Safe disposal of smoke alarms
Household Chemical CleanOut events are drive-through events held on different weekends throughout the year. Community Recycling Centres are permanent drop-off centres and are open year-round. Both services are run by the NSW Environment Protection Authority [external link] (NSW EPA) and your local council.
Some Councils may also have drop-off facilities at their local library. Ask your Council if this is available in your area.
When you drop off an old smoke alarm, the NSW EPA will make sure that is it disposed of in the safest and most environmentally friendly way.
Find your nearest drop off location using the postcode search tool at www.cleanout.com.au [external link]
The radiation dose to the occupants of a house from a domestic ionisation-type smoke alarm is minute compared to natural background radiation from the sun in the form of cosmic radiation, as well as radiation from certain rocks and food we eat. The gamma-ray dose rate from a domestic smoke alarm at a distance of one metre is less than one-thousandth of that from background radiation.
Due to the small amount of material used and the secure means of its encapsulation, these smoke alarms are completely safe under all normal conditions they may encounter, including during a fire.