Smoke alarm testing is one of our staple services here at Jim’s Fire Safety. We receive a number of enquiries regarding smoke alarms and maintenance each month. That’s why we’ve put together a little FAQ post. Read more about smoke alarms here and let us know if you have any other questions!
Who can test smoke alarms?
Suitably qualified persons should be hired to undertake smoke alarm maintenance procedures. Our fire safety technicians hold a Certificate II in Fire Protection Inspection and Testing from FPA Australia. This allows our technicians to provide regular servicing of fire protection equipment and systems (including smoke alarms).
What is a smoke alarm certificate?
You can request a documentation after the installation and maintenance of your smoke alarms. This might be a log book of results, or a certificate describing the standards adhered to and the work conducted. At Jim’s Fire Safety, we provide detailed reports for all of our clients.
Why does my smoke alarm beep?
The beep is there to alert you when smoke is detected. There are a few other things that can make your smoke alarm beep even when there isn’t smoke:
- the batteries need to be replaced
- the device needs to be cleaned
- there is an error occurring within your device
If you are experiencing abnormalities or are concerned about the functionality of your smoke alarm, get in touch with us today. We can inspect your device and offer advice.
When to replace smoke alarm battery?
There are a few rules to guide you through battery replacement:
- perform monthly push button tests (if the alarm doesn’t work, change the battery)
- replace at least 6 once a year
- if your device is beeping, try replacing the battery
- follow national legislation for smoke alarm replacement
If you have a mains powered smoke alarm, you don’t need to worry about batteries. To check that they are functional, ask a professional technician to conduct an inspection.
How does a smoke alarm work?
There are two different types of smoke alarms – ionization and photoelectric.
Photoelectric smoke alarms have an internal LED light beam that shines across the interior of the smoke alarm. When smoke enters the alarm, the particles disrupt the beam and cause the light to bounce around the chamber. This activates a light sensor that sets of the beeping noise.
Ionization smoke alarms contain an electrical circuit connected to a battery. There are positive and negative ions moving around inside the alarm, allowing the flow of electricity. When smoke enters the chamber, the ions bond with the smoke and the path of the circuit is disrupted. This causes the alarm to go off.
Where should smoke alarms be placed?
Installation requirements for residential and commercial buildings vary from state to state. There are different obligations for landlords, tenants, shared accommodation, caravans, and motorhomes. If you would like to get more information about smoke alarms installation, contact your local fire authority.
Want more information about smoke alarms?
There is an Australian Standard for smoke alarms that details a range of local requirements for compliance. This is the AS 3786-1993. You can view a copy of this document on the SAI Global online store.
If you have any more questions about our services, contact us today.
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