There are many different types of smoke detectors available on the market, and it can be difficult to know which one is best for your needs. And while each home may have different designs and needs, there are two things that remain constant: human safety and legislation compliance are top priority.
Because of the materials used in the construction of modern homes and the contents contained inside a house can be highly flammable, when a fire starts everyone inside may have only three minutes to wake up and exit before they are overcome by smoke and the building is destroyed. Three minutes is a very short space of time to ensure every person in a house is accounted for and can exit to safety. That's why it's essential that smoke alarms are compliant with legislation and provide alerts early on.
The different types of smoke detectors that you can choose from
There are three types of smoke alarm for home use: ionisation, photoelectric and dual sensor alarms. Let’s explore each of these:
Ionisation smoke alarms
Ionisation alarms are the most sensitive smoke detector, but they have a few drawbacks. Ionisation detectors are very good at detecting fast-flaming fires, which do not emit layers of visible smoke before ignition and often release particles that ionisation alarms can pick up quicker than alternative technologies. However, ionisation alarms can also be prone to being triggered unnecessarily by cooking and steam, so they are not the best type of alarm to install in a kitchen or bathroom.
Photoelectric smoke alarms
The most frequently used smoke alarm is photoelectric. These contain a photocell and a light beam shining away from the cell to detect smoke particles in the air when fire breaks out. They’re great at detecting smoky and smouldering fires, which is a common type of house fire. The downside is that they can be triggered by dust or insects.
Dual sensor smoke alarms
Dual sensor alarms contain both an ionisation and photoelectric device. These are a good option as they draw on the best features of each type of smoke alarm, but are not advisable for kitchens or bathrooms where steam and burnt toast can easily set them off.
Interconnected smoke alarms versus standalone smoke alarms
Interconnected smoke alarms are smoke detection devices that communicate with each other. All devices that are interconnected sound an alarm when one or more alarms are triggered by smoke. Standalone smoke alarms operate individually, so only one smoke alarm is triggered and sounds when it is affected by smoke. Interconnected smoke alarms are safer than stand alone smoke alarms because alarms sound all through the house, alerting all occupants about danger sooner.
Why are interconnected smoke alarms required by legislation in Australia?
Interconnected smoke alarms are soon to be required by law in all Australian states. In some states they are already required, and in other states they will be required by legislation in 2022. As a fire can engulf a home in only three minutes, it's clear to see that interconnected smoke alarms are able to save more lives.
What are Radio Frequency (RF) smoke alarms?
Interconnected smoke alarms can be hard wired, battery operated or wireless. Radio Frequency (RF) wireless smoke alarms are increasingly popular as they are easier to install than hard wired smoke alarms. These interconnected smoke alarms wirelessly connect with each other in a manner similar to pairing your Bluetooth devices, however they are superior in range and use radio frequency (RF) transmissions. RF wireless smoke alarms can interconnect up to 40 units.
What is the best RF wireless smoke alarm?
When it comes to choosing the right smoke alarm for your needs, compliance and safety come first. Our new interconnected wired and wireless photoelectric smoke alarms meet the standards of 2022 legislation for every State and Territory in Australia and can connect up to 40 smoke alarms wirelessly, without an additional wireless base. Most smoke alarms on the market need an extra screw-on RF wireless base and can only connect 12, 20 or 24 units, however our range of photoelectric smoke alarms with interconnectivity for up to 40 devices, straight out of the box, with internal wireless RF.
Ready to choose a photoelectric smoke alarm or another alarm type that suits your needs?