Annually, thousands of residential and commercial buildings burn in Australia. This number has increased in recent years due to some horrific bushfire seasons. But these fires do not account for all the building losses. Fires can start due to an unattended candle, dropped cigarette, or electrical short. One of the best ways to protect yourself and others from fire danger is to install a quality smoke detector. These common devices save lives and help firefighters limit building damage.
Choosing the right smoke detector does take some thought. There are several different types of smoke detectors and once you purchase yours, you need to know about proper installation, placement and maintenance.
Different Types of Smoke Detectors
The two main types of smoke detectors are photoelectric and ionization. While both types are quite effective, they do detect the presence of smoke differently, which affects how quickly they respond to flaming smoke versus smouldering smoke.
Ionization smoke alarms usually respond faster to the smoke from blazing fires while photoelectric models usually detect smouldering fires more quickly. Both types of detectors work on both types of smoke, but your choice should depend on your particular home and geographical location. For instance, some state governments recommend using photoelectric models that are powered by mains. Local fire departments are always happy to advise residents on the best form of fire protection for their situation.
Installation, Placement and Maintenance of Smoke Detectors
How and where you install your smoke alarms is key to their effectiveness. Experts offer the following advice.
Placement of Smoke Detectors
Proper placement is essential for smoke detectors to protect you and your family.
- You should palace a smoke alarm outside of every bedroom and sleeping area, making certain you have at least one alarm on each level of your home.
- If a level of your home doesn’t have a bedroom, place the alarm in the living/family room or by the stairway that leads to the upper level. Ideally, you should place an alarm in both locations.
- Avoid placing detectors closer than 10 feet from a stove or other cooking appliance.
- Install smoke detectors high on your walls or on the ceiling since smoke rises.
- Avoid installing detectors by doors, windows or air ducts because drafts can affect the alarms’ effectiveness.
Maintenance of Smoke Detectors
Australian officials make the following recommendations for maintaining your smoke detectors:
- You should check your smoke alarm batteries every month by simply pressing and holding the test button for a minimum of five seconds. During that period, you should hear beeps or, in some instances, a verbal warning.
- Every six months, clean your alarms by gently vacuuming them to remove the dust. A dirty smoke detector can cause the internal sensor to malfunction.
- Once a year, replace the detectors’ batteries in those non-mains attached models.
- Once every ten years, replace all smoke alarms with new and improved versions. In some cases, the manufacturer may suggest replacing them earlier.
Benefits of Smoke Detectors
If you doubt the effectiveness of smoke detectors, you shouldn’t. Statistics show that non-working smoke detectors in your home raise your chance of dying from a fire up to 80 per cent. Without smoke detectors to give early alerts, fire is much more likely to cause extensive damage to your home. Sadly, many residents neglect the maintenance of their smoke detectors, rending them useless when a fire strikes. Some people never invest in smoke alarms or fail to replace broken ones, leaving their homes vulnerable to life- and property-threatening blazes.
Best Types of Smoke Detectors
When purchasing smoke detectors, make certain you choose models that have the approval of respected testing laboratories. You may want to invest in dual alarm models that use both ionization and photoelectric technology. Or you can install both types of smoke detectors in your home or commercial building.
Some fire departments encourage the use of hard-wired systems because they do not require you to change batteries, something people frequently forget to do.
Get Protection from Glenco Now
You cannot afford to postpone improving your smoke detector systems. Contact Glenco today and set up an appointment. Our Sydney-area experts will assess your needs and recommend the best fire detection system for your building. We’ll help you choose between the types of smoke detectors and arrange fast and easy installation.