fires as well as fast flaming. However, do not install these dual sensors in kitchens or other areas where they could be susceptible to nuisance alarms.

Installation & location of smoke alarms

Once you decide which alarm to install, you need to figure out issues such as how many of these alarms do you require and where will you install them. For example, if your house has two adjacent bedrooms then you only need a single alarm to serve the two bedrooms. For a multi-storey building, you will be required to have hard-wired smoke alarms on each floor. Buildings with concrete ceilings can use 10-year lithium smoke alarms. It is advisable to have many smoke alarms fitted in your house as this increases your chances of survival in case of a fire. New homeowners should have their homes fitted with interconnected alarms, this way if one detects smoke all the others sing to the tune.

Maintaining smoke alarms

  1. Regularly test your smoke detector at least once a month by using the test button.
  2. Replace your batteries annually.
  3. Vacuum the smoke alarm every year to remove dust build-up.
  4. Replace the whole system after a decade of use.

Common issues

  • Nuisance tripping: ensure that you ventilate your kitchen sufficiently when cooking to ensure that it does not trigger the smoke alarm. Also, do not install any smoke alarms near laundry, bathroom or temperature control devices such as heaters and fans.
  • Smoke alarms beeping: start by changing the battery. If the beeping persists, it will need to replaced and this can only be conducted by a licensed Electrician.


Fire is one of the many scenarios that we humans wouldn’t to face but it does happen. If it does, your precaution measures will dictate whether you get out of the building alive or not. Now you know, why it is vital to install smoke detectors , that will signal you in case a fire erupts in your house or at your place of work. This way you get the chance to get out of the building or put out the fire while it is still manageable.