Here in Australia, smoke alarms are mandatory in all Australian homes and buildings. It might not seem like much, but a working home smoke alarm could make all the difference between life and death if a fire were to break out in your house.
Key features of our home smoke alarms
At Home Safety Store, we work hard to ensure that our customers get to buy only high quality products that they can truly rely on. Some of the key features of our smoke alarms include:
Test button: This is for testing that the smoke alarm is working properly. When pressed it will emit the same sound that you will hear when the alarm is triggered. This test button should be pressed at least once every year when you change the battery.
Hush button: This button silences nuisance alarms. Pressing this button will also cause some home smoke alarms to enter “hush” mode, whereby it will chirp every 30-40 seconds for up to 10 minutes. Once the 10-minute chirp cycle is over, the smoke alarm resets.
Tamper screws: This is a little plastic screw that is inserted between the base plate and the smoke alarm to prevent unwanted removal of the home smoke alarm. It is especially useful in motels, for instance, when you want to ensure that guests do not remove or tamper with it.
Battery operated: There are different types of battery smoke alarms – ones that are operated with a 9V battery only, and ones that operate on 10-year sealed lithium batteries. Battery smoke alarms are usually standalone and cannot be interconnected, but they are ideal for caravans or spaces where 240V mains power is not easily accessible.
240V Mains powered with back up battery: This type of home smoke alarm is mains powered, with either a 9V battery or a non-removable rechargeable lithium battery as a backup.
Interconnection: Home smoke alarms that are interconnected will all sound when one smoke alarm is triggered, which enables the whole household to be alerted at the same time. There are now wirelessly interconnectable smoke alarms, which are perfect for homes with granny flats or homes with existing 240V smoke alarms that need to be interconnected without having to re-run wires.
Different types of smoke alarms
There are two main types of home smoke alarms:
• Photoelectric alarms
Photoelectric alarms use photoelectric sensing technology, which consists of a light transmission source and a photosensitive receiver. When smoke or dust enters the light path, some light is scattered or absorbed, which causes the photosensitive receiver to trigger and sound an alarm. Photoelectric smoke alarms are best for detecting smouldering fires.
• Ionisation alarms
Ionisation alarms are based on ionisation sensing technology, which uses a manmade radioactive element, Americium 241. This element ionises the air around it, resulting in excellent conductivity. However, in the event of particles arising from combustion or dust, the ionised air is encapsulated, which causes increased resistance to conductivity and therefore triggering an alarm. Ionisation smoke alarms are best for detecting flaming fires.
Which type of alarm is best?
Photoelectric smoke alarms are ideal for living areas and near kitchens, while ionisation smoke alarms are best for bedroom areas. Fire departments and the Fire Protection Association prefer photoelectric smoke alarms however, as they are much faster at detecting smoke.
Home smoke alarm and home smoke detector – what’s the difference?
While people often use the two interchangeably, smoke alarms are actually different from smoke detectors. A home smoke alarm is an all-in-one, self-contained device that sounds an alarm when smoke is detected.
A home smoke detector, on the other hand, only detects smoke, and upon doing so, sends a signal to a building’s fire alarm system to activate the alarm. Smoke detectors only work when they are connected to a fire alarm system control panel – they do not work as a standalone fire warning system.
Why choose Home Safety Store?
Home Safety Store takes pride in the wide range and high quality of our home smoke alarms, which are supplied to you at great prices. We only source products from brands that we trust, and that we would actually install in our own homes.
When purchasing a home smoke alarm it is important to ensure that it complies with the latest Australian Standard AS3786. Our home smoke alarms, including our battery operated smoke detectors and battery smoke alarms, all meet this Australian Standard, and are also ActivFire or SAI listed, so you can be assured of the quality and reliability of the product that you buy.
Not sure which home smoke alarm would suit your needs best? For more information or to get assistance on choosing the right smoke alarm system or solution for your property, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us today.