Many homeowners think that hiring a home alarm service will do the entire job and keep them safe and secure. And as much as keeping your household and your family protected from curious thieves is important, smoke alarm systems are the safety equipment that can save lives when an accidental fire breakout occurs.
So, whether you’re moving into a new home, or you want to equip your current one only with the best, make sure you don’t skip or overlook this important detail. This is why we put together a couple of tips to help you choose the best option.
Types of Fire Alarms
Before you decide to hit the market and explore smoke alarms, it’s important to get to know the different types so you choose what’s most suitable for your household. For this purpose, we can split fire alarms into a couple of categories:
Photoelectric smoke alarms are the most popular choice on the market, and there’s more than just one reason behind it. First of all, these alarms consist of a photocell and a light beam that is shining away from the cell. Once the smoke enters the chamber, this system starts reflecting lights and triggers the alarm, making it the most responsive type when it comes to detecting slow-burning fires without a flame.
In fact, most of the Australian states’ territory legislations recommend having at least one photoelectric alarm at each household, as it’ll keep you safe even from the smallest flames caused by candles and cigarettes.
This type ionizes the air between the two electrodes inside that are positively and negatively charged to create a small current inside the chamber. If smoke particles enter the unit, the electrodes change the balance of the current and trigger the alarm.
This makes ionization alarms best for detecting fast-burning fires that don’t emit much visible smoke. However, if you decide to go for this type, have in mind that they aren’t suitable for areas such as kitchens and bathrooms since they can be easily triggered falsely.
Dual Sensor Alarms
Dual sensor smoke detectors combine the features of photoelectric and ionization alarms to protect you from both, fast and slow flaming fires. But on account of that, they tend to be extra sensitive and get triggered even when there’s no danger at all – by the slightest cigarette smoke or when a little bit of dust enters inside. So, make sure you skip them if you don’t want to deal with nuisance alarms.
Wired vs Wireless Alarms
Smoke detector systems can be powered either through hard wires or a sealed lithium battery, and the latter option is considered more reliable.
If you’re wondering why, know that sealed lithium batteries will last for more than 10 years, so you won’t have to worry about maintaining or replacing your fire detector at all. Also, installing a wireless fire alarm is a piece of cake, since you won’t need more than 5 minutes or any special skills.
On the other hand, wired fire alarms should be connected to your home’s power supply by a professional and require maintenance that also must be performed by professional services. This makes these alarms dependant on your home’s electricity supply and they’ll get turned off if an accidental power interruption occurs.
Test and Hush Buttons
Test and hush buttons are the features everybody recommends since they can come in handy in a plethora of situations.
Starting from test buttons, they can be of great use if you want to check if your fire alarm is working. So instead of climbing or reaching up with different handles, this feature gives you the ability to check if the detector is turned on by using different remotes, shining with light or spraying a special spray smoke.
Hush buttons are of great importance, especially for those who tend to disconnect the power source or turn off the alarm while they’re cooking or doing something that can falsely trigger it. So, instead of doing this dangerous practice, make sure you choose an alarm that features a hush button, so you can conveniently silence it once you burn your toast or light up a candle to relax.
Safety Path Lighting Features
Accidental fire breakouts are not something that occurs every day, but once it happens, we’re sure that you won’t look for your tactical flashlight so you can light up the path to evacuate yourself and your most loved ones. This is why many home fire alarm systems come with built-in safety lights.
Once the alarm is triggered, this feature will automatically turn on to illuminate the space around and guide you and your family outside. And as much as it sounds unnecessary, it can be a life-saving feature, especially for situations when there’s a power failure due to the fire occurrence.
The Australian Standard for Fire Alarms
Finally, don’t forget to pick a fire alarm that complies with our country’s standards. In fact, smoke alarms Australia wide stores should always comply with the Standard Australian Certification or ActivFire Registration, so make sure you check it before you make your purchase.
However, have in mind that different jurisdictions may specify different versions of the standard, depending on the state you live in. For instance, most of the states still accept the older version of AS 3786:1993, while the other ones will require the most recent AS 3786:2014 version of the standard.
Now that you know about the essential features to look for, don’t hesitate to hit your closest electrical store and choose a fire alarm detector as one of the crucial measures to provide your home’s, yours and your most loved ones’ safety.