Make Smoke Detector Maintenance Your Priority

smoke detector maintenance

17 Feb Make Smoke Detector Maintenance Your Priority

Smoke detectors are very crucial pieces of safety equipment in your home and it is now also mandatory in NSW that residential properties have at least one smoke alarm on every storey. Not many people are aware of this, but a large percentage of fires in homes cause massive destruction because the smoke detectors didn’t function the way they should have.

The unfortunate fact is that we almost always take these fixtures for granted; we get them installed and rarely even notice they are there on the ceiling until they get set off accidently or when their batteries go dead. Improperly installed smoke detectors or even poorly-maintained ones will only end up letting you down exactly when you need them.

Types of smoke alarms

It’s important that you make smoke detector maintenance a part and parcel of your regular home maintenance routine. There two main types of smoke alarms used on residential properties:

Ionisation alarms

These have minuscule quantities of radioactive material that reacts to the particles that are emitted when a fire breaks out, and that sets-off the alarm. These alarms are extremely effective in the detection of fast-flaming fires in which there isn’t too much of visible smoke.

Photoelectric alarms

These have photocells with a light beam that shines away from the cell. If smoke enters its test chamber, the smoke particles scatter some of the light; this hits the cell and triggers the alarm. These types of smoke detectors are ideal for detecting smouldering/smoky fires, which is how residential fires typically are.

Maintenance matters

Regardless of the types of alarms installed on your property, it doesn’t take more than a few minutes annually to ensure that these devices are in a working order at all times. The few steps you should take are:

  • Check the manufacturer’s instructions on how the smoke detector has to be tested and ensure that you do this every month.
  • If you find that it isn’t functioning as it should, replace the detector without delay.
  • Use the vacuum hose attachment to remove any accumulated dust from the smoke detectors.
  • If the detectors in your house work on batteries, it’s important that you keep a couple of fresh sets on hand. The smoke detector will sound a “chirp” alarm when the battery power is very low and it’s crucial that you replace it without delay.
  • Every smoke detector comes with an expiration date and even devices of the best brand have a lifespan of a decade. Check what the expiration date on the smoke detector is and don’t falter on replacing it once it expires.

Some More considerations

Aside from the regular maintenance, it’s also very important that you consider how many smoke detectors you have and how they are powered. The best way to increase the effectiveness and safety of these devices is to upgrade your home’s smoke detection setup. The things to focus on are:

  • Every bedroom space should have a smoke detector.
  • Every floor should also have an additional device.
  • Install a detector in the basement.
  • Don’t fit a smoke detector near a window or your HVAC ducts; that can impede its functioning.
  • It’s best to hardwire smoke alarms into your home’s electrical system and have batteries for backup in case there is a power outage.
  • All the smoke detectors should be interconnected; if one of them goes off, that will trigger the rest of them too.

We can install and maintain smoke detectors on your residential or commercial premises. For more information, contact the Allround Electricals team at this number – 1300 169 263. Alternatively, you can also write to us at this email address.

Thanks for reading,
Allround Electrical
1300 169 263

In a new or old home you need to ensure your family's safety around electricity.