How to choose a smoke alarm

Smoke alarms save lives and they are really easy to install. We’ll help you choose the right smoke alarm to suit your home.

Where should you have smoke alarms?

You should have smoke alarms installed in every bedroom, hallway and living area in your home. In multi-level homes, make sure a smoke alarm is located on the ceiling at the head of the stairways connecting the levels.

It’s a good idea to keep smoke alarms away from any air conditioner, heater or fan because these may cause a false alarm. Steam from bathrooms and cooking fumes from kitchens can also trigger smoke alarms so make sure they aren’t too close.

Hard wired smoke alarms

Hard-wired (240v) smoke alarms are connected directly to the power mains in the house. They also feature a battery backup in case the power goes out. However, only a licenced electrician can replace or install hard-wired smoke alarms.

Battery operated smoke alarms

Battery operated smoke alarms work independently of each other, can be installed anywhere by anyone and changing the battery is a simple process. They come with two variations in batteries either a 10-year lithium-ion battery or 9V battery. 

10-year lithium-ion battery:
provides continuous power, with no need to worry about changing the battery for the life of smoke detector. It helps protect your home by providing up to a decade of uninterrupted monitoring.

9V Battery:
These smoke alarms require a battery change every year and testing.  

 

Photoelectric interconnected smoke alarms

This type of smoke alarm connects every alarm in a home together through the mains power or battery operated. The benefit of this is that if the alarm goes off, it will sound throughout the home no matter where the fire is located. This is a great feature for large or multi-storey homes. 

Remember, if you need to install or replace an existing smoke alarm, it is recommended that the alarm uses photoelectric technology for both hard-wired and battery operated smoke alarms.

 

 

Smoke alarm attached to roof with smoke surrounding it

Maintaining your smoke alarm

It is important to change the battery of your smoke alarm every year. A good tip is to choose a significant date that you will remember to do this such as a birthday, Christmas or daylight savings. You should also test your smoke alarm every month by pressing the test button with a broom handle.

The grill area of the smoke alarm should be cleaned every few months with a vacuum to remove any dust or debris, which may trigger a false alarm.

Smoke alarms have a lifespan of about 10 years. If you’re unsure how old yours is, you may want to change it or get an electrician to check it for you.

Additional smoke alarm features

There are a few additional features that you may like when choosing your smoke alarm. A test button allows you to check if an alarm is working. Some of these can be triggered by simply shining a torch over a sensor.

A hush button silences false alarms for a few minutes. The battery test feature will warn you when the battery needs changing. An escape light switches on when the alarm is activated to assist in evacuation. A small insect screen can prevent insects from setting off the alarm.

Stay safe

Check out our wide range of smoke alarms, you’re sure to find one that is right for your home.

hydrangea

Planting & Growing How to create an allergy-friendly garden If you suffer from hay fever or other allergies, then being out in the garden can, at times, be less than enjoyable. But there are some steps you can take to create an allergy-friendly garden so you can spend more time gardening and less time sneezi...

pallet coffee table

Outdoor Living Five D.I.Y. ideas to update your outdoors Autumn is a great time of the year to tick off a few D.I.Y. projects from your to-do list. Here are a few good ideas to get you started.

pot

Planters How to choose the right plant pot Pots are a great way to add colour, interest or texture to your outdoor space. Tuscan Path’s Elaine Foster shares her top tips on how to choose the perfect pot.

sunflower

Planting & Growing How to plant and care for sunflowers Sunflowers are a great way to add colour to your garden, and they’re easy to grow and care for. Bunnings Greenlife buyer Katie explains the basics of how to grow sunflowers and shares some tips on how to care for them.

orchid

Planting & Growing How to care for orchids Orchids are a low-maintenance flower that can be grown indoors or outside in a protected location. And, with a little care, they will provide you with lots of colour.

paint

Guides & Projects How to upcycle almost any piece of furniture with paint Rather than throwing out old household items, you can restore them with paint. It’s a quick, easy and affordable way to give anything from furniture to fences a new lease on life. Learn how to paint and prepare different surfaces to get the finish y...

DIY balcony and courtyard garden

Planters D.I.Y. balcony and courtyard garden Even if your outdoor space is limited to a balcony or courtyard, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on having a garden. The team at Tuscan Path, who have been supplying pots to the Australian marketplace for over 40 years, share some ideas on how ...

 kitchen benchtop materials

Benchtops & Cabinets A guide to kitchen benchtop materials The perfect benchtop will add style to any kitchen. It’ll also see the most action, so choosing the right benchtop for your kitchen – and budget – is an important decision explains Bunnings Kitchen Designer Ben Carey.

Top of the content