Residential Smoke Alarms

When it comes to residential fire protection there is one piece of equipment that is most likely to save your life and this is your smoke alarm.

If you are not too sure where your smoke alarm is located the best place to start is next to your kitchen and corridors leading to your bedrooms. Nowadays it is a requirement for all new buildings to have smoke alarms installed in sole occupancy units and the common properties of the building.

A working smoke alarm is generally the first indication that there is the threat of fire; this device will save your life if you are sleeping and a significant number of deaths and injuries have been prevented because of working smoke alarms.

Types of Smoke Alarms

Currently there are two different types of smoke alarms commonly used in residential fire protection:

  1. Ionisation
  2. Photoelectric

As it stands now, both types of smoke alarms comply with the Australian Standards AS3786 and The Building Code of Australia. There has been a lot of debate over which smoke alarm performs better and you might have recently seen the report by 60 Minutes discussing photometric and ionization smoke alarms.

At the end of the day both alarms react differently depending on the type of fire. To understand this more we need to understand how these alarms operate.

How Ionisation Smoke Alarms Work

An ionisation alarm contains a chamber full of electrical particles (ions). These ions are charged and are very sensitive to different types of small particles. When these particles are disturbed the smoke alarm is activated causing an alarm tone. Ionization smoke alarms react quickly to flaming fires that produce less smoke but high flames.

How Photoelectric Alarms Work

A photoelectric alarm contains a chamber that has an internal light source that is projected within the chamber. When smoke enters the chamber and the light source is disrupted the smoke alarm is then activated causing an alarm. Photo electric smoke alarms react quickly to smoldering fires that produce quite heavy smoke.

In the end of the day the best way to decide which smoke alarm you should install is for you to look at the different types of combustible material with in your household and the different types of ignition sources that could cause a fire.

FireSafe highly recommends that a smoke alarm is installed in your property and on a yearly basis is tested and its back up battery replaced.

Contact us today on 1300 347 372 to discuss the range of smoke alarms Fire Safe carry and speak to one of our customer service representatives today