Smoke Alarm Installation and Maintenance
Smoke Alarm Installation and Maintenance
Only a working smoke alarm can save lives.
How do I install my smoke alarm?
If you can handle a screwdriver, you can install a battery
operated smoke alarm. They are simply fastened to the ceiling
with two small screws. Mains powered smoke alarms must be
installed by a licensed electrician. For effective operation smoke
alarms should be located away from corners.
When installing your smoke alarm:
• Do not paint your smoke alarm.
• Do not place the alarm in turbulent air from fans, doors,
windows, air conditioners etc. Rapid air movement may
prevent smoke from reaching the alarm.
• Do not place the alarm in dead air spaces such as the peak of
an A-frame ceiling. ‘Dead air’ at the top may prevent smoke
from reaching the alarm in time to provide early warning. In
rooms with simple sloped, peaked or gabled ceilings, install
smoke alarms on the ceiling 90cm (3 feet) from the highest
point of the ceiling. Read and follow the manufacturer’s
500 mm Min
1500 mm Max
300 mm Min
300 mm Min
Smoke alarm
Dead air space
500 mm Max
Ensure you do not place an alarm in a
dead air space.
Note: For complex ceiling structures, consult a fire safety expert
for the number of alarms required and the best locations.
What maintenance is required?
Monthly: Smoke alarms require regular testing. They are
equipped with a test button that should be depressed (by the
use of a broom handle or similar) until the alarm sounds.
Smoke alarms should be tested regularly.
Six monthly: Every six months the alarm should be checked for
excessive dust.
Yearly: Every year you should clean your smoke alarm with
your vacuum cleaner to remove any dust particles that may
affect the smoke alarm’s performance. In most cases the battery
should be replaced.
Ten yearly: Every 10 years, all smoke alarms should be
replaced. The service date (the date when the alarm will no
longer work) should be indicated clearly on the base of each
smoke alarm.
More information over page……/
This Fact Sheet is a publication of FPA Australia. Statements
made in this publication do not necessarily represent the
policy or opinions of the Association. The Association does not
accept liability for any errors or omissions in anything
contained in this Fact Sheet.
Smoke alarms should be cleaned with a
vacuum cleaner to remove any excessive
When do I replace the battery?
When batteries are low the smoke alarm will sound a short
‘Beep’ at regular intervals. This is your reminder to replace the
batteries. Except for smoke alarms fitted with rechargeable or
long life lithium batteries, we suggest you replace your batteries
annually, for example when you change your clock to daylight
saving time, or on some notable anniversary.
Disposal of your old smoke alarm
Replace your smoke alarm battery
Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years and therefore
consideration needs to be given to disposal of your old unit. Old
photoelectric smoke alarms may be disposed of with household
waste in any quantity.
Local legislation may allow your old ionisation smoke alarms to
be disposed of with household waste in a quantity not exceeding
10 units. Any more than 10 units would require being treated as
radioactive waste and disposed of in accordance with local
Ionisation smoke alarms can be disposed
of in a quantity not exceeding 10 units.
FPA Australia
PO Box 1049
Box Hill VIC 3128
T: 03 9890 1544
F: 03 9890 1577
E: [email protected]
Also see:
Purchasing a Smoke Alarm
Smoke Alarm - Ionisation or Photoelectric?
© Copyright FPA Australia 2008
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