Are your smoke detectors in working order?
Walking around a clients house yesterday, we were updating their home to a Vantage Equinox System. We were done and dusted when I noticed a tiny little smoke detector outside the kitchen, it was very pretty, and miles up on a 3 meter high ceiling so you barely noticed it – an interior designers dream. The problem was the client hadn’t noticed it either and nobody had any idea whether it was working or if it even had a battery in it. Off we went for another lap of the house and discovered a total of 5 smoke detectors, all in various states, some with covers off and batteries missing, all impossible to reach without a good sized ladder.
We were running cabling nearby so the client asked us to put the whole lot onto the alarm system where they are centrally powered and battery backed up, if there is any issue with them, the panel will alert monitoring.
The primary reason for smoke detectors is life safety, and this is the reason we are required to install smoke detectors within three meters of any “sleeping space”, most commonly bedrooms, but if you have a pullout couch for the odd hanger-on, then this needs covering as well.
The secondary reason for smoke detectors is property protection. Given that many of our clients spend a good part of the year elsewhere, usually somewhere warmer, the house or bach is often empty for days or weeks at a time. I have to ask the question – what good is a battery powered smoke detector beeping it’s heart out while the house burns to the ground around it?
The law says you need hardwired smoke detectors if the people sleeping in the bedrooms are paying to be there (i.e. hotels and lodges). Why are they better protected than your own family?
If your current smoke detectors are from the bin by the tills at Bunnings or you can’t remember if you changed the batteries last year or not, please get them connected to your alarm system so we can all stop worrying about them! Click here if you want yours checked out.
Rant Over – Brendon
P.S. We use and recommend heat (rather than smoke) detectors in kitchens to avoid the wet tea-towel dance when you burn the toast – nuisance tripping is a thing of the past now, so no excuses!