Smoke Alarm Installation

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What is a Smoke Alarm?

Smoke alarms are required in every home in Australia by law to protect occupants from death or injury due to smoke inhalation or catastrophic fire, but there are so many things to consider, it’s no wonder the subject is so confusing.

Basically, two types of smoke alarms are commonly available, being Photoelectric and Ionisation alarms, other special purpose alarms are also sometimes used such as carbon monoxide alarms where gas combustion or an open hearth fire might introduce harmful fumes to the living space.

The main difference between Photoelectric and Ionisation alarms is that Photoelectric alarms can sense smoke from a smouldering fire, enabling early arousal of occupants and allow time to control the fire or escape if necessary, but they are poorly equipped to sense a well-established, flaming fire.

Ionisation alarms by contrast can identify the presence of a flaming fire effectively but they are less able to provide early warning of a smouldering fire or impending breathing or visibility difficulties caused by heavy smoke. Some alarms combine both types of sensing, however, ionisation sensors can be triggered by vapours produced by cooking or by steam so their location should be suitably distanced from the bathroom or kitchen or other location where food is cooked.

Other types of smoke alarms might include heat sensing alarms, particularly suitable to fires in the kitchen where cooking oil might catch fire or from other inadvertent ignition sources, however, fires of this origin are more likely to be noticed immediately ignition takes place and easier to control.

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How can we help with your Smoke Alarm?

Smoke alarms are usually quite inexpensive and readily available from many outlets. The least expensive types require regular battery replacement, usually once every year, but all smoke alarms require attention of this frequency to keep them clean and insect free.

Some smoke alarms are provided with lithium long life batteries, lasting around 10 years, however, it is recommended to replace smoke alarms after this period of time so battery replacement is not an option.

Other smoke alarms may be wired in, therefore only requiring testing of the sensor and cleaning every year. In multiple alarm installations, they can all be configured to emit a warning sound when any of the alarms in the circuit are triggered. Some also have marker lights to guide occupants to safety where visibility is impaired due to heavy smoke.

Alliance Climate Control can complete installation of any selected smoke alarms, particularly those “wired-in” systems interconnected for additional safety. Accordingly, we will:

  • Recommend the most suitable type and location of smoke alarms to protect you and your family Install your preferred smoke alarm whether that be a photoelectric or ionising type, regularly maintained, longlife battery or wired in smoke alarm systems.
  • We can even visit annually to inspect and maintain your smoke alarm systems, ensuring your home complies with government legislation and making sure all occupants are completely safe always.
  • We can also include replacement of any longlife battery models after 10 years’ service, so you don’t have to commit an installation date to memory and set up a replacement appointment. We can do that for you and let you know a couple of weeks in advance when replacement is due.

How to maintain your smoke alarms

Once your smoke alarms are installed, it’s an easy matter to simply forget them but you need to make sure they are ready to protect you and your family if a fire does happen while you are asleep. Consequently, no matter which type you select to install, it’s important to not only replace the battery every year, if applicable, but also to test its function every 3 months or as often as you please.

Perhaps you have installed the type where a torch beam will be enough to test the alarm, maybe the smoke alarm is accessible enough to reach with a broom handle or extension arm. However, for annual inspection and maintenance, the smoke alarm should be opened and cleaned to remove any dust or insects that might have built up.

Alliance Climate Control technicians would be pleased to provide this service for you to keep your smoke alarms in a good condition and also to ensure your family and your home are always well protected.

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