Smoke alarms are an essential safety device that are required to be installed in your home, they are designed to alert you in the event of a fire.
Under Division 7A of Part 9 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, smoke alarms must be installed in all buildings in NSW where people sleep. The smoke alarms must meet the requirements of Australian Standard AS 3786, Smoke Alarms. These provisions came into effect on 1 May 2006.
Where should they be installed?
The NSW Legislation states that a smoke alarm must be installed on every level of your home. This includes owner-occupier homes, rental properties, caravans and campervans, relocatable buildings or any other buildings where people sleep.
Smoke alarms should be installed in hallways near bedrooms, if there are several bedrooms in different areas of the house, you must have an alarm installed in each of these locations.
You must have an alarm on each level of your house even if there are no bedrooms on that level.
Common Types of Smoke Alarms
Ionisation alarms are best at detecting fast-flaming fires that don’t emit much visible smoke. But many house fires tend to be smoky and smouldering long before they flare into flame, and ionisation alarms aren’t as quick at detecting these. They can also be prone to nuisance alarms from cooking and steam, so shouldn’t be located near your kitchen or bathroom.
Photoelectric alarms are best at detecting smoky and smouldering fires, which is a common type of house fire. Dust or insects entering the unit can cause false alarms, so they have to be cleaned occasionally.