Smoke Alarm Products
Smoke alarms are small self-contained sensors with an alarm system which typically have white/cream coloured plastic holdings. Sizes and shapes can vary but are usually around 150mm in diameter and 50mm thick.
Most smoke alarms have a test button to check the operation of the alarm and some the addition of a hush button to silence the unit on a false trigger.
They are designed to be mounted on a ceiling inside a dwelling, typically near bedroom doors. They are widely used and their use is mandatory in residential dwellings and substantial renovations.
There are two types of smoke alarms – ionisation alarms that predominantly detect the presence of extremely small particles of smoke, and the newer photo-electric alarms that detect visible smoke.
Why Choose Photoelectric Smoke Alarms?
Research indicates that although both types of alarms give occupants time to escape, photoelectric alarms are consistently more effective at detecting smouldering fires in homes.
APAC Position Statement
The Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) is the peak body for public sector fire, land management and emergency service organisations in Australia and New Zealand.
It’s considered an official position on Photoelectric smoke alarms is outlined below.
That all residential accommodation be fitted with photoelectric smoke alarms.
Note 2: Some research indicates that both ionisation and photo-electric smoke alarms provide occupants time to escape. AFAC’s position, however, is based on current knowledge about smoke alarm performance; that is, that photo-electric alarms are generally more effective than ionisation alarms across the broader range of fires experienced in homes, and should be promoted as the technology of choice.
…further details are available with this AFAC Position on Smoke Alarms in Residential Accommodation PDF.
FPA Australia Position Statement
Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) is the national peak body for fire safety that provides information, services and education to the fire protection industry and the community.
The FPAA’s official position in relation to the preferred type of smoke alarm in residential buildings is outlined below.
Based on the information currently available regarding the relative performance of photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms, FPA Australia considers that all residential building should be fitted with photoelectric smoke alarms in the first instance in order to treat the highest fire safety risk in residential buildings. Ionisation smoke alarms are effective in detecting fast flaming fires that contribute to some of the fire risk in residential buildings but should be considered supplementary to photoelectric alarms.
…further details are available with this FPA position paper PDF.