Smoke alarms should be tested and cleaned regularly.
Photoelectric Smoke Alarms
Maintenance for your smoke alarm
Installing your smoke alarms
Most fires occur at night when you are asleep, unfortunately, this results in many injuries and deaths every year. It is important to know that smouldering smoke is the silent deadly killer. If not woken in time when the smoke starts to smoulder... the toxic gases can quickly numb your senses and put you into an even deeper sleep.
Options for power supply to smoke alarms
The new legislation states that you must have a Photoelectric Smoke Alarm positioned in the hallways at the exits of the bedrooms, in each bedroom and one on each level of the home. (Phase in periods apply) Logan House Fire Support Network also recommends installing a Photoelectric Smoke Alarm in the living area. We do not recommend having a Smoke Alarm in your kitchen, as you should be awake when your cooking, but if you do have gas, a CO2 Alarm just outside the kitchen is recommended.
Interconnecting smoke alarms has now been legislated, so when one goes off the others go off. Sometimes when you have a two storey house for example, you may not hear a smoke alarm go off as it is in a different location in your house. When you are due to update your Smoke Alarms, you will be required to interconnect the Smoke Alarms.
Places to avoid installing a smoke alarm are near air conditioners, ceiling fans or heating units.
Why should I have a smoke alarm?
Photoelectric smoke alarms will give you an earlier warning unlike ionisation smoke alarms. There are two stages to a fire, a smouldering stage and then the flame. A photoelectric alarm will see the smoke and could alert you up to 30 minutes before-hand. Where-as an ionisation alarm will only give you up to 2 minutes warning, by then it may be too late.
Photoelectric smoke alarms are less likely to false alarm and therefore are less likely to be disabled. An ionisation alarm is a heat and flame detector and will go off when you are cooking. This is a false alarm, it will not alert you in a smouldering fire.
To check out what type of smoke alarm you have, open your smoke alarm. If your smoke alarm has a radiation symbol on it, it should be replaced as it is an ionisation smoke alarm. Another way to know whether or not you have an ionisation alarm is whether or not it goes off when you're cooking. This is false alarming and it will not detect a smouldering fire, giving you minimal time to escape and save your house and more importantly, your life.
Options for wireless interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms