Smoke Alarm Guide | Mr Switch
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Smoke Alarm Guide

Smoke Alarm Guide

July 28, 2015

With Sydney well and truly in the grips of winter increased heater usage comes with the unfortunate increase in electrical fires. Approximately 2,500 people are killed each year in residential fires, and another 500 die from carbon monoxide. Installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms throughout your home is the first step towards protecting you and your family.

Our experts have compiled a list to help you determine which is the best option for your home.

Ionizing Alarms
These alarms detect flaming fires such as those produced by burning paper,
however they are not as effective at detecting a smoldering fire given off by a couch or mattress.

Photoelectric Alarms
These alarms ‘see’ the smoke by detecting visible particles of combustion. They respond to a wide range of dense, smoke heavy fires, commonly given off by burning foam-filled furnishings, mattresses or overheated PVC wiring. It is recommended these alarms be installed in high traffic areas between sleeping areas and exits to the open air or to common corridors.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms
These alarms monitor levels of carbon monoxide, a silent, odourless and toxic gas that can render a person unconscious in an instant. Carbon monoxide is often emitted by faulty gas heaters and are a serious fire hazard, especially in winter with increased heater usage.

Strobe and Vibrating Alarms
Specialised smoke alarms that contain a strobe light and vibrating pad are available for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. The pad is placed under the occupants pillow and activates when the smoke alarm sounds. They can also be interconnected with conventional sound alarms.

Strength in numbers
Linking all of your smoke alarms is another important safety mechanism. Interconnected alarms emit simultaneous sounds when triggered allowing for early warning of the hazard and a greater response time.
The linking of alarms be achieved through adapters to connect hard-wired alarms or through the installation of a wireless alarm network.

Our recommendation
The NSW Fire Service recommends different types of alarms throughout your home as research shows that no specific alarm can perform all these effectively. This ensures you’re protected from any type of fire that may occur.

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