Tag: interconnected smoke alarm

As winter settles in across Australia, the chill in the air sends us reaching for heaters, fireplaces, electric blankets, and other devices to keep warm. Even in Queensland, known for its humid climate, winter nights can get surprisingly cold, and some areas even see snowfall. While these heating methods provide much-needed comfort, they also come with an increased risk of household fires. Fire services nationwide report a significant spike in fire-related incidents during the colder months – in fact winter is the peak season for house fire call-outs. This heightened risk means it is vital that your home is not only equipped with interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms, but proper winter fire safety precautions are followed. This article is a 2 minute read and will guide you through essential fire safety tips to keep you and your family safe this winter.

Interconnected Smoke Alarms

Why Interconnected Smoke Alarms Matter In Winter

Interconnected smoke alarms are your first line of defense against house fires. When every second counts, a working smoke alarm can provide the early warning needed to escape safely. Winter is the peak season for house fires in Australia, and according to Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), having functional interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms can double your chances of surviving a house fire.

Where To Install Interconnected Smoke Alarms

For optimal protection, install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, in the hallways outside sleeping areas, and on every level of your home. These alarms should be interconnected, so if one alarm sounds, they all do. While ZEN smoke alarms can be mounted on both walls and ceilings, ceiling installation is preferred since smoke rises. If you must install them on a wall, position them high but at least 30 cm away from corners to avoid dead air spaces. Steer clear of placing them near open windows, doors, or air vents where drafts could disrupt their function.

Wireless Interconnected Photoelectric Smoke Alarm Placement Recommendations

Clean And Test Your Interconnected Smoke Alarms

At The Start Of Winter

To ensure your smoke alarms are ready when you need them most, give them a thorough clean at the start of winter. Dust, cobwebs, and other particles can accumulate over time, reducing their effectiveness. Gently vacuum the exterior of each alarm with a soft brush attachment.

Test your smoke alarms monthly to ensure they are functioning correctly and interconnected. All alarms should activate their audible and visual indicators within 10 seconds of the first one being tested. With ZEN smoke alarms, you can press the center surface of any alarm or use the optional remote control to conduct this test. The test mode will automatically silence after about 10 seconds.

Winter Heating Equipment: Safety First

Space Heaters

One of the main culprits behind winter house fires is the misuse of heating equipment. When using space heaters, keep them at least one meter away from flammable materials like curtains, bedding, and furniture. Never place clothing on or near the heater, ensure it’s on a stable surface, and never leave it unattended, especially while you’re sleeping.

Fireplaces In Winter

Before lighting up your fireplace for the winter season, have it inspected and then cleaned regularly to prevent the buildup of creosote, a highly flammable byproduct of burning wood. Always use a fire screen to catch sparks and embers, and make sure the fire is completely extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house.

Electric Blankets

Check your electric blankets and heating pads for frayed cords or other damage before use. Never fold them or leave them on for extended periods. To test an electric blanket, lay it flat on the bed and switch it on for five minutes to ensure it’s working properly before using it.

Winter Wheat Bags

Wheat bags are great for soothing aches and pains, but they’re not designed to replace hot water bottles in the bed. Be careful not to overheat them in the microwave, as repeated use can reduce their moisture content, increasing the risk of overheating and fires. Always let them cool on a non-combustible surface, like a kitchen sink, and never reheat until they’re completely cooled. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding their lifespan.

Safe Use of Electrical Appliances

Winter often means increased use of electrical appliances, which can overload circuits and cause fires. Avoid using multiple high-wattage devices on the same outlet and don’t use extension cords for long-term connections. Regularly check all cords for wear and tear and replace any that are damaged. Opt for power boards with built-in overload protection.

Kitchen Safety In Winter

Winter calls for hearty meals and more cooking, but ensure your kitchen remains a fire-free zone. Never leave cooking unattended and keep flammable items like tea towels away from the stove-top. It’s wise to have a ZEN fire blanket easily accessible in the kitchen, and know how to use it properly.

Practice The Home Fire Escape Plan At The Start Of Winter

An interconnected smoke alarm is most effective when combined with a well-rehearsed home fire escape plan. Make sure everyone in your household knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when it activates. Plan two ways out of every room and allocate a meeting place outside your home. Practice your fire escape plan twice a year, including at the start of winter, to ensure everyone is prepared.

Conclusion – Interconnected Smoke Alarms In Winter

Winter is a wonderful time to enjoy the warmth and comfort of your home, but it’s also a time to be extra vigilant about fire safety. By installing and maintaining interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms, using heating equipment and electrical appliances sensibly, and having a solid fire escape plan, you can keep your loved ones safe. Stay warm, stay safe, and make sure your interconnected smoke alarms are ready to protect you from winter’s hidden dangers!

Want to know more? Watch our ZEN quick-start video or call us on 0478 596 402

We love talking smoke alarms!

ZEN Interconnected Smoke Alarms

Ever wondered how to physically attach our ZEN smoke alarms onto your ceiling? You’ll be amazed at how simple it really is! A major advantage of wireless 10-year battery powered smoke alarms is that there is no electrical hardwiring involved – this means they can be installed by property owners without an electrician. ZEN smoke alarm bundle packs will even arrive to you already interconnected together as a group – no need to pair them up as we’ve done it for you – just switch them on and they’re good to go – how easy is that!

Checklist:

  • ZEN smoke alarm and its mounting bracket
  • Screws and anchor plugs (included with our ZEN smoke alarms)
  • Screwdriver or a cordless drill with 5mm drill bit
  • Pencil

STEP 1: Twist the mounting bracket to remove it from the back of the smoke detector.

STEP 2: Locate the mounting bracket in your chosen position on the ceiling. Use a pencil to mark the location of the two mounting bracket slots on the ceiling as per above.

STEP 3: Use a 5mm drill bit to drill a pilot hole at each location marked on the ceiling. Now insert an anchor plug into each hole and use the two screws to attach the mounting bracket to the chosen position.

STEP 4: Attach the smoke alarm to the mounting bracket and firmly turn clockwise to lock it into place.

STEP 5: Press the surface of the ZEN smoke alarm (the test button) to ensure you smoke alarm is working properly. If you have more than one interconnected smoke detector, then the others in the same group should also activate within approximately 10 (this is normal). Allow all the smoke alarms to finish their full test cycle without pressing any other buttons – don’t worry, they will all stop automatically after approximately 10-15 seconds.

Where Should I Install

Wireless Interconnected Smoke Alarms?

Queensland smoke detectors should be placed inside every bedroom and the interconnecting hallway outside the bedrooms. If there is no common hallway outside the bedrooms, then install a smoke detector on the nearest exit route or travel path from the dwelling. If it is a multi-story property, then at least one smoke alarm must be installed on every level of the property.

Additionally, smoke detectors should not be installed within 30cm from the edge of a wall, within 30cm from a light fixture, 40cm from an air conditioner vent and also not within 40cm from a ceiling fan blade. It is preferable to install smoke detectors on the ceiling, as opposed to the wall.

Don’t forget, if replacing a 240V hardwired smoke alarm in QLD, the Queensland smoke alarm laws state that it must be replaced with another 240V hardwired smoke alarm (requires an electrician to do so).

WARNING! – do not use these products

when installing your smoke alarms!

Be wary using adhesive mounting kits or drill-free magnet mounting kits with your smoke alarms – we do not recommend using these products as they do NOT last. Although Australian Standard 3786:2014 doesn’t specify how smoke alarms should be attached to the ceiling, if you use the aforementioned products your smoke alarm will fall from the ceiling after a period of days, weeks or months, and it will become broken when it smashes onto the floor. How do we know this? – we stopped selling the adhesive kits / drill-free magnetic mounts several years ago. Consumer feedback indicated the products were unreliable and in good conscience we could not continue selling them – we’d rather have happy satisfied customers at the expense of profits any day. Spend a few extra minutes and use the included screws to affix your smoke alarm to the ceiling – this is the best way to install your wireless smoke alarms.

Want to know more? Watch our ZEN quick-start video or call us on 0478 596 402

We love talking smoke alarms!

ZEN Interconnected Smoke Alarms

Interconnected Photoelectric Smoke Alarms are one of the most important safety features in any home. They can save lives by detecting smoke early, giving residents time to evacuate before a fire becomes uncontrollable. However, simply installing smoke alarms is not enough – many people fail to maintain their smoke alarms properly, and as a result, they may not function in a real life fire situation. Cleaning and testing your smoke alarm regularly can help ensure that it will work when you need it most, and also maximize the life expectancy of the alarm itself.

How To Clean Your Interconnected Smoke Alarms

Interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms are designed to detect smoke particles in the air. Over time, dust and other debris can accumulate on the sensors, which can interfere with their ability to detect smoke. Regular cleaning helps to ensure that the sensors are functioning properly and that the smoke alarm will work when you need it.

Cleaning your ZEN smoke alarm is a relatively simple process – please watch our short video below! You can use a soft brush or vacuum cleaner attachment to remove dust and debris from the sensors by gently vacuuming over and around the external perimeter of the smoke alarm, particularly near the air intake grill. You may be surprised by the dirt, dust and cobwebs that have accumulated over time. Do not apply any liquids or aerosol chemical cleaning agents onto your smoke alarm as this could damage it. We recommend to clean your smoke alarms every 6 months.

How To Test Your Interconnected Smoke Alarms

Testing your interconnected smoke alarm is an important part of maintaining it. It is recommended to test your ZEN smoke alarms monthly. It is a good idea to let people in the vicinity know you will be testing the alarms prior to doing so. To test your ZEN smoke alarms simply press the centre surface of the alarm (the test button). Alternatively you may press the test button once on the optional remote control device. After the test button is pressed all the interconnected smoke alarms should activate with 10 seconds of the first one – this is normal. All the alarms will make a beeping noise and flash their red light. After approximately 10 seconds all the alarms will silence automatically and the test is concluded.

It’s also a good idea to test your smoke alarm after any significant home renovations or changes, such as painting or installing new carpet. These changes can generate dust and debris that can interfere with the smoke alarm’s sensors. Pro tip – never paint over your smoke alarm if painting the ceiling.

Why Testing Your Interconnected Smoke Alarm Is Important

Testing your smoke alarm regularly is essential for ensuring that it’s working correctly. A smoke alarm that doesn’t work properly won’t be able to alert you to a fire in your home. In a worst-case scenario, this can have tragic consequences including loss of life and/or property.

Smoke alarms are especially critical during the night when you’re asleep. Many fires occur during the night, and if you’re not alerted to a fire early enough, you may not be able to evacuate in time. A properly functioning smoke alarm can give you the time you need to get out of your home safely.

Cleaning and testing your smoke alarm is a simple but essential task that can save lives. Regular basic maintenance of your interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms will ensure they remain working as intended, and will last their full 10-year lifespan without any complications. With a properly functioning smoke alarm that is regularly tested and maintained, you can sleep soundly knowing that you and your family are protected from the dangers of fire. Be sure to take good care of your smoke alarms – and they will take good care of you!

Want to know more? Watch our ZEN quick-start video or call us on 0478 596 402

We love talking smoke alarms!

ZEN Interconnected Smoke Alarms

There are several points of difference between our ZEN wireless interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms and conventional smoke alarms which we think makes them pretty special.

ZEN Smoke Alarms Are Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

1) ZEN smoke alarms are the photoelectric type (not ionisation). Older conventional smoke alarms use radioactive ionisation as the process by which they detect smoke particles in the air. Ionisation smoke alarms are good at detecting smoke from flaming fires, but are less adept at detecting smoke from smouldering flames which is typical of house fires. Ionisation alarms have also been known to cause frustrating nuisance alarms, which might condition people to switch them off, putting themselves at risk. For these reasons the older style ionisation smoke alarms are being phased out both in Australia and internationally.

ZEN Smoke Alarms Are Interconnectable Smoke Alarms

2) Older smoke alarms typically operated as stand-alone units. If a smoke alarm sensed smoke on the ground floor of a building – yes it may activate, but any other smoke alarms on the upper floors would not activate until smoke had entered the same air space – by this time it could be too late to initiate an effective response (or escape).


ZEN smoke alarm bundle packs arrive to you already wirelessly interconnected together – no need to pair them up in a group as we’ve done it for you – so if one interconnected ZEN alarm detects smoke anywhere within a building, then all ZEN smoke alarms paired within the same network will simultaneously initiate their alarm. This provides increased early warning and response time for residents.

ZEN Smoke Alarms Have A 10-year Battery

3) Our smoke alarms have a sealed 10 year life lithium battery. Conventional smoke alarms are usually powered by a 9v replaceable battery. When the battery life becomes drained over time the smoke alarm begins to emit a loud intermittent ‘chirp’ noise. The chirp serves as a noisy (and annoying) reminder to replace the battery, and continues until the battery is replaced. As seen in the past, residents can remove the battery, disabling the chirping noise and the alarm itself, often with tragic consequences.


Because our smoke alarms are powered by a long life 10-year lithium  battery which is sealed inside the unit, the battery cannot be deliberately removed. At the end of the 10-year battery life span, the entire smoke alarm unit is simply replaced with a new one!

ZEN Smoke Alarms Can Be Simply DIY Installed

4) As there is no electrical wiring required, ZEN wireless smoke alarms can be easily DIY installed using the included screws and mounting bracket. A compliance certificate showing that the smoke alarms are Australian Standard 3786:2014 certified is included inside the box with every ZEN smoke alarm.

ZEN Smoke Alarms – Free Shipping And Same Day Dispatch

5) ZEN smoke alarms offer free Australia Post shipping for all orders over $100, and same day dispatch if the order is placed before 1:30pm on business days. Customers tell us they love our fast Australia wide delivery. Note we’re not an offshore drop shipper, nor do we sell out of our garage. All our Australian stock is kept locally at major warehouses located in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

ZEN Smoke Alarms Are Remote Control Compatible

6) ZEN smoke alarm bundle packs include a bonus ZEN remote control device (can also be purchased separately). Whilst the alarms will work fine without it, the ZEN remote control provides added convenience in that it allows you to periodically test the alarms, without having to reach up to the ceiling to press the alarm itself.

We think the best feature of the ZEN remote control though, is the silence button. No more worrying about disturbing the neighbours – the silence button eliminates rushing around in a mad panic when you burn the toast in the kitchen. It also allows you to quickly and easily identify the location of the source alarm.

ZEN Smoke Alarm Bundle packs Include A FREE Fire Blanket!

7) All ZEN smoke alarm bundle packs (five, seven, ten packs) also receive a FREE ZEN fire blanket! (in addition to the free bonus remote). The ZEN fire blanket provides an easy and effective way to quickly extinguish small fires, which can prevent them from spreading and causing more serious damage. Measuring 1m x 1m in size, the ZEN fire blanket perfectly complements the ZEN photoelectric smoke range and is ideal for your home kitchen, BBQ area, garage, caravan, car or boat.

ZEN Smoke Alarms Offer Amazing After-Sales Support

And Excellent Customer Service

8) Shop with absolute confidence knowing you are buying from a long established, knowledgeable, and reputable company. Upholding good business values is important to us – we don’t hide behind online ‘contact us’ forms, Facebook Messenger or automated answering machines – got a question or problem? – you can call Christian 7 days per week on 0478 596 402 – he is friendly and always loves to help!

9) We are also members of professional industry associations such as the Fire Protection Association Australia (FPAA) – this is your symbol of trust. But don’t just take our word for it, see what others are saying with over 140 Google 5-star reviews! – ZEN Photoelectric Smoke Alarms located in New Farm, QLD.

Want to know more? Watch our ZEN quick-start video or call us on 0478 596 402

We love talking smoke alarms!

ZEN Interconnected Smoke Alarms

As the Queensland festive season approaches, warmer temperatures, holiday decorations and the joy of gatherings fill the air. However, amidst the celebrations, we must also consider Christmas fire safety to safeguard our homes and loved ones. Here are some essential tips to ensure a safe and merry Christmas in Queensland this year!

Careful Christmas Tree Positioning

Choose a fresh, green Christmas tree and keep it well-hydrated. Position it away from any potential heat sources. A dry Christmas tree can quickly become a fire hazard, so water it regularly and dispose of it promptly after the holidays.

Position your tree strategically – make sure it’s not blocking any exit routes. This ensures that, in the unfortunate event of a fire, everyone can easily evacuate the home.

Interconnected Smoke Alarms

Give the gift of safety and equip your home with ZEN interconnected smoke alarms inside every bedroom, hallway outside the bedrooms, and have at least one on every level of the dwelling. Press the test button on the alarms to check they are in good working order (i.e. so if one smoke alarm activates, then they all activate). Create a home fire escape plan and share it with your family and any guests who may be staying with you. Keep fire extinguishers handy, and make sure everyone knows their location and how to use them. Spending 10 minutes to review this information with your loved ones could avoid becoming a Christmas tragedy.

Check Christmas Lighting And Decorations

Inspect all Christmas lights before decorating your tree and home. Discard any frayed or damaged cords and replace burnt-out bulbs promptly. Choose LED lights, which emit less heat than traditional incandescent lights, reducing the risk of fire. Be wary of non-compliant cheap imports and ensure your lights have the appropriate Australian electrical safety regulatory compliance mark (RCM). Make it a habit to turn off all Christmas lights and decorations before going to bed or leaving the house. This simple step not only conserves energy but also reduces the risk of electrical malfunctions that could lead to a fire.

Ensure Christmas lighting decorations have the Australian regulatory compliance mark (RCM)

Power Board Common Sense

Avoid overloading electrical wall outlets and power boards. Spread out the use of multiple appliances and decorations across different outlets to prevent overloading and subsequent overheating. Choose a power board which has in-built overload protection.

Candle Care

Candles add a traditional warm glow to the festive atmosphere, but they can also pose a fire risk. Keep candles away from flammable materials such as window curtains, place them in stable holders, and never leave them unattended. Consider using realistic looking flameless LED candles as a safer modern alternative.

Cooking Attentiveness

The holiday season often involves elaborate meals and festive cooking. Stay vigilant in the kitchen, and never leave cooking unattended. Keep flammable items, such as kitchen tea towels and oven mitts, away from open flames and other heat sources. Keep a fire blanket nearby to help extinguish any cooking flames.

Christmas Conclusion!

By following these Christmas fire safety tips and ensuring you have ZEN interconnected smoke alarms installed in your home, you can create a secure environment for your loved ones to enjoy the Queensland holiday season without worry. Putting fire safety at the top of your Christmas list will ensure the only thing sparking during your celebrations is the joy of the season.

Merry Christmas Queensland! Thank you again for all your fantastic support throughout the year, and we look forward to more incredibly busy and exciting times ahead!

Want to know more? Watch our ZEN quick-start video or call us on 0478 596 402

We love talking smoke alarms!

ZEN Interconnected Smoke Alarms

The rising costs of essentials like housing, food, and soaring utilities bills, have forced many individuals and families in QLD to make difficult financial choices, often compromising on safety measures that could prevent devastating house fires.

Cost Of Living vs Household Fire Safety

One of the primary casualties of heightened cost of living is the ability to invest in quality home maintenance and fire safety equipment. With limited budgets, individuals may opt for cheaper alternatives or delay essential repairs, inadvertently increasing the risk of fire hazards. Overloaded electrical circuits, faulty wiring, and neglected appliances become ticking time bombs in homes where financial constraints take precedence over safety concerns.

Interconnected Smoke Alarms And The Cost Of Living

Additionally, the pressure to cut corners extends to everyday items such as household interconnected smoke alarms and fire blankets. Outdated or poor quality interconnected smoke alarms may malfunction or prove ineffective in the crucial moments when swift action is required. Studies have shown a direct correlation between subpar fire safety equipment and increased property damage and casualties during house fires. Quality ZEN interconnected smoke alarms contain a 10-year lithium battery which provides a cost saving over the life of the product – unlike conventional 9V battery smoke alarms – you don’t have to buy a multitude of new batteries and swap them out every year. Our ZEN smoke alarm bundle packs also offer free shipping Australia-wide (another cost saving) and include a free smoke alarm remote control (RRP $34.95).

Interconnected Smoke Alarm Discount

By using the coupon code GDAY$10 on the shopping cart checkout page you may also receive another $10 discount off the current ZEN smoke alarm sale price. Conditions apply.

Free Fire Brigade Safety Initiatives

The QLD Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) ‘Safehome’ initiative is a free service provided in the interest of developing a safer Queensland community. Firefighters will visit your QLD home at no cost and advise you on correct positioning of interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms and discuss any other fire related safety concerns. NSW Fire and Rescue offer a similar free service in that they will attend your home and check that you have working smoke alarms, that they are in good working condition, and are installed in suitable areas. Contact QLD Fire and Emergency Services or NSW Fire and Rescue for further information and to make a booking.

In a recent article published in Queensland’s The Courier Mail newspaper, University of Wollongong fire expert Dr Owen Price said the rising cost of living was likely affecting fire risk within homes as many of the steps people could take to protect themselves required money.

“A lot of people realise they are at risk, but they often don’t do anything about it and when cost of living comes in it’s often lowest on people’s priorities,” he said.

Cash strapped families also tended to live in cheaper, older housing, which was more vulnerable to fire, Dr Price said.

The stress induced by financial strain can also lead to a decrease in mental well-being, which further compounds the risk of fire incidents. Anxiety and fatigue can contribute to forgetfulness, neglect, and even a diminished ability to respond promptly to emergency situations. In households grappling with cost of living pressures, the mental toll may impair the residents’ ability to maintain a vigilant stance on fire prevention.

Cost Of Living Crisis And Fire Safety – Summary

The cost-driven choices people make during periods of financial constraint may inadvertently compromise their fire safety and well-being. The repercussions of these decisions are profound. House fires, once ignited, can escalate rapidly, and inadequate fire safety measures can only exacerbate the situation. The resulting loss of property and, tragically, sometimes lives, underscores the urgency of addressing the intricate balance between cost of living pressures and overall home fire safety, including quality interconnected smoke alarms.

Want to know more? Watch our ZEN quick-start video or call us on 0478 596 402

We love talking smoke alarms!

ZEN Interconnected Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are essential safety devices that detect the presence of smoke in the air and warn people of a potential fire. Interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms, in particular, are becoming increasingly popular due to their effectiveness in detecting smoldering fires and minimizing false alarms But have you ever wondered how an interconnected photoelectric smoke alarm is manufactured to to meet the highest standards of quality and safety? Manufacturers of a interconnected photoelectric smoke alarm need to ensure that their products are safe, reliable, and effective – this is where an ISO 9001 Quality Management System comes into play.

What Is An ISO 9001 Quality Management System? (QMS)

ISO 9001 is a globally recognized standard for quality management systems. ISO stands for International Standards Organisation. It provides a framework for organizations to establish and maintain processes that ensure consistent product quality. ISO 9001 is an important indicator of a company’s commitment to quality and customer satisfaction – it covers all aspects of an organization’s operations, including design, development, production, delivery, and support. Has your interconnected smoke alarm has come from an ISO 9001 accredited facility? (ZEN smoke alarms do!).

The commercial production of interconnected smoke alarms involves sourcing high-quality materials, assembling the components, and then testing the finished product for quality and safety. ISO 9001 requires manufacturers to establish and document clear processes for sourcing these materials and assembling the product, as well as procedures for testing and inspecting the final product.

Testing is a crucial part of the manufacturing process for interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms. ISO 9001 requires manufacturers to establish rigorous testing procedures to ensure that every device meets the required safety standard (Australian Standard 3786:2014). This includes testing for sensitivity to smoke, false alarms due to humidity and temperature changes, and battery life. The testing processes must be uniform and ongoing, to ensure consistency and reliability of the finished product.

ISO 9001 certification also requires manufacturers to continuously monitor and improve their processes to ensure consistent product quality. This involves regularly reviewing and analyzing data to identify areas for improvement, and implementing changes to optimize the manufacturing process. In addition to periodic internal audits, our ZEN smoke alarm manufacturing facility is also audited annually by an external third party agency to ensure the required processes remain in place and continue to be effective.

Manufacturers must also have processes in place to ensure that the interconnected smoke alarm is delivered to customers safely and effectively. This means that the smoke alarms are packaged correctly and that they arrive at their destination without damage. Manufacturers must also ensure that customers can install and use the interconnected smoke alarm correctly.

One of the key benefits of ISO 9001 is the emphasis on customer focus. This means that manufacturers of an interconnected smoke alarm must prioritize meeting the needs and expectations of their customers. ISO 9001 requires manufacturers to collect and analyze customer feedback to identify areas for improvement and to ensure that customer requirements are met. We provide a courtesy follow-up phone call post-purchase to help meet this objective.

ISO 9001 Interconnected Smoke Alarm Summary

In conclusion, manufacturing photoelectric smoke alarms is a complex process that requires precision, attention to detail, and a commitment to quality and safety. ISO 9001 accreditation plays a crucial role in ensuring that every step of the process is documented, monitored, and continuously improved to meet the highest standards of quality and safety. By choosing an interconnected photoelectric smoke alarm manufacturer that is ISO 9001 accredited, you can have confidence that the interconnected smoke alarms in your home or building are of the highest quality and will provide reliable protection for years to come.

Want to know more? Watch our ZEN quick-start video or call us on 0478 596 402

We love talking smoke alarms!

ZEN Interconnected Smoke Alarms

Queensland was rocked by another devastating house fire tragedy earlier this month when police confirmed that five young brothers and their 34-year-old father died in a house blaze on Russell Island, off Brisbane’s Redland Bay. Emergency services rushed to the home on Todman Street just after 6am on Sunday 8th August to find the two-storey house fully engulfed, with two neighbouring properties also alight. A 21-year-old woman thought to have been inside the house when the fire broke out managed to escape with injuries.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Assistant Commissioner, John Cawcutt, said the blaze was “one of the worst fires we’ve had for a long time”. Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan also said the fire was a great tragedy. “Of course a very sad day for Queenslanders,” he said. “Our hearts break for those involved in the tragedy. It seems a tragic loss of life”. A forensic investigation is currently underway to determine how the fire started, and why the smoke alarms did not activate.

A close family friend issued a harrowing plea to all Australians on the behalf of the Children’s surviving mother, stating that she ‘just wants the world to know – check your smoke alarms and hold your babies’.

In terms of sheer loss of life from a single domestic house fire, the Russell Island fire tragedy is second only to the August 2011 Logan house fire, which was Australia’s deadliest house fire, causing the death of 11 family members. A coronial inquest could not establish the exact cause of that blaze but a coroner found there was a ‘reasonable prospect’ that all or some of the victims could have escaped if smoke alarms had been working. That tragedy led to the introduction of new QLD laws for interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms inside every bedroom, hallways outside the bedrooms, and on every level of Queensland homes.

Why Didn’t The Smoke Detectors Activate

In The Russell Island House Fire?


The rented two storey Queenslander home allegedly had smoke detectors installed, however the female survivor of the blaze said she didn’t hear any smoke detectors activate, adding that concerns had previously been expressed about them. Immediately after the fire it remained unclear why the alarms didn’t activate and whether they were in working order. ‘With a fire of that intensity it will be difficult to know whether there were smoke alarms present or not but that will be part of the investigation,’ Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner Joanne Greenfield said. It is understood the home was transported to the site around 2017. ‘So thinking about the legislation that was in place at that time it would have required one hardwired smoke alarm, that’s if it was following the legislation,’ QLD Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Leach said.

Development in the Russell Island house fire – why didn’t the smoke alarms activate?

QLD Interconnected Smoke Alarm Laws

From 1st January 2022, all properties being sold or leased for rent in Queensland were required by QLD law to have smoke alarms installed as per below (on 1st January 2027 the law is being extended to cover all QLD homeowners and occupiers, irrespective of whether the property is being sold or rented out).

QLD Legal Smoke Alarm Requirements

Smoke alarms in a domestic QLD property must:

  • be photoelectric (AS 3786-2014); and
  • not also contain an ionisation sensor
  • be less than 10 years old from manufacture date
  • operate correctly when tested
  • be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together
  • be either hardwired or powered by a non-removeable 10-year battery

Where Must Interconnected Smoke Alarms Be Installed?

In QLD, interconnected smoke alarms must be installed on each storey:

  • inside every bedroom
  • in hallways which connect the bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling
  • if there is no bedroom on a storey, then at least one interconnected smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely travel path to exit the dwelling.

QLD Smoke Alarm Laws For Rental Properties

In addition to the above, rental property managers and landlords are required by QLD law (QLD Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990) to test and clean smoke alarms and replace any flat or nearly flat batteries within 30 days before the start of a tenancy. This also includes a renewal tenancy. The tenant must also test and clean each smoke alarm in the dwelling at least once every 12 months. If the tenant is aware a smoke alarm in the dwelling has failed, the tenant must advise the lessor as soon as possible.

Postscript Update – April 2024

The landlord was charged and fined under the QLD Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 after she admitted failing to install compliant photoelectric smoke alarms in the rental property.

The interstate landlord claimed to be unaware of the changes to QLD’s smoke alarm legislation.

“It’s absolutely no excuse that she failed to keep abreast of the laws required of an investment property owner in having the premises legally wired with smoke detectors after January 2022,” Magistrate Deborah Vasta said. Ms Vasta told the court that the landlord had failed to comply with safety legislation and a coronial inquest into the six deaths was still yet to occur.

“There’s no evidence about whether two smoke alarms that were there were working or not,” she said.

Detectives are continuing their investigation following the fire and a final report will be given to the coroner in the near future.

Want to know more? Watch our ZEN quick-start video or call us on 0478 596 402

We love talking smoke alarms!

ZEN Interconnected Smoke Alarms

A new Australian Standard for smoke alarms, Australian Standard 3786:2023, was published by the Standards Australia Committee on February 17, 2023. This standard supersedes the previous version, Australian Standard 3786:2014.

It is common for Australian Standards to undergo updates, amendments, and supersessions over time. Australian Standard 3786, first released in 1990, has undergone at least 10 updates and reissues since its inception.

Why New Australian Standard 3786:2023?

Several reasons led to the issuance of the new Australian Standard 3786:2023

Technological Advancements In Interconnected Smoke Alarms

The standard needed to incorporate emerging smoke alarm technologies and evolving existing technologies. This ensures the standard remains relevant and reflects the current technology available in the market. For example, the new standard now includes provisions for WiFi smoke alarms, interconnected smoke alarms, and dual sensor smoke alarms that combine a carbon monoxide detector.

Smoke Alarm Safety Considerations And New Testing Protocols

Safety is a crucial aspect of the standard. As new fire risks are identified and existing ones are better understood, the standard has been updated to address these concerns. Clearer guidelines for the safe usage of smoke alarms and associated testing protocols have been provided.

Harmonization With International Smoke Alarm Standards

In a globalized world, aligning standards across different countries and regions is essential for interoperability and mutual recognition of products. Australian Standard 3786:2023 is now aligned with the International Standard ISO 12239:2021 for smoke alarms using scattered light, transmitted light, or ionization.

Smoke Alarm Stakeholder Feedback And Continuous Improvement

The development of Australian Standard 3786:2023 involved an iterative process that considered feedback from users, stakeholders, and experts. Committee members included the National Fire Industries Association, Australian Building Codes Board, Property Council of Australia, CSIRO, and the Fire Protection Association Australia.

Differences Between AS 3786:2023 And AS 3786:2014 ?

The new Australian Standard 3786:2023 introduces several key changes compared to the old Australian Standard 3786:2014:

– Recognition of combination and multi-criteria smoke alarms, which provide multiple fire sensors within a single housing.
– Permission for the inclusion of a sensor unrelated to smoke detection, such as a carbon monoxide sensor, to create a dual carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm product.
– Introduction of new requirements for mains-powered smoke alarms, temporary disablement facility, smoke alarms using radio frequency links, and assessment for wall-mounted smoke alarms.


Do I Need To Replace My Existing AS 3786:2014 Compliant Smoke Alarms,

With New Smoke Alarms Compliant To AS 3786:2023?

If you currently have smoke alarms compliant with Australian Standard 3786:2014, you are not required to replace them because of the release of new Australian Standard 3786:2023. Compliance with a specific Australian Standard only becomes a legal requirement when it is referenced in legislation by the Australian government or other regulatory agency. At the time of writing this article, fire safety legislation in Queensland and the National Construction Code 2022 still reference Australian Standard 3786:2014. Therefore, legal compliance remains unchanged, and you should continue to comply with Australian Standard 3786:2014. It’s important to note that regardless of changes to the standard, smoke alarms should be replaced if they fail to operate or are older than 10 years from the manufacture date. For replacement, interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms are always recommended.

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ZEN Interconnected Smoke Alarms

Australia has experienced a surge in the adoption of lithium-ion battery technology in recent times, and QLD is no exception. These small, lightweight, and versatile batteries have revolutionized various aspects of modern life, powering everything from smartphones to e-scooters, e-bikes, and home renewable energy storage systems. However, this remarkable advancement is accompanied by a concerning increase in lithium-ion battery fires in homes across Queensland.

QLD Lithium-Ion Battery Fires Increasing Significantly

Data compiled from each Australian state fire department reveals that since 2021, more than 450 fires related to lithium-ion batteries have occurred in Australia, with 157 of them in Queensland alone. Improper battery charging practices have been identified as one of the primary causes behind these alarming incidents. When consumers use incompatible battery chargers or leave their electronic devices, like e-scooters, charging unattended for extended periods, overcharging and overheating of the lithium-ion battery can occur.

What Causes Lithium-Ion Battery Fires?

Another significant cause of lithium-ion battery fires is manufacturing defects in either the battery charger or the battery itself. Poor quality control during production can lead to internal faults, increasing the risk of overheating and fire. Additionally, improper storage or transportation of lithium-ion batteries can cause short circuits and subsequent fires. To minimize this risk, it is crucial to avoid purchasing cheap lithium-ion batteries and chargers from unregulated online marketplaces and to opt for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products.

The nature of use for e-scooters and e-bikes exposes their batteries to rough handling and environmental elements, making them susceptible to damage that can result in internal short-circuits and fires. Even minor physical damage to the battery’s protective casing can create a pathway for ‘thermal runaway’, triggering a catastrophic fire event. When lithium-ion batteries fail, they undergo thermal runaway, leading to the violent bursting of battery cells, the release of toxic, flammable, and explosive gases, and an intense, self-sustaining fire. These fires are challenging to extinguish with water or regular fire extinguishers, and they can easily reignite after being put out.

Are The Lithium Batteries Dangerous In My Smoke Alarm?

This is a good question and one that needs to be asked. It would be ironic if smoke alarms designed to detect smoke and save lives were actually powered by lithium-ion batteries that are a major cause of house fires! Fortunately the same fire risk in lithium-ion batteries is not present in the 10-year lithium batteries sealed inside your smoke alarm. Why? The two small, 3V lithium batteries inside your smoke alarm are non-replaceable and non-rechargeable and are designed to deplete slowly and steadily over a 10-year lifespan. They do not undergo the repeated energy discharge / recharging process that much larger lithium-ion batteries do, and are not subjected to the same external forces of bumping, knocking and damage that scooters, e-bikes and other devices experience – this eliminates the associated fire and thermal runaway risk. Additionally, all smoke alarms sold in Australia should comply with Australian Standard 3786:2014 which incorporates stringent electrical testing of the smoke alarm itself, prior to sale.

Interconnected Smoke Alarm Battery Safety

It is essential that any interconnected smoke alarm purchased meets the Australian Standard 3786:2014 and bears the official Australian Standard mark and the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM). The RCM signifies compliance with Australian electrical safety and electromagnetic compatibility regulations, as outlined in Australian Standard 3820:2020. By avoiding cheap knock-offs lacking these marks, consumers can ensure they are purchasing legitimate, safe electrical appliances.

ZEN smoke alarms and your symbols of battery safety compliance

Top Tips For Preventing Lithium-Ion Battery Fires

  1. Use Manufacturer-Approved Chargers:
    • Always use the charger and power adapter that comes with your device or is recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. Monitor Charging:
    • Charge batteries in a place where you can keep an eye on them and avoid charging overnight or when you’re not at home.
  3. Avoid Overcharging:
    • Unplug devices once they are fully charged to prevent overheating and reduce wear on the battery.
  4. Store Batteries Safely:
    • Keep batteries in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and flammable materials.
  5. Avoid Physical Damage:
    • Handle batteries with care to prevent drops, punctures, or any form of physical damage that could lead to internal short circuits.
  6. Check for Damage:
    • Regularly inspect batteries for signs of damage, swelling, or leakage. Stop using and properly dispose of any damaged batteries. This is particularly important for any transportation or mobility devices such as e-bikes or e-scooters.
  7. Keep Away from Extreme Temperatures:
    • Avoid exposing batteries to high or low temperatures, which can cause damage and increase the risk of fire.
  8. Don’t Mix Batteries:
    • Do not use old and new batteries, or batteries of different types and capacities, together in the same device.
  9. Proper Disposal:
    • Do not throw lithium-ion batteries in the regular wheelie bin to prevent potential fires. Ensure that you tape the terminals of used batteries with clear sticky tape before taking them to your local Council’s drop off point / recovery centre.
  10. Install Smoke Detectors:

Summary

The increase in lithium-ion battery fires necessitates a collaborative effort from manufacturers, regulators, and users to address this growing concern. While the advantages of lithium-ion batteries are undeniable, safety risks demand immediate attention. By enhancing safety regulations, improving manufacturing standards, and promoting responsible usage and recharging practices, Australia can fully embrace the lithium-ion battery revolution while ensuring a safer and more sustainable future for all.

Want to know more? Watch our ZEN quick-start video or call us on 0478 596 402

We love talking smoke alarms!

ZEN Interconnected Smoke Alarms