Smoke alarms are a vital part of safety in a home! Having smoke alarms in various locations around your home will allow for fast and effective fire detection, possibly saving lives.
With smoke alarms being such an integral part of safety within our homes, we are constantly being asked for advice relating to,
- Smoke alarm maintenance,
- Homeowners/landlords obligations regarding the new smoke alarm legislation coming in, and,
- What to do if a smoke alarm starts nuisance sounding.
We have provided smoke advice below relating to some of these key areas in the hope that it will help people to understand their obligations, along with being able to ensure their smoke alarms are always safe and operational.
MAINTENANCE – KEY RULES
- Test the alarms monthly – this can be done by pressing the test button.
- Keep smoke alarms clean – clean away dust and debris (such as spider webs) which could interfere with their operation. This can be done by wiping or vacuuming the unit.
- Never tamper with an alarm – they should never be painted, and never remove the batteries.
- Get smoke alarms professionally tested or replaced – know when they are due to expire and call Fully Wired Electrical to organise for our electricians to come and quickly replace your smoke alarms BEFORE they are outside the manufacturer’s warranty.
HAVING ISSUES WITH NUISANCE SOUNDING?
If your smoke alarms are going off, see below for some helpful steps,
- Check for fire – if there is a fire present, evacuate the residence immediately and call 000 from safety. If there is no fire, proceed to the next step.
- Locate the initiating smoke alarm – identify the initiating smoke alarm by locating the smoke alarm unit with a flashing red light. For interconnected smoke alarms, locating the initiating smoke alarm will be essential to silencing all other smoke alarms sounding at the property.
- Press the hush button – locate the hush button on the initiating smoke alarm and hold it down for three seconds to silence the alarm/s.
- Next steps – generally hush buttons will only silence the alarm for a certain amount of time and if the sensor is still detecting an issue, the alarm will sound again. If this happens, the nuisance sounding could be a result of insects or dust, steam from the bathroom or laundry, electrical issues, or cooking fumes etc. If you are unable to resolve the cause of nuisance sounding, contact an electrician to inspect the unit and provide further advice.
NEW SMOKE ALARM REQUIREMENTS
- From the 1st of January 2022, all homes being sold, leased, or having their lease renewed must have photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms installed in every bedroom, connecting hallways and on each storey.
- For landlords – this means that they are responsible for the installation of smoke alarms that comply with the smoke alarm legislation.
- For sellers – this means that anyone intending to sell their home from the 1st of January 2022, that they must ensure they have smoke alarms installed that meet the legislation.
- From the 1st of January 2027, this requirement will apply to all homes.
Author: Fully Wired Electrical Services