Smoke Alarms

Electrical

Fire Alarms & Smoke Detectors.
Saving the lives of the ones you care for.

A few times every winter the news will report on a house fire in Sydney. When its all cleaned up the fireman will front the camera and say that the working smoke alarm saved the families lives. Or, tragically if a life had been lost, that it could have been saved if they had working smoke alarms.

Surely installing and maintaining a system of 240V smoke alarms throughout your home has to be one of your top priorities with regard to your families safety.

There are 3 types of smoke alarms. ‘Photoelectric’, ‘Heat’ and ‘Ionisation’ and they all do different jobs.

Ionization

Commonly used on the basis of low cost and are designed to detect a fast open flaming fire, these alarms are being phased out but they are still in many homes today.

Heat alarm

Great for kitchens and garages where a lot of fires start these alarms detect a sudden rise in heat but they won’t false alarm when you burn the toast

Photoelectric

This type of alarm detects a slow smouldering fire which is how most fires start the smoke from these fires can quickly fill up a room.

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Photoelectric smoke detectors therefore use light in a different way. Inside the smoke detector there is a light and a sensor, but they are positioned at 90-degree angles to one another, like this:

In the normal case, the light from the light source on the left shoots straight across and misses the sensor. When smoke enters the chamber, however, the smoke particles scatter the light and some amount of light hits the sensor:

The sensor then sets off the horn in the smoke detector. Photoelectric detectors are better at sensing smoky fires, such as a smouldering mattress.

Battery Smoke Alarms

You can also get a battery smoke alarm from a hardware store. They simply screw to your roof, however they are not as effective as a 240v unit. We see a lot of battery smoke alarms installed in the corners of rooms, which is called “dead air space”.

Some get disabled altogether because they are malfunctioning. This is normally due to poor installation.

Lightning Bult technicians are trained in the correct placement of smoke alarms. We use top quality 240V Photoelectric smoke alarms with a battery backup.

One of the most important features of these smoke alarms is that they are interlinked with each other. If a fire starts in the front downstairs room, the other smoke alarm will also sound, giving you and your family the earliest warning possible.

Carbon monoxide (CO) alarms

Carbon monoxide from a fire is like pumping the exhaust of a car straight into a home. Carbon Monoxide interferes with the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to the brain, causing confusion disorientation and unconsciousness.

A Carbon Monoxide alarm detects the gas that is odourless, transparent and poisonous. Areas to be installed include garages, areas with gas appliances and fireplaces.

In a home fire, the breathing in smoke and toxic fumes is the most common cause of death.

Life expectancy of a smoke alarm

All smoke alarms will only last for 10 years and a lot of them will have a “replace by” date on the back of the alarm, just flick it down and check to see if they are still current.

Battery Replacement

You should change the battery every year unless you have a 10 year battery.

Smoke alarm for the deaf or hard of hearing

Some smoke alarms can also be linked to a vibrating pad that goes under the pillow of someone who cannot hear the smoke alarm and a strobe light as well.

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