Tag: interconnected smoke alarm

As the Queensland 2023 festive season approaches, warmer temperatures, holiday decorations and the joy of gatherings fill the air. However, amidst the celebrations, it’s crucial to prioritize 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!

Mindful Tree Placement: 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: Equip your home with interconnected smoke alarms inside every bedroom, hallway outside the bedrooms, and have at least one on each level of the dwelling. Press the test button on the alarm to check they are in good working order (i.e. so if one smoke alarm activates, then they all activate). Create a 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.

Lights Check: 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.

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.

Power Board Wisdom: 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.

Cooking Vigilance: 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.

By following these Christmas tree fire safety tips and ensuring you have 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. Prioritizing fire safety ensures that the only thing sparking during your celebrations is the joy of the season. Merry Christmas Queensland! Thank you all for your fantastic support throughout 2023, and we look forward to another incredibly busy and exciting year in 2024!

Best Wishes and Happy New Year to All!

Questions? We love talking smoke alarms! Feel free to call us 0478 596 402

Wireless Interconnected Photoelectric Smoke Alarms Australia

www.photoelectricsmokealarms.com.au

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) have more helpful information about Christmas tree fire safety – watch the video below and refer to their information sheet which is available for download here.

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.

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.

Additionally, the pressure to cut corners extends to everyday items such as household interconnected smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. 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.

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.

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.

Please feel free to use our discount coupon code GDAY$5 during the checkout process to help offset the cost of your next purchase of interconnected smoke alarms.

As the winter chill gradually gives way to the warmth of a Queensland spring, we find ourselves emerging from the cozy hibernation of the colder months. Spring cleaning, gardening and home maintenance tasks become top priorities, and one crucial activity that should not be overlooked is the checking of your interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms. Whilst this may not seem like the most glamorous of springtime duties, it is undeniably one of the most important ones. The primary purpose of smoke alarms is to protect you and your loved ones in the event of a fire. By checking them in the spring, you ensure that they are in good working condition and ready to alert you in case of an emergency.

Here’s how you should make checking your smoke alarms a regular springtime ritual.

Clean your smoke detectors:

Did you know that the changing of the seasons can have an impact on your photoelectric smoke alarms? Over time, dust and debris can accumulate inside them, reducing their efficiency and increasing the possibility for nuisance alarms. Whilst you’re already in spring cleaning mode, why not take a few extra minutes to ensure your alarms are fully clean and operational? Gently vacuum around the exterior shell of your smoke detectors with the soft brush attachment from a vacuum cleaner to remove any cobwebs, dust build-up etc. which may have occurred over the winter months.

Smoke alarm battery check:

Smoke alarms often rely on batteries for power, and these batteries can weaken or die over time. Fortunately most modern smoke detectors are now equipped with 10-year long life lithium batteries which are sealed inside the smoke alarm itself (after 10 years the entire smoke alarm is simply swapped out for a new one). However, if you still have an older style smoke alarm which uses 9V replaceable batteries then spring is a great time to either replace the old batteries with fresh ones, or our recommendation is to upgrade to new alarms with 10-year long life batteries. So, go ahead, replace those dusty old 9V replaceable battery smoke alarms in springtime with the newest photoelectric smoke alarms equipped with 10-year long life batteries, and ensure your alarms are always ready to do their job.

Test your smoke alarms:

Testing your interconnected smoke alarms is a relatively quick and straightforward task. You don’t need any special tools or expertise. Smoke alarms have a ‘test’ button that you can press to ensure they are working correctly. It’s a small effort for a significant safety boost. In QLD the smoke alarms must be interconnected (so if one smoke alarm activates, they all do). When testing your smoke alarms be sure to check that all the smoke alarms are interconnected and activate together, usually within about 10-15 seconds of the test button being pressed on the first smoke alarm. If not, it’s time for some troubleshooting or possibly a replacement.

Smoke alarm expiry date:

Smoke alarms don’t last forever and should be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture. According to Australian Standard 3786:2014, the smoke alarm date of manufacture should be printed on the rear of the smoke alarm – go on, have a look. If they’re older than 10 years then they should be replaced with newer models. Why? Photoelectric sensors and other internal components can degrade over time, leading to a less effective smoke alarm.

Location of your smoke alarms:

Whilst you’re at it, double-check the placement of your interconnected smoke alarms. Are they strategically positioned throughout your home as per Queensland smoke alarm laws? In Queensland there should be one smoke detector inside each bedroom, the interconnecting hallway outside the bedrooms, and at least one on each level of your home. If there is no interconnecting hallway outside the bedrooms then a smoke alarm must be installed outside the bedroom and other parts of the storey. Proper placement can make all the difference in early detection.

Teach your family about the smoke alarms:

Checking your interconnected smoke alarms in the spring also presents an opportunity to educate your family about fire safety (especially children). Show them how to test the alarms and what to do and who to call in case they hear one go off. This knowledge can be invaluable in an emergency situation. Phone 000 (triple zero) for the Queensland Fire Brigade in a real life fire emergency situation.

So there you have it, as you embark on your spring cleaning rituals and home maintenance tasks, don’t forget to check your smoke alarms. It’s a simple yet essential step to ensure the safety of your home and loved ones. With working interconnected smoke alarms in place, you can enjoy the beauty and rejuvenation of a QLD spring with the peace of mind that you are well-prepared for any potential fire-related emergencies. So, make it a springtime tradition to give your smoke alarms the attention they deserve – because the safety of your loved ones always comes first.

We love talking smoke alarms! Feel free to phone us on 0478 596 402

www.wireless-interconnected-photoelectric-smoke-alarms-australia.com

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.

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.

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.

Some may wonder about the lithium batteries used in photoelectric smoke alarms. However, these smoke alarms contain non-replaceable, non-rechargeable lithium batteries designed to deplete slowly and steadily over a 10-year lifespan. The lithium batteries are sealed inside the photoelectric smoke alarm itself. They do not undergo the repeated recharging process that lithium-ion batteries do, eliminating the associated fire and thermal runaway risk.

It is also essential to ensure that any photoelectric 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.

Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM)

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. For more information on lithium-ion battery safety, individuals can refer to the QLD Fire and Emergency Services (QFES).

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.

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

-Technological advancements: 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.

-Safety considerations: 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.

-International harmonization: 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.

-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.

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 smoke alarms which are compliant to Australian Standard 3786:2014, with new smoke alarms which are compliant to Australian Standard 3786:2023?

If you currently have smoke alarms compliant with Australian Standard 3786:2014, you are not required to replace them solely because of the release of 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 recommended.

We love talking about smoke alarms! Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.

www.wireless-interconnected-photoelectric-smoke-alarms-australia.com

Smoke alarms are essential safety devices that detect the presence of smoke in the air and warn people of a potential fire. 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 a photoelectric smoke alarm is manufactured to to meet the highest standards of quality and safety? Manufacturers of a 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.

ISO 9001 is a globally recognized standard for quality management systems. 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. Do you know if your photoelectric smoke alarm has come from an ISO 9001 accredited facility?

The commercial production of a photoelectric smoke alarm 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 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.

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.

Manufacturers must also have processes in place to ensure that the photoelectric 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 photoelectric smoke alarm correctly.

One of the key benefits of ISO 9001 is the emphasis on customer focus. This means that manufacturers of a photoelectric 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.

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 a photoelectric smoke alarm manufacturer that is ISO 9001 accredited, you can have confidence that the photoelectric smoke alarms in your home or building are of the highest quality and will provide reliable protection for years to come.

www.wireless-interconnected-photoelectric-smoke-alarms-australia.com

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.

Why Clean Your Smoke Alarm?

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 smoke alarm is a relatively simple process – please watch our short video below! You can use a soft brush or a 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 chemical cleaning agents onto your smoke alarm as this could damage it. We suggest to clean and test our Premier Range and Red smoke alarms monthly, in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

When to Test Your Smoke Alarm

Testing your smoke alarm is also an important part of maintaining it. All of the interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms that we sell have a test button that you can press to check the alarm’s functionality (or you may use the optional remote control device). It’s a good idea to test your smoke alarm at least once a month to make sure it is working properly. When the test button is pressed all the smoke alarms should activate with 10-15 seconds of the first one, they should make a beeping noise and flash their red light. All the alarms will then silence automatically.

If you have a hardwired smoke alarm, you should also test the backup battery periodically to ensure that it is functioning correctly.

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. Hot tip – never paint over your smoke alarm if painting the ceiling.

Why Testing Your 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 then they will take good care of you!

Before buying a smoke alarm you should do your due diligence to ensure it is compliant to Australian Standard 3786:2014. The first of this two part series will review Australian Standard 3786:2014 to help your purchasing decision.

The full name of the standard which encompasses smoke alarms in Australia is ‘Australian Standard 3786:2014 Smoke alarms using scattered light, transmitted light or ionization’. Standards are documents that set out specifications, procedures and guidelines that aim to ensure products are safe, consistent, and reliable. When a standard is referenced by state or national legislation, then it becomes compulsory in the eyes of the law.

Australian Standard 3786:2014 is divided into several key components – the two of interest that will be reviewed in this article are ‘tests’ and ‘general requirements’.

Section 4.17 of the Australian Standard states that; ‘The smoke alarm shall be so designed that a sphere of diameter larger than 1.3 ±0.05 mm cannot pass into the sensor chamber(s)’. This requirement is intended to restrict the access of foreign bodies such as insects into the sensitive parts of the smoke alarm (to prevent nuisance alarms). It is known that this requirement is not sufficient to prevent the access of all insects; however, it is considered that extreme restrictions on the size of the access holes may introduce the danger of clogging by dust, etc.

How does this requirement translate into the design and manufacture of your smoke alarm? The image below shows the compliant internal component from our Premier Range wireless interconnected photoelectric smoke alarm. The stainless-steel mesh surrounds the sensitive photoelectric chamber within the alarm and contains thousands of tiny holes, each perfectly engineered, no larger than 1.3mm in diameter. The tiny holes prevent most insects from accessing the internal chamber whilst still allowing air (and smoke) to pass through.

Mesh screen surrounding the photoelectric smoke alarm internal sensor chamber
As per Australian Standard 3786:2014 – holes must be no larger than 1.3mm diameter

In addition to this internal mesh screen around the perimeter of the photoelectric chamber, the Premier Range wireless interconnected photoelectric smoke alarm also has an outer grill which forms part of the external housing of the smoke alarm. As you can see in the images below, the external grill also prevents larger foreign bodies from entering the alarm itself. Foreign bodies (i.e., insects) are a common cause of false / nuisance alarms because they can enter the sensitive internal components and disrupt the photoelectric light beam.

Design feature of this smoke alarm incorporates a grill into the external housing
This exterior grill prevents larger foreign bodies from entering the smoke alarm

We hope you have enjoyed this review of Australian Standard 3786:2014 and how it translates to the design of your smoke alarm. Whilst many smoke alarm retailers might profess to be aware of the standard, very few can claim to have read it from cover to cover or have a genuine understanding of what it means.

There are three important differences between our wireless interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms and conventional smoke alarms.

1) Our smoke alarms are photoelectric (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 common of most 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.

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).
Our smoke alarms are wirelessly ‘interconnected’ together – so if one alarm detects smoke anywhere within a building, then all smoke alarms paired within the same network will simultaneously initiate their alarm. This can provide increased early warning and response time for residents.

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!
Don’t risk your life or that of your loved ones – whatever smoke alarm you have in your home please check to ensure it is; interconnectable, photoelectric and contains a sealed 10 year long life battery (or hard wired).


Nothing is more annoying than a smoke alarm going off for no reason (especially at 3am in the morning!). But why is your smoke alarm beeping without smoke being physically present? There could be several reasons for false alarms. The good news is that you don’t have to go on living this way – our wireless interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms provide reliable and trustworthy protection for you and your family.

The basic operating principal of a photoelectric smoke alarm is that it activates when the light beam inside the smoke alarm chamber is broken or disrupted – typically by tiny smoke particles. However these foreign particles can also come from sources other than real smoke – below are some of the most common examples and how to rectify them.

High humidity

High humidity can occur naturally as the air carries dense moisture particles that your smoke alarm confuses for smoke particles. Although brands can differ, smoke alarms should be designed to work up to 93% relative humidity (RH) as per the Australian Standard 3786:2014 – however anything over 85% RH range and air could potentially become dense enough to scatter the light beam of a photelectric sensor. Extreme tropical weather conditions in the Northern Territory and far north Queensland can sometimes produce these high humidity conditions.

High humidity can also be artificially created by steam from a bathroom shower or the clothes dryer running inside a laundry room. If your smoke alarm is positioned outside a bathroom entrance or inside the laundry, consider moving it further away or out of that room altogether so that escaping shower steam and humid air doesn’t trigger a false alarm and start your smoke alarm beeping and going off for no reason.

Dust

A build-up of dust in the air can also affect your smoke alarm. If dust particles enter the internal chamber they will interfere with the photoelectric light beam and trigger nuisance alarms. We recommend cleaning your smoke alarms regularly by gently vacuuming around them with a soft brush attachment from your vacuum cleaner. Cleaning smoke alarms in this way may remove any cobwebs which could also prevent pests from entering the alarm. Be aware of any activities in the home which may create excess dust – for example renovations or shaking out old dusty blankets or doonas in a room which has a smoke detector installed.

Insects

Section 4.17 of Australian Standard 3786:2014 requires smoke alarms to have protection against foreign bodies, so that a sphere of diameter larger than 1.3mm cannot pass into the sensor chamber – this protection is provided by way of an internal mesh screen. Despite this requirement it is still possible that very tiny insects (smaller than 1.3mm) could enter the smoke alarm and by doing so interfere with the photoelectric sensor. One tip to reduce this likelihood is to wipe the ceiling perimeter around your smoke alarm with surface insect spray (be sure not to allow the insect spray itself to enter the alarm as this could affect its sensors which, you guessed it, could create false alarming).

Cooking!

It is true that whilst many house fires start in the kitchen, installing an alarm in the kitchen can induce frequent nuisance alarms. Irrespective of what smoke alarm brand you have, if it is installed too close to the kitchen stovetop or oven it will activate and start beeping when smoke particles are emitted from the food cooking process (after all, the smoke alarm is doing what it is designed to do). When cooking, always be sure to switch on the rangehood or oven exhaust fan to draw smoky air particles away from your smoke alarm. If the problem continues, try repositioning the fire alarm further away from the cooking appliance.

Summary

Beeping smoke alarms that are going off for no apparent reason can be both frustrating and stressful. Worse, an ongoing beeping smoke alarm may generate a ‘boy who cried wolf’ effect, reducing home occupants reaction to a real life fire event.

Fortunately, our wireless interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms undergo strict quality control measures and are manufactured in adherence to Australian Standard 3786:2014, independently tested and by the CSIRO which means may reduce the likelihood for nuisance alarms. Using the tips outlined above and below, your interconnected smoke alarms will provide many years of stress-free and reliable fire protection for you and your loved ones.

Want to know more about the potential causes of beeping smoke alarms and why they may start going off for no reason? Please refer to our helpful Red smoke alarms diagnostic checklist below!

Why is your smoke alarm going off for no reason? Red smoke alarms diagnostic checklist.
Why is your smoke alarm beeping for no reason? Refer to this handy Red smoke alarms diagnostic checklist!