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testing a smoke alarm

Fire Alarms in Victoria FAQ

Ensuring that your fire alarm is in tip-top condition is an obligation that both tenants and landlords face. Due to safety reasons, it is incredibly important that your smoke alarm is operating the way it should. In fact, in most states, landlords and tenants may be subject to hefty fines and warnings if their smoke alarm doesn’t live up to government regulations. 

In today’s article, we offer you a one-stop-shop for all things fire alarm related. Any question you have, we guarantee an answer to. Read on to find out more about common Fire Alarm FAQ and how you can make sure that you stay out of “alarming” situations! – You see what we did there! 

Disclaimer

Please note that all information & advice provided in this article is general in nature, and all electrical work should be completed by a qualified professional electrician. To learn more about your specific smoke alarm, please refer to the original instruction booklet or visit the manufacturer’s website.

How Do I Go About Installing Smoke Alarms?

Whenever possible, we always recommend enlisting the help of a professional when installing smoke alarms. If you are unable to do so, follow these steps:

  1. To install your alarm, you will need a pencil, drill, a Phillips screwdriver, and a hammer. 
  2. Simply mark drill points on the ceiling no less than 8 inches from the nearest wall. 
  3. Next, drill holes and mount the smoke alarm to the mounting bracket. Twist the alarm into place. 
  4. Screw on the base plate and insert any necessary batteries.

How Do I Maintain My Smoke Alarm?

Test your smoke alarm battery once a month by pressing and holding the test button until the alarm beeps three times. Remember to dust, vacuum or gently wipe around the cover of your smoke alarm.

How Do I Change My Smoke Alarm Battery?

  1. Using a ladder, remove your smoke alarm from its secured bracket by turning or sliding to release it.
  2. Replace the old battery with a new one. Ensure that you’re on the ground and off your ladder before doing this to avoid any accidents.
  3. Once the battery is replaced, climb back up your ladder and return your smoke alarm to its bracket.
  4. Once the alarm is fastened, test to ensure that it is working correctly.

How Many Smoke Alarms Should I Have?

You need to have a smoke alarm installed outside each bedroom area and the rest of the house. If you are in a two-storey home, a smoke alarm must be installed on both levels. 

How Do I Open My Smoke Alarm Cover?

Most smoke alarm covers have simple clips that when pressed, allows you to lift the cover off. 

Why Does My Smoke Alarm Go Off Randomly?

Some reasons for a smoke alarm going off randomly include insects, dust, or power interruption in hardwired alarms. Do note that smoking can also set a smoke alarm off. 

Can Dust Set Off A Smoke Alarm?

Yes! This is actually very common. Dust from activities such as remodelling may set off your smoke alarms. To clean your smoke alarm, open it up carefully and use a vacuum attachment to remove dust particles.

Can Steam Set Off A Smoke Alarm?

Yes, this is possible, which is why we do not advise installing a smoke alarm outside the bathroom or directly above a cooking area. 

How Do I Stop A Hard Wired Smoke Alarm From Chirping?

Locate the reset button on the surface of your smoke detector and hold down for 15–20 seconds and then release. After a few minutes, listen for the chirping noise again. If the chirping noise stops, great! If it doesn’t, we recommend calling in an expert to inspect your smoke alarm.

Do Electricians Install Smoke Alarms? 

Yes, Electricians handle the wiring and installation of all smoke alarms. 

Do Ionization Smoke Alarms Detect Carbon Monoxide?

No, they do not. However, dual-sensor detectors can detect both smoke and Carbon Monoxide. 

Does The Fire Department Fit Smoke Alarms?

No, Consumer Affairs Victoria states that landlords/agents/owners are responsible for fitting smoke alarms in properties. 

Can Candles Set Off Smoke Alarms?

Most likely not. Candles do not create enough smoke to set off most smoke detectors.

How Do I Stop A Smoke Alarm From Beeping? 

Most modern smoke detectors allow you to press a button to stop beeping. In rare cases, you may have to turn off the power to the smoke alarm at the circuit breaker, remove the smoke alarm from the mounting bracket and disconnect the power. You then remove the battery, press and hold the test button for at least 15 seconds. Finally, reconnect the power and reinstall the battery.

Are Smoke Alarms Required in Commercial Buildings?

It is compulsory to install working smoke alarms in all commercial buildings.

How Do I Test My Smoke Alarm?

Press and hold the test button on your smoke detector. After a few seconds, a loud, ear-piercing siren should emanate from the smoke detector. If not, your batteries need replacing. 

Why Do Smoke Alarms Flash Red? 

All smoke alarms flash red every 40-60 seconds to indicate they are operating. The red light also flashes continuously when the alarm has been activated. 

Do Rental Properties Have to Have Smoke Alarms?

Yes. Smoke alarms must be installed in all Victorian rental residences landlords are responsible for fitting smoke alarms. 

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And there you have it – the answers to all your smoke detector related questions. Got a few more questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out and we’ll do our best to answer all your queries. Stay safe! 

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