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SMOKE ALARMS BRISBANE

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SMOKE ALARM INSTALLATION & TESTING

When you are asleep, your sense of smell is out for the count as well. If a fire starts, hazardous fumes and smoke can quickly overcome you. Photoelectric (also known as photo-optical) smoke alarms detect visible parts of combustion. They respond to a wide range of fires, but are particularly responsive to smouldering fires and the dense smoke given off by foam-filled furnishings or overheated PVC wiring. Interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms will alert you early, so you and your family can escape quickly and safely.

SMOKE INSTALLATIONS

Since the start of January 2017, the Queensland Government have implemented new legislation regarding smoke alarms. At Hewitt Trade Services, we can ensure that your home is safe and compliant with these new changes. We can look after all your smoke alarm needs, including hardwired, interconnected, photoelectric smoke alarm installations, upgrades, regular testing and maintenance.

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We offer Free Fire Safety Inspections to see if your Smoke Alarms are Safe & Compliant

PHOTOELECTRIC SMOKE ALARMS

Photoelectric is a type of smoke alarm, not a brand.

Photoelectric smoke alarms respond to a wide range of fires and are particularly responsive to smouldering fires and dense smoke such as that released by foam filled furnishings or overheated PVC wiring. Studies show that photoelectric alarms typically respond to smouldering fires, when the amount of smoke is fairly small and espace is relatively easy. Protection from fires increases with the quality and type of smoke alarms installed. Research shows that photoelectric smoke alarms are generally more effective than other smoke alarms across a wider range of fires experienced in homes.

Photoelectric smoke alarms are recommended for use in homes by the Queensland Fire Service.

 

ADVANTAGES

  • Respond well to smouldering fires and dense smoke.
  • Less prone to cooking nuisance alarms.
  • Do not contain radioactive material.
  • Suitable for general use.

 

DISADVANTAGES

  • Prone to nuisance alarms from dust and insects. (All smoke alarms should be vacuumed or cleaned with a brush once a month to prevent this).

 

SMOKE ALARM GUIDELINES QLD

From 1 January 2017

• Existing smoke alarms manufactured more than 10 years ago must be replaced with photoelectric smoke alarms which comply with Australian Standards (AS) 3786-2014. (Note: the date should be stamped on the back)

• Smoke alarms that do not operate when tested must be replaced immediately.

• Existing hardwired smoke alarms that need replacement, must be replaced with a hardwired photoelectric smoke alarm.

• It is also recommended that:

– smoke alarms be either hardwired or

– powered by a non-removable 10-year battery; and

– ionisation smoke alarms be replaced with a photoelectric type as soon as possible.

• For the best protection smoke alarms should be installed on each storey:

– in every bedroom

– in hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling

– if there is no hallway, between the bedrooms and other parts of the storey; and

– if there are no bedrooms on a storey, at least one smoke alarm should be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.

• All smoke alarms should be interconnected.

• To get everyone out safely during a house fire, it is essential to also have a well-practised fire escape plan.

From 1 January 2022

• All homes or units being sold or leased, or existing leases renewed, will require the installation of hardwired photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms. If a hardwired smoke alarm cannot be installed, non-removable 10-year battery smoke alarms can be installed in place.

• Smoke alarms in the dwelling must:

– be photoelectric (AS3786-2014); and

– not also contain an ionisation sensor; and

– Be hardwired to the mains power supply with a backup power source (i.e. battery), although dwellings which were existing prior to 1 Jan 2017 can be hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery, or a combination of both.

– be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.

• The legislation requires smoke alarms must be installed in the following locations:

– on each storey

– in each bedroom

– in hallways that connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling

– if there is no hallway, between the bedroom and other parts of the storey; and

– if there are no bedrooms on a storey, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.

• If a smoke alarm which is hardwired to the domestic power supply needs replacement, it must be replaced with a hardwired photoelectric smoke alarm.

From 1 January 2027

• All private homes, townhouses and units will require hardwired photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms. If a hardwired smoke alarm cannot be installed, non-removable 10-year battery smoke alarms can be installed in place.

• The legislation requires smoke alarms must be installed in the following locations:

– on each storey

– in each bedroom

– in hallways that connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling

– if there is no hallway, between the bedroom and other parts of the storey; and

– if there are no bedrooms on a storey, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.

Where should smoke alarms be placed?

Where practicable, smoke alarms must be placed on the ceiling.

Smoke alarms must not be placed within:

• 300mm of a corner of a ceiling and a wall

• 300mm of a light fitting

• 400mm of an air-conditioning vent

• 400mm of the blades of a ceiling fan.

There are special requirements for stairways, sloping ceilings, and ceilings with exposed beams.

Every dwelling is different so you will need to assess yours. Avoid installation in the following positions:

• in dead air space. This is an area in which trapped hot air will prevent smoke from reaching the alarm. This space generally occurs at the apex of cathedral ceilings, the corner junction of walls and ceilings, and between exposed floor joists.

• near windows, doors, fans or air-conditioners. Excessive air movement may prevent smoke and gases from reaching the smoke alarm or cause nuisance alarms.

Accidental alarms can be a nuisance and become dangerous if home owners remove the alarm batteries or disable an interconnected system to silence the alarm.

Nuisance alarms can be avoided by not placing alarms in or near kitchens where cooking smoke can set them off, or in or near bathrooms where steam often causes accidental alarms.

Also avoid insect infested areas, as insects flying into the alarm can trigger an alarm.

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