Installing smoke detectors in homes is a legal requirement in Australia. Each state in Australia has its own regulations and requirements however all states and territories mandate that smoke alarms must be present in every home in Australia. Here’s an article explaining what the legal requirements for smoke alarms in Queensland. There are many different types of smoke alarms available in Australian hardware stores. Knowing which smoke alarm is right for your home,  will help you prevent a fire and save lives. Let’s look at the different types of smoke alarms available on the market and which one is best for your needs and budget.


Ionisation Smoke Alarms

Ionisation smoke are the cheapest and most readily available smoke alarms. They’re typically powered by a 9v battery.

Ionisation smoke alarms detect particles of combustion that cause a disruption in air flow, triggering the sensors and activating the alarm. For an Ionisation smoke alarm to activate there needs to be a high density of airborne combustion particles which occurs during flaming fires.

The disadvantage of ionisation smoke alarms is their unreliability. They are not as effective at detecting smouldering fires, which make them slower than other types of alarms in alerting the occupants of the fire danger. They also tend to lead to false alarms from steam or cooking, which leads people to believe that they are overly sensitive and ineffective, and thereby disabling them. This disconnecting of smoke alarms unfortunately results in the many deaths every year.

Dual sensor smoke alarms

Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

A photoelectric smoke alarm is an electronic device that detects a fire by emitting light. The light is reflected when smoke enters the sensing chamber, and the alarm sounds.

Photoelectric smoke alarms outperform ionisation smoke alarms in most types of fires. Most notably, photoelectric smoke alarms are better at detecting smouldering fires so they’re more likely to provide sufficient time for occupants to evacuate a fire before it gets too late. They are also less likely to cause nuisance alarms than ionisation alarms. That’s why many Australian states and territories recommend the installation of photoelectric alarms over their ionisation counterparts. New Queensland smoke alarm legislation is phasing out the older ionisation smoke alarms in favour of photoelectric smoke alarms

The main disadvantage of photoelectric smoke alarms in they are not as effective at detecting smoke from a fast flaming fire as well as their ionisation smoke alarm counterparts. Additionally, they cost more than your typical ionisation smoke alarm.

battery powered smoke alarms

Dual Sensor Smoke Alarms

A dual sensor smoke alarm uses two distinct types of sensors: ionisation and photoelectric. They are designed to detect both smouldering fires and blazing fires. The combined response of the two sensors is what gives this type of smoke alarm its broad range of protection. The sensitivity of each sensor varies, and consumers need to choose the best smoke alarm for their home. As both this alarm has the benefits of both alarm systems as well as the disadvantages of both.


Hard wired or Battery

Smoke alarms can either be hardwired or wireless. Some alarms are hard wired, which requires electricians to install them. Whilst battery operated alarms can be installed by a regular handyman or DIYer.

annual smoke alarm servicing is required

Smoke Alarm Servicing

It is recommended that you test your alarm by pressing a test button and listening for a chirping sound. If you do not hear a sound that indicates that the alarm is faulty and should be replaced as soon as possible to ensure the safety of your household. Regular cleaning is also advised. The exact process of cleaning will depend on the type of alarm as well as the manufacturer. Consult the maintenance section of your owner’s manual for detailed instruction on how to clean your specific alarms. Alternatively, you can hire electricians or a smoke alarm servicing company to conduct annual smoke alarm servicing. 


Smoke alarms Toowoomba

When it comes to all things smoke alarms Toowoomba we’re the right company to assist you. All our technicians are qualified electricians so we can work on both hardwired and battery powered smoke alarms. We can install, service, and replace smoke alarms in your home or workplace to ensure your property is compliant with the new smoke alarm legislation here in QLD. 

Call us today on (07) 2000 4212 today and get a free quote for the smoke alarm service you require.


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