Have you got the right smoke alarm???

Written by AHQ

6 July 2016

Good morning!

Every morning since the fire destroyed our home is a good morning as we are so lucky to be alive.  If our son had not been awake studying, then we would be unlikely to be here as our room was already filled with smoke by the time that he woke us.  

Our smoke alarms did not go off. 

If the batteries in your smoke alarm are going flat, then they should beep every minute for a MONTH before they go flat.  I know that ours did not do that as our dogs are exceptionally sensitive to beeping noises and they would have driven me nuts… so our smoke alarms were, apparently fully functional.

We have since learned a lot about them that we just did not know. I will eventually write a more comprehensive post about the lessons we learned from the fire in the hope that it will save someone else from going through what we went through, but in the mean time I am sharing this as I don’t want to wait any longer.  

Firstly please take a moment to watch this video.

There are two types of smoke alarms…..

Ionisation and Photo-electric

If yours had this nuclear symbol on it there you have the old type…. 

an Ionisation Smoke alarm.

If yours has the radioactive symbol on it, then it is an Ionisation Smoke Alarm

These do not activate as quickly as a photo-electric smoke alarm.

In fact there is a widely held belief that these alarms should be banned.

If you haven’t already, please take a couple of minutes to watch the above video….

You also need to know that Smoke Alarms are no good after TEN YEARS.

Get your smoke alarms checked or check them yourself. If you are in a rental property and you are not sure about your smoke alarm, get it checked. Your landlord is obligated. I requested our rental home be checked and the old one was not only TOO OLD,  it was the wrong sort AND there was only one in the house and should have been two.  
We now have two!

If you can’t do it, call your fire brigade (though do not call 000 – call the office hours number) and ask them who can check them. 
I think in some areas the Fire Brigade will do it for you, possibly for a fee.

I do not believe it is overly dramatic to say that this could save your life and the lives of those you love. 

Check your smoke alarm. 
Is it the right sort?   
Make sure it is not too old. 

Learn from our situation so that none of you have to go through what we are.  

Till next time……………..check those smoke alarms……..

Jan-Maree xx

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  1. Unknown

    Landlords in QLD have to have official checks once a year ad the alarm has to be hard wired to the mains with a battery backup. Is this not the same in NSW?

  2. Peta

    Mine is hard wired into the electricity in my house and has a battery if the power goes out. It also a has a small green light that if not on neither is the smoke alarm. It also has a button that you can push to check the alarm sound is working.A lot of people don't realise that when you are asleep your sense of smell is almost gone. You will not smell smoke if you believe that will wake you up.

  3. Peta

    This is n addendum to the previous one. You should clean the fire alarm vents with a brush to clear the vents. No spray cleaners please. Also if you have security screen doors you must leave the key in the door. A family of 5 in Queensland died at there front door because they couldn't find the key to open the security door. A truly sad thing.

  4. Sue SA

    Great information thank you! I do know that if I dont use good quality batteries (and the three brands are listed on the detector) in my smoke detector then the manufacturer does not honor the warranty!! But this is written in fine print AND seriously how expensive are batteries so I am sure LOTS of people a) dont know this and b) buy the cheapest of batteries because that is what they can afford.
    So glad you are all safe and well.

  5. barbara woods

    thank dear , we just replaced our in the last few months

  6. Sue Niven

    I have told all my friends about it too, and the people I encounter in my everyday life, I will be talking about this to everyone I meet.


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