There are now laws in place in Victoria, Queensland and other parts of Australia that require any new homes, or homes that are significantly renovated, to install interconnected smoke alarms wherever more than one alarm is required.
As the name implies, interconnected smoke alarms are connected to each other, which means that if one alarm is activated, all of the alarms in the home will automatically go off. This provides you with full home coverage, a simple but critical step that saves lives.
According to Emergency Services Victoria, more than 60 Australians die in a house fire every year, and the risk of death increases by up to 60 per cent if you don’t have a working smoke alarm. Currently, the minimum smoke alarm requirement by law is to have smoke alarms located in any areas outside bedrooms where they connect to the rest of the home, which is usually the hallway. However, this may not be enough to protect you and your family.
The CFA reports that most fires that result in death start in the lounge room or a bedroom. If a fire starts in the bedroom and the door is closed, it may not activate the alarm outside. And even if it does, it may not wake all the occupants of the home, especially those with bedrooms located in other areas of the house. With most modern homes now designed to separate the parent’s bedroom from the kids, and research shows that most children don’t wake to the sound of a smoke alarm, this is an important factor. By adding interconnected smoke alarms throughout the house, including inside the bedrooms, you boost your chances of everyone getting out safe.
What does interconnection of smoke alarms mean?
Interconnected smoke alarms communicate with each other, so if one alarm is activated, it triggers all of the others to go off too. This is a potentially life-saving feature, as it means all members of the household are alerted to the danger at the same time. Every second counts and you may only have less than a minute to get out. This early warning can be the difference between everyone getting out safely before they are overcome by smoke and not waking up in time.
How are the smoke alarms connected?
There are two ways to create a connection between your smoke alarms: hardwired interconnection or wireless interconnection.
Hardwired connections require installation by an electrician, who lays an additional wire alongside the 240-volt wiring to connect up to 12 alarms throughout the building.
Wireless interconnection uses radio frequency transmission to connect up to 40 alarms, and this works in a similar way to pairing a Bluetooth device. These interconnectable alarms run off a 10-year lithium battery and do not require installation by an electrician.
Don’t risk it – install an interconnected smoke alarm system today
If a fire starts in your home, you may only have seconds to escape, so every second counts. With an interconnected smoke alarm system, everyone in the household will get the warning as soon as it’s triggered. It’s a simple yet highly effective way to protect your family and buy yourself valuable extra time in an emergency. And those extra few minutes, or seconds, can be critical.
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