Since 1997, Victorian law has stated that smoke alarms must be installed in all homes. It is the legal responsibility of the home owner to ensure working smoke alarms are installed.
Where should we install them?
Smoke alarms must be located in the following positions:
– Between each bedroom area and the rest of the house (kitchen, lounge room)
– Inside any bedroom where someone sleeps with the door closed.
– In a multi-storey home, on every storey located in the path that people will use to evacuate
Smoke alarms should be located a reasonable distance from kitchens and bathrooms to avoid nuisance alarms from smoke and steam.
What type should we have installed?
All fire services in Australia recommend photo-electric to be the type of smoke alarms installed in homes.
Residential houses constructed before August 1997 can be protected by 9 Volt Smoke alarms (not connected to 230V house power). Residential homes constructed after August 1997 must have 240V mains power smoke detectors with 9V battery backup. Construction codes state that homes built after 2014 must have their 240V smoke detectors inter-connected, meaning that if 1 smoke detector detects smoke, all detectors sound.
Our recommendation on the best types of smoke detector is as follows (with 1 as the best):
240V mains power photo-electric smoke detector with 9 V battery back up.
The next best option is the battery photo-electric smoke alarm with 10-year lithium battery, removing the need to change battery.
9V Battery photo-electric Smoke Detector.
Once they’re installed, is that it?
No! smoke detectors must have their batteries changed and vents vacuumed every year. The MFB advises that you do this at the end of daylight savings each year, to serve as a reminder. Smoke detector should also have the test button pressed monthly Smoke detectors must also be totally replaced every 10 years.