Smoke Alarm Testing

Smoke Alarm Testing

As the saying goes, “where there is smoke, there is fire”.

A smoke alarm is an all-in-one self-contained unit that includes a smoke sensor and an audible alarm and as the name suggests, they are designed to detect smoke and alert people.

And because where ‘there is smoke there is fire’, smoke alarms can help you act before any harm that may come due to a fire.

Did you know that the risk of a fatality in a home fire is halved if there is a working smoke alarm in a residential dwelling?

Smoke alarms don’t just save lives, they are also a legal requirement in most parts of Australia.

Where should smoke alarms be fitted?

Avoid fitting smoke alarms in or near kitchen or bathroom areas – for obvious reasons, kitchens will generate smoke from cooking which will trigger the smoke alarm.

The ideal position is on the ceiling, between sleeping and living areas.

If not sure, Blue Army are here to advise you on the best location(s) for your smoke alarm(s).

Are smoke alarms mandatory?

The specific requirements of each state differ – however, in general, and to be safe, at least one smoke alarm should be installed in each level of a home or place of residence.

And if you are a landlord or agent in NSW, from 23 March 2020, you will need to ensure smoke alarms are installed in rented properties and are in working order.

Please be sure to check the requirements for smoke alarms in your state.

Testing & maintaining smoke alarms

According to fire authorities, at a minimum, the following testing and maintenance procedure needs to be adopted to ensure proper and effective operation of your smoke alarms.

Every month: Smoke alarms should be tested (by pressing the test button) to ensure the battery and the alarm works.

Every six months: Smoke alarms should be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner. This will remove any dust or particles that could prevent the smoke alarm from working properly.

Once a year: If your smoke alarm has a battery, you should replace it annually. A good way to remember is to change it when you change your clocks at the end of Daylight Saving. If your smoke alarm uses a lithium battery, it is inbuilt into the alarm and cannot be replaced. The entire unit needs to be replaced every 10 years.

Every 10 years: Replace your smoke alarm regardless of its condition. Smoke alarms do not last forever and the sensitivity in all smoke alarms will reduce over time. All types of smoke alarms should be removed, replaced and disposed of atleast every 10 years.

If you’re unsure about which smoke alarm is best for your place or work / residence and / or just need advice on choosing the right smoke alarm, contact Blue Army.

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