SMOKE ALARMS

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We take the safety of your home and family seriously

At Precise, we take the safety of your home and family seriously, which is why we treat smoke alarms with the highest priority. We sometimes neglect just how important smoke alarms are. Smoke alarms can provide an early warning by detecting smoke from a fire so that residents can evacuate safely and unharmed. Without these devices present and functioning properly, the chances of physical harm and death in a home fire or blaze increases dramatically.

At Precise, we never compromise on safety, which is why we only use Australian compliant standard, high-quality smoke alarms. In normal circumstances smoke alarms are required to have their batteries replaced annually and the entire alarm replaced every 10 years.

If you have recently moved into a new property, manage a rental property, or suspect that your home’s smoke alarms may be out of date, give Precise Plumbing and Electrical a call today on 08 8152 6740. We service all metropolitan Adelaide 24/7.

Domestic/Residential Smoke Alarm Legislation

Smoke alarm legislation guidelines are often not well known and are even more often poorly understood. Since legislation is often written in language that is hard to understand, the following is a plain language interpretation of the legislative requirements.

What types of buildings are required to have smoke alarms?

Regulation 76B of the Regulations under the Development Act, 1993 requires that smoke alarms complying with Australian Standard 3786 be fitted to all “Class 1 and 2 buildings.”

‘Compliance with Australian Standard 3786 will be shown on the smoke alarm packaging

“Class 1 and 2 buildings” means:

Any single dwelling including detached houses or attached houses such as row houses, terrace houses, town houses, villa units, etc.

A boarding house, guest house, hostel or the like with a total floor area not exceeding 300m2 and in which not more than 12 persons would ordinarily be resident.

Note: Larger buildings of these types will require a commercial type fire alarm system.

Any building containing 2 or more sole-occupancy units each being a separate dwelling (ie. flats, motel units, apartments and the like) where the building is not required to be fitted with a commercial type fire alarm system.

New Buildings

  • Building Approval on or after 1st January 1995

Since the 1st January 1995, smoke alarms have been required in all new homes in South Australia. These alarms must be hard wired to the 240 volt mains power supply with battery back-up in case of a supply failure, unless the dwelling is not connected to such a supply. In dwellings not connected to mains power, the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) recommends the installation of smoke alarms powered by 10-year life, non-replaceable, non-removable, permanently connected batteries.

Existing Buildings

  • Building approval before 1st January 1995
  • Change of Ownership on or after 1st February 1998

From the 1st February 1998, if the land on which any building covered by this legislation is built undergoes a change of ownership (whether before or after 1st January 2000), the new owner must, within 6 months of title transfer, install smoke alarms either:

  • hard wired to the 240 volt household power supply (unless the dwelling is not connected to such a supply);

or then

  • powered by 10 year life, non-replaceable, non-removable, permanently connected batteries.

 

  • No Change Of Ownership since 1st February 1998

All existing buildings to which this legislation applies, unless subject to other requirements listed above, must be fitted with smoke alarms by 1st January 2000.

These alarms may be installed as follows:

  • hard wired to the 240 volt household power supply (unless the dwelling is not connected to such a supply);

or

  • powered by 10 year life, non-replaceable, non-removable, permanently connected batteries.
  • as a minimum, be powered by a 9 volt battery.

How many smoke alarms and where?

Every dwelling must be assessed individually to ensure that in the event of a fire occupants of every bedroom in the dwelling will receive an audible warning so that they may safely evacuate.

Some general considerations

The smoke alarms should be positioned to protect the escape routes from the bedrooms. In a passage way the alarm should be between the living area and the first bedroom.
If bedrooms are located in separate parts of the dwelling, the escape route from each sleeping area should be protected by at least one smoke alarm.
If the dwelling is two or multistoried, in addition to the above considerations, smoke alarms should be located on each level in the vicinity of the stairs to ensure early warning of fire outbreak on each level not currently occupied.
Where more than one smoke alarm is required, it is strongly recommended that they be interconnected. Interconnected alarms sound simultaneously when one of them senses smoke thus warning occupants in all parts of the dwelling.
Avoid installing smoke alarms too close to air conditioners, heaters, fans and similar devices, because these might affect the performance of your smoke alarms.

To minimise false alarms, avoid installing smoke alarms close to kitchens and bathrooms. A primary reason why smoke alarms don’t operate when needed is because batteries have been removed after repeated false alarms. False alarms are often caused by steam from bathrooms or by cooking fumes.

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