Smoke alarm buyers guide

How many do I need to buy?

In addition to the minimum requirement of one smoke alarm per level, Fire and Rescue NSW recommends installing smoke alarms in all bedrooms and living spaces (including hallways and stairways) and even the garage.

NSW legislation requires all residents to have one working smoke alarm installed on each level of their home. This includes owner occupied, rental properties, relocatable homes, caravans and campervans or any other residential building where people sleep.

View the smoke alarm installation guide for further information.

Are there approved smoke alarms?

All smoke alarms installed in residential accommodation in NSW must meet the requirements of Australian Standard AS 3786.

Hard-wired or battery operated?

Fire and Rescue NSW recommends wherever possible, hard-wired and interconnected smoke alarms are installed.

If your alarms cannot be hard-wired, FRNSW recommends smoke alarms that rely on 10-year lithium batteries. Inbuilt 10-year lithium batteries last as long as the smoke alarm so you don’t need to worry about replacing them every year – you simply replace the entire smoke alarm unit once every 10 years.

Hard-wired smoke alarm

A hard-wired smoke alarm consists of a 240-volt smoke alarm connected to a home's electrical system with a battery back-up power supply.

Battery operated smoke alarm

Most smoke alarms come with a battery but not all batteries are the same:

  • 10 year lithium batteries: These batteries are recommended and last as long as the smoke alarm.
  • Lead or alkaline batteries: Need to be replaced yearly.

Where can I buy them?

Available at most major supermarkets and hardware stores across NSW.

Smoke Alarms for deaf and hard of hearing

There are specialised smoke alarms available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing with a strobe light and a vibrating pad that can be placed under the pillow. These activate when the smoke alarm sounds and some can be interconnected with conventional audible alarms in different locations within the home. If one of the alarms senses smoke, all alarms will sound, the strobe will flash and the vibrating pad will vibrate. These smoke alarms are also suitable for people in the home without hearing issues.

Click here to learn more about smoke alarms for deaf and hard of hearing