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Smoke alarms

It's the law

It's the law to have at least one working smoke alarm installed on every level of your home. This includes owner occupied homes, rental properties, relocatable homes, caravans and camper-vans or any other residential building where people sleep.

Maintaining your smoke alarm

  • Test your smoke alarm batteries every month by pressing and holding the test button for five seconds. Replace batteries every 12 months.
  • Vacuum dust off alarms every six months.
  • Replace smoke alarms with a new photoelectric alarm every ten years, or, earlier if specified by the manufacturer.
  • Assistance with battery replacement may be available in some circumstances. Click here for further information.

 

Choosing your smoke alarm

  • Fire & Rescue NSW recommends the installation of photoelectric smoke alarms, ideally hard-wired and interconnected.
  • There are different types of smoke alarms available:
    • Standard battery-operated alarms.
    • Mains-powered smoke alarms.
    • Smoke alarms with ten year lithium batteries.
    • Strobe light and vibrating pad alarms. These are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. For more information contact the Deaf Society of NSW on 02 8833 3600.
  • The Australian Standard symbol on the packaging shows if the alarm is approved and safe.
  • Your local Fire & Rescue NSW station will be happy to give you advice on which type is best suited for you.

 

Installing your smoke alarm

  • Avoid fitting smoke alarms in or near your kitchen or bathroom.
  • The ideal position is on the ceiling between sleeping and living areas.
  • In addition to the minimum requirement, Fire & Rescue NSW recommends installing smoke alarms in all bedrooms where people sleep.
  • Hard-wired smoke alarms need to be installed by an electrician.
  • Always install smoke alarms in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If it is difficult for you to fit one yourself, contact your local Fire & Rescue NSW station for advice.
  • Assistance with installation may be available in some circumstances. Click here for further information.

 

Single Floor Plan

Smoke alarms for minimum legal requirement
Smoke alarms for recommended protection

 

Multi-level Floor Plan

Smoke alarms for minimum legal requirement
Smoke alarms for recommended protection

Did you know?


The use of heaters, cigarettes and candles are common causes of fires.


When you're asleep, you won't smell the smoke from a fire.


You're twice as likely to die in a home fire if you don't have a working smoke alarm.

Fire & Rescue NSW responds to approximately
4500
residential fires each year.
Half of these fires start in the kitchen, mostly due to unattended cooking.


Electrical appliances and faults cause almost 40% of home fires.