We know that smoke alarms can save lives, but did you know that wireless smoke alarms can be one of the safest choices for your home?
Any smoke alarm is better than no smoke alarm, but you need to have confidence that your alarm will sound when you need it the most. Let’s take a look at the reasons behind choosing wireless interconnected smoke alarms.
The Dangers of Hardwired Smoke Alarms
Many people have installed hardwired smoke alarms but there are a couple of main issues with going down this route.
Firsty, while your alarm will still work if there is a power outage due to the battery backup, if something happens to the battery or it is too old, you may be left with a non-working smoke alarm. Often with these alarms, the battery is charged through the power supply, but what if that battery fails? What if your power is left off for too long?
The second main concern comes back to that issue of losing power. If someone has removed the battery back up and you lose power, you lose the safety of having smoke alarms in your home.
The Benefits of Wireless Smoke Alarms
Now compared to hardwired smoke alarms, wireless smoke alarms are of course not wired into your property’s power which means that should the power go out, you don’t need to worry about your alarm not working. Beneficially, wireless smoke alarms now come with a non-removable 10-year lithium battery which means they can’t be removed, and the battery will last as long as the smoke alarm does (your smoke alarms should be changed every 10 years).
Some other benefits of wireless smoke alarms include:
- Quicker and easier to install
- Can be DIY install – no need for an electrician
- Easy to add more alarms in if needed
- Don’t damage the ceiling as you don’t need to cut into the ceiling
- Remain operational even in a power outage
So where are wireless smoke alarms a more beneficial choice?
- Buildings with high ceilings or factory type ceilings with no power running through the ceiling
- Temporary locations where a fire alarm is needed
- Historic buildings where you are limited on what alterations you can make
- Any property where you may look to extend over time
- Common areas of walk up style apartment blocks where there is no power available through ceilings
How Wireless Smoke Alarms Work
So you may be wondering how wireless smoke alarms work. How do they detect the smoke? How do they each sound off when one alarm is triggered?
These amoke alarms use a wireless radio frequency transmission to interconnect with up to 40 other smoke alarms (depending on the model) – that means that no matter how big your home is, you’ll be fully covered if there is a fire.
When being installed, these alarms are wirelessly connected, similar to the way that you pair Bluetooth devices and will work throughout most homes, whether you have a single level or three levels.
These alarms are quite budget friendly, and more expensive units may have a mobile phone app which will tell you which alarm has been activated should you be away from home. If the alarms have gone off because the kids have burnt some toast, you can even remotely silence the alarm.
Why wireless smoke alarms are the safest choice for your home
Interconnected smoke alarms, installed as legally required, communicate with each other so that if a fire breaks out in a room with a closed door, the alarm in that room activates as do the other alarms throughout the house. Interconnected alarms give you a much greater chance of escaping the home before you are overcome by smoke or worse.
How to install a wireless smoke alarm
These alarms are easy to install and each set come with their own instructions. You will need to follow the instructions to connect the alarms to each other before you install them.
In Queensland, an alarm needs to be installed inside each bedroom, and in any hallways connecting bedrooms, as well as on the path to an exit and on every level. This will mean that you end up with multiple smoke alarms in your property.
Smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling, where practicable, and should not be placed:
- Within 300mm of a corner of a ceiling and a wall
- Within 300mm of a light fitting
- Within 400mm of an air-conditioning vent
- Within 400mm of the blades of a ceiling fan
These locations can either restrict smoke from reaching the alarm, or push smoke away from the alarm, which means they won’t sound in the case of a fire.
How to maintain a wireless smoke alarm
One of the great things about smoke alarms is that they don’t require a lot of maintenance. Recommended maintenance includes:
- Testing once a month by pushing and holding the test button for at least five seconds
- Vacumm over your smoke alarms at least every 6 months to stop dust building up on the sensors
- Don’t paint over the smoke alarm as this can block the sensors
- Replace the smoke alarm if it becomes faulty
- Replace the smoke alarm every 10 years or as specified by the manufacturer.
It is a good idea to remember that if you don’t have photoelectric 10 year lithium battery smoke alarms you are running the risk of getting injured in a house fire. Photoelectric alarms will pick up slower, smouldering fires quicker than other alarms, while the batteries cannot be removed from the 10 year lithium alarms, making your home safer.
If you’re looking for wireless smoke alarms to install in your home, contact us today.