101 Guide to Smoke Detectors

Having up-to-code, hardwired smoke detectors within your home is essential for the sake of both your property and the safety of its occupants. As a truly life-saving technology, hardwired smoke detectors are powered by the electrical system of your property and – when properly installed – can serve as an important alert system in cases of fire or smoke-related emergencies.

To ensure the safety of your home and its occupants, check out this 101 guide for using and maintaining your smoke detectors:

Different Types of Smoke Detectors

 Battery-charged smoke detectors were considered acceptable smoke detector systems for residences for many years. However, since the establishment of specific building code requirements in 1992, hardwired smoke detectors have become the standard system.

In fact, all Perth buildings constructed post-1992 are required to have these hardwired smoke detector systems installed, with battery packs for backup power. If your home was built before 1992, it is not strictly required to have a hardwired system versus that which is battery-charged. However, the latter system requires diligence, as batteries need to be regularly checked and the system tested frequently for any faulty or dead batteries.

How Many Smoke Detectors Should I Have?

 Homeowners should ideally have a smoke detector installed in every room of their home. Having one or two installed here or there throughout the home simply is not enough to adequately ensure the safety of your property or its residents should an emergency situation occur.

Having smoke detectors installed in every room and/or open area of a home can ensure that any individual in a room at any time may be properly alerted by the smoke alarm and act accordingly.

Adhering to Building Code Requirements

Building code requirements differ somewhat depending on whether or not you are renting, selling, or the owner of a property.

How Do I Make Sure My Smoke Detector Is Up to Code?

Property owners who are not trying to sell are not likely to have building inspectors check out their home’s smoke detector systems.

Those that are renting or selling a property, however, are required to have their system up to code. It is your responsibility as the property owner to:

  • Have the appropriate number of alarms installed within the rooms of the property
  • Regularly test the smoke alarms at least every six months as part of a general maintenance procedure recommended by electrical experts.

Carbon Monoxide Detector Requirement

Since 2011, all rooms that contain electrical appliances and devices that release carbon monoxide – such as gas and wood-burning heaters, stoves, and ovens – are required to have the additional installation of carbon monoxide detectors.

This is due to the fact that smoke alarms may not detect fires that have been started by these carbon monoxide-releasing appliances. In these cases, having carbon monoxide detectors can be life-saving. They also are required now by code to be installed in rooms where these appliances are present.

Contact Your Perth Electrician

If you have any additional questions about your property’s smoke detectors, need an installation, or believe your current smoke alarm system needs to be upgraded, feel free to contact a Richtek Electrical & Air solutions electrical expert for assistance.

Call (08) 9375 3926 to install, repair, or update your property’s smoke alarm system today.