Smoke alarms

Smoke alarms that are properly installed and working correctly greatly increase the survival rate of occupants of a building in the event of a fire.

There are two types of smoke alarms available for residents on the market:

ionisation smoke alarm; and
photoelectric smoke alarm.

The photoelectric smoke alarm may be more effective in detecting smouldering fires. We recommend that as your ionisation smoke alarm becomes faulty or nears its expiry date (usually ten years) you consider replacing it with a photoelectric smoke alarm.

Remember working smoke alarms save lives.


Face the facts

  • Smoke alarms should be installed on or near the ceiling, in bedrooms or the hallway or corridor that serves it;
  • If you have a multi level home, a smoke alarm should be installed on each level;
  • Smoke alarms should be tested monthly;
  • Keep the smoke alarm clean, vacuum the cover and vents of the alarm regularly;
  • If your smoke alarm should go off accidentally open doors and windows and use a newspaper or magazine to introduce fresh air to the smoke alarm;
  • Batteries should be replaced once a year at the end of daylight saving;
  • Install the smoke alarm as per manufacturers instructions;
  • A 240 volt (hard wired) smoke alarm with battery backup is a preferred option;
  • Smoke alarms for the deaf and hard of hearing are also available;
  • Smoke alarms should be compliant with the Australian Standard; and
  • When your smoke alarm activates, if safe, investigate and if necessary follow your Home Evacuation Plan.

Smoke alarms fact sheet [.PDF 314KB]

This page was last modified on April 2nd, 2014