The installation of smoke alarms in your home or investment property is essential in providing early warning of fire and providing you with the precious time which may be vital to your survival.
In South Australia legislation is in place to make smoke alarms compulsory for all residential buildings. Home owners are required, by regulation 76B under the Development Act, 1993, to install battery powered or hardwired (240v mains powered) smoke alarms.
Note: houses built since 1st January 1995 must be equipped with hard wired smoke alarms. All other houses must be equipped with at least 9 volt battery powered smoke alarms. When a house with a 9 volt battery powered smoke alarm is sold the new owner has six months to install alarms which are hard wired to the 240 volt power supply or powered by a 10 year life non-replaceable, non-removable batteries. Penalties do apply for non-compliance.
Why do I need a smoke alarm?
Smoke obscures vision and causes intense irritation to the eyes. This, combined with the effects of the poisons in the smoke can cause disorientation, impaired judgement and panic reducing the victim ability to find an exit. Most fire related deaths result from the inhalation of toxic fire gases rather than from direct contact with flame or exposure to heat.
Types of smoke alarms
We recommend & use Photoelectric Smoke Alarms
Photo-Electric Smoke Alarms
These smoke alarms have recently been identified as providing the best detection across a range of fires. They detect large smoke particles, the visible products of combustion and are the most effective in the case of smouldering fires. They are suitable for installation near kitchens or in area containing combustion heaters or open fires.
For homes which already have ionisation alarms we recommend that they either be supplemented by additional photo electric smoke alarms or simply replaced with photo-electric smoke alarms.
The MFS recommends that the best protection is provided by photo-electric smoke alarms which are hard wired to the 240v power supply and interconnected to give the earliest warning possible.
Maintenance & Testing
Smoke alarms should be cleaned in line with the manufacturers instructions, at least every six months remove dust, lint or cobwebs from the outside of the alarm using a soft brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Once a month test your smoke alarm to ensure it is working. Test the back up battery of a hard wired 240v smoke alarm by isolating the power supply (main switch or circuit breaker) before pushing the test button. Generally you should change the back up battery in your smoke alarm every 12 months if it is a 9v back up battery.
All smoke alarms have a recommended service of life of 10 years under normal operating conditions.
Interconnection of Smoke Alarms
The MFS recommends that where two or more smoke alarms are installed that they be interconnected. Both the ionisation and photo-electric types of smoke alarm are available as interconnectable alarms.
For existing dwellings Regulation 76B of Development Regulations 2008 does not require multiple smoke alarms to be interconnected. However from the 1st May 2014 any new additions or extensions to existing dwellings that requires more than one smoke alarm then these smoke alarms will have to be interconnected. You are not required to interconnect with any other smoke alarms in the existing dwelling. For any subsequent additions or extensions that require a smoke alarm they must interconnect with any other smoke alarms installed as part of an extension or addition lodged for building rules consent after 1st May 2014.
We recommend and use PSA Life Saver and Clipsal smoke alarms
Installation Pricing: Photoelectric Smoke Alarms (pricing based on Clipsal or PSA Lifesaver brands)
|Supply & Install||Subsequent||Supply & Replace existing||Subsequent|
|10yr Lithium (battery only)||$179||$159||$169||$129|
|240v with rechargeable lithium back up battery||$199||$189||$189||
|240v with 9v back up battery||$189||$179||$179||$149|
What is the cost of Interconnecting Smoke Alarms?
The cost of interconnecting smoke alarms is dependent upon the distance between the smoke alarms and the construction of the property (ease in wiring from one smoke alarm to another) and thus can only be completed on a time and materials basis.
Indicative pricing based on a single storey 3 bedroom home would be approximately $75 to $100 per interconnection. Our electricians can provide you with a fixed price quotation when on-site.