Since 2007, it has become legislation that every domestic dwelling in Queensland must have a smoke alarm installed. Given the horror stories of houses razed to the ground by fire this is a very good thing. Research indicates that three quarters of deaths caused by household fires were in homes that were not fitted with a smoke alarm. These are very sobering statistics. Installing a smoke alarm is an inexpensive exercise and vital for peace of mind.
Where should I install a smoke alarm?
Because smoke rises, smoke alarms should be placed on the ceiling or as high up on the wall as possible. Smoke alarms should also be positioned between the bedrooms and the rest of the house, usually in a hallway. If your home occupies more than one storey, you need to install a smoke alarm on each level. Another little known fact is that if you sleep with a closed door you should have a smoke alarm installed in your bedroom. The number of smoke alarms required will depend on the size of your home. Ikon Electrical is happy to help you with the installation and/or testing of smoke alarms.
Some don’ts with smoke alarm installations
Don’t install fire alarms near windows or fans. Also, don’t install near the bathroom as steam from the shower may set the alarm off. Smoke alarms shouldn’t be installed in the kitchen for the same reason. Steam from the stove or the kettle may cause a false alarm. Noise from fluorescent lighting can also cause a false alarm, so ensure that smoke alarms are no closer than 1.5 metres.
Testing your smoke alarm
While it is vital to install smoke alarms, it is equally important to test them regularly. Batteries should be tested each month. Pick a day, say the first of the month, and test the battery by pressing the test button. You can use a broom handle to do this if you are unable to reach. The unit should make a beeping sound if batteries are low but it is always best to carry out checks. Make sure the alarm is kept clean and dust free. Batteries should be replaced annually.
Ikon Electrical regularly carry out smoke alarm installations and annual inspections to give our clients real peace of mind. Don’t hesitate to contact us for advice about this important matter.