Smoke Alarm
on the Gold Coast
Keep your home safe
Gold Coast Smoke Alarm Installation
Keeping your smoke alarm systems in good condition is crucial in ensuring your safety from fire. However, for property managers, performing preventive maintenance is a matter of complying with the National Construction Code of Australia.

It’s perfectly legal for a landlord to handle their smoke alarm maintenance on their own, especially if they are reasonably knowledgeable about smoke alarm systems. However, smoke alarms play a crucial role in the prevention of property damage and loss of life?? making it a job best left for a professional. If your building is nearby, you can contact smoke alarm installers in the Gold Coast, such as Reefcosa Electrical, to ensure that your alarm systems are always in perfect working order.

That being said, knowing how a smoke alarm is supposed to work and when it might need replacing or repair is crucial knowledge that everybody needs to learn.

Smoke alarm installation
Under Queensland Legislation, smoke alarms must be installed in all homes. The implementation of new smoke alarm legislation is a staged approach. For detailed information, please refer to the Smoke Alarm Legislation information sheet located on the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) website.
Prescribed locations for installing smoke alarms

Where practicable smoke alarms must be placed on the ceiling. Smoke alarms must not be placed:

i) within 300mm of a corner of a ceiling and a wall;
ii) within 300mm of a light fitting;
iii) within 400mm of an air-conditioning vent; or
iv) within 400mm of the blades of a ceiling fan.

There are special requirements for stairways, sloping ceilings, and ceilings with exposed beams. Specific requirements are explained in the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008. If impracticable for the prescribed location requirements to be met (e.g. may be affected by steam from shower or fumes from cooking), the owner may put the alarm at another location that will provide a warning to occupants of the dwelling.
Reasons behind prescribed locations
Every residence is different and you will need to assess your home. To maximise smoke alarm operation, avoid installation in the following positions:

» In dead air space. This is an area in which trapped hot air will prevent smoke from reaching the alarm. This space generally occurs at the apex of cathedral ceilings, the corner junction of walls and ceilings, and between exposed floor joists.

» Near windows, doors, fans or air conditioners. Excessive air movement may prevent smoke and gases from reaching the smoke alarm or cause nuisance alarms.

» In or outside the bathroom as steam may cause nuisance alarms.

» In insect infested areas, as insects flying into the alarm could cause nuisance alarms.

Why interconnected?
When one interconnected smoke alarm is activated, all interconnected smoke alarms are activated. This early warning increases the time occupants have to escape. The connecting of smoke alarms can be done wirelessly (e.g. via short radio frequency) or hardwired.
Power supply options for smoke alarms
You can buy smoke alarms from hardware stores, electrical retailers, or through a qualified electrician. There are two power supply options for existing dwellings (approved prior to 1 January 2017) – battery or hardwired.
Hardwired
A hardwired smoke alarm is connected to a home’s mains power supply with a battery back-up. These alarms are considered more reliable in the longer term, and use a battery to provide back-up power if the AC power fails.

Note: if an existing hardwired smoke alarm is being replaced, it must be replaced with another hardwired smoke alarm.

Battery
9-volt removable batteries are legal until 1 January 2022 for rentals or home sales and until 1 January 2027 for owner occupied residences (unless the initial building approval required otherwise). Replacement smoke alarms must comply with Australian Standard AS 3786 -2014.
Do you want to be woken tonight if this happens!! Is your home prepared with adequate smoke alarms?
There’s a very good reason why this significant reform took place. Too many people were dying in homes that caught fire that didn’t need to. If only they got adequate warning ????

To provide some peace of mind that you and your family won’t get caught in such a tragic predicament!!, you can update now to the type and layout now specified in all-new Queensland homes, OR you can wait and do what is required by the dates below, depending on? which category you fall into.

So read the following carefully or? phone us if you need assistance or quoting or if that’s all a bit much to digest,call us today and we’ll help you “extinguish” any confusion ????

Note, if an existing smoke alarm is found to be faulty in ANY CASE from 1/1 /17, it can only be replaced by a photoelectric type. (battery or electric)

Existing residential properties
where a contract of sale is entered into or transfer of ownership OR
for rental properties where a new lease or renewal of an existing lease occurs
Government-Owned housing (Controlled by the Department’s policy!)

The following must be effective by 1 January 2022

Owners, including Landlords must replace smoke alarms within 10 years of manufacture date, or if they fail routine tests.

Smoke Alarm MUST be:

– PHOTOELECTRIC ONLY
– one installed in Each Bedroom
– Installed in Hallways Serving Bedrooms
– Installed on Every Storey NOT containing bedrooms, on the most likely path of travel in that storey to an exit

Be installed:

– on the ceiling, if practical (Preferred Location!) or
– on the underside of exposed joist or beam, if no more than 300mm from the ceiling or
– on the wall, in area 100-300mm from the ceiling & more than 300mm out from the corner of 2 walls
– If installed on a sloping ceiling, MUST be between 500-1500mm from the apex of the ceiling

MUST NOT Install:

– within 300mm of a light fitting
– within 300mm of a corner
– within 400mm of air conditioning supply outlet
– within 400mm of the blades a fan
– within or near an obstruction in a stairwell

POWERING of Smoke Alarms:

– Hard Wired to domestic Electricity supply, or
– Battery, that is?
– built into the smoke alarm, Cannot be Removed
– manufactured to Power the Alarm for at least 10 years Without being Recharged
– Note: Hard Wired MUST be Replaced with Hard Wired

Replacement must occur

– within 10 years of the manufacture date, or if they fail routine tests

Interconnection (Comply with AS3786:2015 (ref: 2014 Amdt1))
– be Interconnected to Every other smoke alarm – battery units with wireless interconnection are available

OWNER OCCUPIED PROPERTIES where no change of ownership has occurred or RENTALS that HAVE NOT had had a new lease or renewal of existing lease
It’s generally good practice to check your smoke alarms once a month. Most smoke alarms come with a test button that you can press, causing it to emit a loud tone. This would signify that the device is still powered up and working. Just be careful not to press too hard and damage your smoke alarm in the process.

If it doesn’t beep, you will need to check it for any visible signs of damage. If it comes with a 9V battery, you can replace it with a fresh one and test it again. Fresh 9V batteries are usually good for a year before needing a replacement.

However, if your main grid powers your smoke alarms, chances are they have rechargeable batteries that are not designed to be replaced. If you’re not sure, it’s wise to consult with an electrical service that’s proficient with smoke alarms for good measure.

Summary
So regardless of the due dates above, in all cases we recommend you seriously consider complying to this sooner than later but if you read carefully, you may not be obliged to yet
NEW domestic dwellings where an application for approval is made, OR where substantial renovation taken place meaning new work where more than 50% by volume including approved alterations completed in the previous 3 years)
The following became effective 1/1/17
Smoke Alarm MUST be:

– PHOTOELECTRIC type ONLY NOT contain an Ionisation sensor
– Installed in Each Bedroom
– Installed in Hallways Serving Bedrooms
– Installed on Every Storey NOT containing bedrooms, on the most likely path of travel in that storey to an exit
– be Hard-Wired to domestic Electricity supply
– be Interconnected to Every other smoke alarm
– comply with AS3786:2015 (ref: 2014 Amdt1)
– Refer Manufacturer’s Installation Instructions

Be installed:

– on the ceiling, if practical. Note: This is the preferred Location! or
– on the underside of exposed joist or beam, if no more than 300mm from the ceiling or
– on the wall, in an area, 100-300mm from the ceiling & more than 300mm out from the corner of 2 walls
– If installed on a sloping ceiling, MUST be between 500-1500mm from the apex of the ceiling

MUST NOT Install:

– within 300mm of a light fitting
– within 300mm of a corner
– within 400mm of air conditioning supply outlet
– within 400mm of the blades a fan
– within or near an obstruction in a stairwell

Testing Your Smoke Alarms
It’s generally good practice to check your smoke alarms once a month. Most smoke alarms come with a test button that you can press, causing it to emit a loud tone. This would signify that the device is still powered up and working. Just be careful not to press too hard and damage your smoke alarm in the process.

If it doesn’t beep, you will need to check it for any visible signs of damage. If it comes with a 9V battery, you can replace it with a fresh one and test it again. Fresh 9V batteries are usually good for a year before needing a replacement.

However, if your main grid powers your smoke alarms, chances are they have rechargeable batteries that are not designed to be replaced. If you’re not sure, it’s wise to consult with an electrical service that’s proficient with smoke alarms for good measure.

When to Replace Smoke Alarms
All smoke detectors need to be replaced after ten years from their manufacture date?not when you first installed them! The manufacturing date is usually located on the back of the device, so you?ll have to remove it from your ceiling to check the specifics out.

Your smoke alarm will also signal you with a warning beep when something is wrong with its internal components or if the battery needs replacing. Should this happen, try replacing the battery and see if the beeping noise stops. If it doesn?t, the unit will need to be replaced?even if it?s not yet ten years old.

As mentioned above, some smoke alarms do not have interchangeable batteries. This type of smoke alarm is powered by your mains with a rechargeable battery to keep it running in case of a power outage.

In case of extended power outages, these batteries can get drained and run out, upon which it will begin to beep as a warning. These warning beeps will continue until the battery is recharged when the electricity is restored or until the battery is fully depleted.

In the latter case, you will want to contact a reliable electrician to disconnect and replace the smoke alarms from your main grid.

Conclusion
Smoke alarms play a significant role in the early detection of fire incidents, which can, in turn, save lives and property. For this reason, preventive maintenance of smoke alarms should not be taken for granted and should be part of your routine as a homeowner or property manager.

Are you looking for a reliable? smoke alarm installer in the Gold Coast? ReefCosa Electrical is a team of reliable electricians that offer installation and repair of smoke alarms in the Gold Coast. We also offer 24/7 emergency repair for any issues with your air conditioning, smoke alarms, and other electrical systems. Contact us today to learn more about our services!

Could Reefcosa add value as your preferred supplier of electrical services?