Prepare for a power outage
You should have smoke alarms installed in every bedroom, hallway and living area in your home. In multi-level homes, make sure a smoke alarm is located on the ceiling at the head of the stairways connecting the levels.
It's a good idea to keep smoke alarms away from air conditioners, heaters and fans because these may cause a false alarm. Steam from bathrooms and cooking fumes from kitchens can also trigger smoke alarms so make sure they aren't too close.
Hard-wired (240v) smoke alarms are connected directly to the power mains in the house. They also feature a battery backup in case the power goes out. However, only a licensed electrician can replace or install hard-wired smoke alarms.
We can help you organise a licensed electrician to install your hard-wired smoke alarm with our Wired Smoke Alarm Installation service.
Battery operated smoke alarms work independently of each other, can be installed anywhere by anyone and changing the battery is a simple process. They come with two variations in batteries either a 10-year lithium-ion battery or 9V battery.
10-year lithium-ion battery
Provides continuous power, with no need to worry about changing the battery for the life of smoke detector. It helps protect your home by providing up to a decade of uninterrupted monitoring.
These smoke alarms require a battery change every year and testing.
This type of smoke alarm connects every alarm in a home together through the mains power or battery operation. The benefit of this is that if the alarm goes off, it will sound throughout the home no matter where the fire is located. This is a great feature for large or multi-storey homes.
Remember, if you need to install or replace an existing smoke alarm, it is recommended that the alarm uses photoelectric technology for both hard-wired and battery power sources.
It is important to change the battery of your smoke alarm every year. A good tip is to choose a significant date that you will remember to do this such as a birthday, Christmas or daylight savings. You should also test your smoke alarm every month by pressing the test button with a broom handle.
The grill area of the smoke alarm should be cleaned every few months with a vacuum to remove any dust or debris, which may trigger a false alarm.
Smoke alarms have a lifespan of about 10 years. If you're unsure how old yours is, you may want to change it or get an electrician to check it for you.
There are a few additional features that you may like when choosing your smoke alarm. A test button allows you to check if an alarm is working. Some of these can be triggered by simply shining a torch over a sensor.
A hush button silences false alarms for a few minutes. The battery test feature will warn you when the battery needs changing. An escape light switches on when the alarm is activated to assist in evacuation. A small insect screen can prevent insects from setting off the alarm.
Check out our wide range of smoke alarms, you're sure to find one that is right for your home.
Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.
When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.