As the New Year’s Eve fireworks faded and the clocked ticked over into 2017, a new era of fire safety dawned for Queensland residents with updated laws coming into place mandating the use of hard-wired photoelectric smoke detectors in all homes and apartments.
Under the new legislation, homes being rented or sold have until the end of 2021 to get up to date with the requirements, with the remainder of existing dwellings having to make the switch before 2027.
Advantages of Photoelectric Smoke Alarms
If it’s time to replace your smoke alarms, the new laws mean you should forget those annoying battery-powered monstrosities that have a knack for going off for no good reason at the most inconvenient times, usually in the middle of the night. Hard-wired photoelectric smoke detectors, also known as optical smoke alarms, are a much better option as they actually ‘see’ the visible particles present in smoke and alert you earlier than the typical ionisation style of fire alarm. Authorities warn that in a fire, you and your family may have as a little as 15 seconds to escape the burning house, so having a high quality interconnected photoelectric smoke alarm system installed is critical for saving lives, particularly if everyone is in bed asleep.
Other advantages of hard-wired photoelectric smoke detectors are that they are much better at sniffing out smouldering fires, show superior performance across many types of fires and are less likely to go into a nuisance alert over burnt toast or other culinary catastrophes. Another benefit is that, unlike the old-style ionisation detectors, they contain no radioactive material which is safer for you and the environment. One final reason why these are the best smoke alarms is that they are wired to 240V mains power, but they also have a battery as a fail-safe mechanism so that you have absolute protection even if the power goes out.
Tips for Correct Positioning of Hard-Wired & Wireless Photoelectric Smoke Detectors
According to the Queensland government’s legislation, a detector must now be located in each bedroom as well as in hallways, with at least one alarm on each storey of the dwelling even if there are no bedrooms on that level. The alarms need to be interconnected with one another, so that when one goes off, they all go off at the same time. This means that the building occupants will be simultaneously alerted to the fire danger regardless of where they might be in the building. In instances where a fire alarm cannot be hard wired, such as in a cement ceiling, it is permissible to install battery-operated photoelectric smoke detectors. The proviso is that the battery must be capable of powering the unit for at least 10 years and impossible to take out.
There are a few tricks to positioning fire detectors to avoid dead space which might inhibit hot air from reaching the unit, and also to prevent steam, insects and too much air movement causing false alarms. Other things to consider are the special legislative rules concerning positioning in respect to stairs, sloping or exposed ceilings, corners, light fittings, air conditioning vents and ceiling fans. Since all wired fire alarm systems must be installed by a qualified electrician and each premises is different, your local sparky is the best person to advise on the optimal location for each detector. Wired Electrical and Data Solutions have loads of experience in fitting hard-wired photoelectric smoke detectors around Brisbane and the Gold Coast so give us a call today and let us help you watch over your family by tailoring a smoke alarm system to safeguard your home and loved ones for the long term.
Tired of pulling dead batteries out of your smoke alarms to stop them beeping? We can help you fit a smart, safer system that complies with all Queensland fire safety regulations.
Give us a call today to book in a free consultation and ask us about our smoke alarm special