Tag: interconnected smoke alarm

The Queensland Christmas season is synonymous with family fun and warm summer holiday weather. However, amidst the festive cheer, it’s also important to consider fire safety to ensure your celebrations remain merry and bright. Christmas fire safety is important during this time of year, as the combination of dry Christmas trees, electrical lighting, and other festive decorations can pose a potential fire hazard. Here are some essential tips to keep your family home safe and sound this Queensland Christmas season.

Mindful Christmas Tree Placement

If you are using a real natural pine tree as a Christmas tree, choose one that is fresh and green and keep it well-hydrated. Position it away from any potential heat sources. A dry Christmas tree can quickly become a fire hazard, so water it regularly and dispose of it promptly after the holidays.

Position your tree strategically – make sure it’s not blocking any exits. This ensures that, in the unfortunate event of a fire, everyone can easily evacuate the home.

Christmas Lights Check

Inspect all Christmas lights before decorating your tree and home. Discard any frayed or damaged cords and replace burnt-out bulbs. Opt for LED lights, which emit less heat than traditional incandescent lights, reducing the risk of fire. Be wary of non-compliant cheap imports and ensure your lights have the appropriate Australian electrical safety Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM). Always turn off all Christmas lights and decorations before going to bed or leaving the house. This simple step not only conserves energy but also reduces the risk of electrical malfunctions that could lead to a fire.

Interconnected Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

Equip your home with ZEN interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms inside every bedroom, hallway outside the bedrooms, and have at least one on each level of the dwelling. Press the test button on the alarm to check they are in good working order (i.e. so if one smoke alarm goes off, they all go off). If you haven’t done so already, create a home fire safety plan and share it with your family and any visitors who may be staying with you over the holiday period. Keep fire a fire blanket handy, and make sure everyone knows its location and how to use it. Spending 10 minutes to review this information with your loved ones could avoid becoming a Christmas tragedy headline on the evening news.

Power Board Wisdom

Avoid overloading electrical wall outlets and power boards. Spread out the use of multiple appliances and decorations across different outlets to prevent overloading and subsequent overheating. Choose a power board which has in-built overload protection.

Candle Caution

Candles add a traditional warm glow to the festive atmosphere, but they can also pose a fire risk. Keep candles away from flammable materials such as window curtains, place them in stable holders, and never leave them unattended. Consider using realistic looking flameless LED candles as a safer modern alternative.

Cooking Vigilance

The holiday season often involves elaborate meals and festive cooking. Stay vigilant in the kitchen, and never leave cooking unattended. Keep flammable items, such as kitchen tea towels and oven mitts, away from open flames and other heat sources. Keep a fire blanket nearby to help extinguish any cooking flames on the stove top.

Conclusion

By following these Christmas fire safety tips, you can enjoy a festive and worry-free holiday season. Ensuring interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms are installed and working means the joy of Christmas remains in our hearts without the threat of fire casting a shadow on the celebrations. Merry Christmas Queensland! Thank you all for your amazing support, and we look forward to another incredibly busy and productive year ahead! Best wishes and Happy New Year to all!

Want to know more? Watch our ZEN quick start video or call us on 0478 596 402 today

We love talking smoke alarms!

ZEN Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

New Farm, QLD, 4005

The rise in the cost of living across Australia, and in Queensland in particular, has become a pervasive concern for individuals and families alike. Relentlessly rising electricity costs, fuel, food and insurance premiums means less available disposable income. While financial strain is a well-known consequence, a lesser-known and equally pressing issue is the impact of these pressures on residential house fire safety.

As families tighten their budgets to meet basic needs, the temptation to cut corners on home maintenance and safety measures becomes more pronounced. One area where this compromise can have severe consequences is fire safety. Neglecting home fire safety, by not installing or maintaining interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms, can significantly elevate the risk of house fires and leave a family exposed. Faulty appliances, aging electrical panels, outdated wiring and cheap electrical gadgets are other examples of potential fire hazards that may be overlooked in the quest to trim expenses.

Home Fire Safety And The Cost Of Living

In a recent article published in Queensland’s The Courier Mail newspaper, University of Wollongong fire expert Dr Owen Price said the rising cost of living was likely affecting fire risk within homes as many of the steps people could take to protect themselves required money.

“A lot of people realise they are at risk, but they often don’t do anything about it and when cost of living comes in it’s often lowest on people’s priorities,” he said.

Cash strapped families also tended to live in cheaper, older housing, which was more vulnerable to fire, Dr Price said.

Older buildings with outdated fire prevention measures, such as a lack of interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms, or inadequate escape routes can pose a serious threat to residents. In such cases, the cost of living pressures directly translate into compromised safety.

The stress induced by financial strains can also lead to behavioral changes that impact fire safety. Individuals working multiple jobs or long hours may be more prone to fatigue, increasing the likelihood of negligence in daily tasks such as turning off stoves or unplugging electrical devices. Additionally, the inability to afford quality appliances and heating equipment may force individuals to resort to makeshift solutions, elevating the risk of electrical fires.

Install Interconnected Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

To mitigate these risks, it is crucial for individuals facing cost of living pressures to prioritize fire safety. This includes installing and maintaining interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms, performing regular checks of electrical systems, investing in quality appliances and avoiding cheap knock offs, and staying vigilant about potential hazards. Public awareness campaigns and community initiatives can further emphasize the importance of fire safety in the face of financial challenges, ensuring that individuals and families can navigate these pressures without compromising their well-being.

Free Safehome Fire Safety Initiative

The QLD Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) ‘Safehome’ initiative is a free service provided in the interest of developing a safer Queensland community. Firefighters will visit your QLD home at no cost and advise you on correct positioning of interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms and discuss any other fire related safety concerns. Contact QFES for further information and to make a booking.

Photoelectric Smoke Alarm Discount

Please feel free to use our discount coupon code GDAY$10 during the online checkout process to help offset the cost of your next purchase of ZEN interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms. Conditions apply.

Summary

By fostering a culture of awareness and not neglecting preventative measures such as interconnected fire alarms, we can ensure that the cost of living crisis doesn’t come at the expense of our most precious asset – our safety and well-being. As Queenslanders, let us renew our commitment to safeguarding homes from the silent threat of fire that lurks within the shadows of the cost of living crisis.

Want to know more? Watch our ZEN quick start video or call us on 0478 596 402 today

We love talking smoke alarms!

ZEN Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

New Farm, QLD, 4005

As the winter chill gradually gives way to the warmth of a Queensland spring, we find ourselves emerging from the cozy hibernation of the colder months. Spring cleaning, gardening and home maintenance tasks become top priorities, and one crucial activity that should not be overlooked is checking your interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms. Whilst this may not seem like the most glamorous of springtime duties, it is undeniably one of the most important ones. The primary purpose of a smoke alarm is to protect you and your loved ones in the event of a fire. By checking them in the spring, you ensure that they are in good working condition and ready to alert you in case of an emergency.

Here’s how you should make checking your smoke alarms a regular springtime ritual.

Photoelectric Smoke Alarm Spring Cleaning

Did you know that the changing of the seasons can have an impact on your photoelectric smoke alarms? Over time, dust and debris can accumulate inside them, reducing their efficiency and increasing the possibility for nuisance alarms. Whilst you’re already in spring cleaning mode, why not take a few extra minutes to ensure your alarms are fully clean and operational? Gently vacuum around the exterior shell of your smoke detectors with the soft brush attachment from a vacuum cleaner to remove any cobwebs, dust build-up etc. which may have occurred over the winter months. Outside of this spring time activity it is recommended to clean your ZEN smoke alarms every 6 months.

Smoke Alarm Battery Check

Smoke alarms often rely on batteries for power, and these batteries can weaken or die over time. Fortunately most modern smoke detectors are now equipped with 10-year long life lithium batteries which are sealed inside the smoke alarm itself (after 10 years the entire smoke alarm is simply swapped out for a new one). However, if you still have an older style smoke alarm which uses 9V replaceable batteries then spring is a great time to either replace the old batteries with fresh ones, or our recommendation is to upgrade to new alarms with 10-year long life batteries. So, go ahead, replace those dusty old 9V replaceable battery smoke alarms in springtime with the newest photoelectric smoke alarms equipped with 10-year long life batteries, and ensure your alarms are always ready to do their job.

Photoelectric Smoke Alarm Testing

Testing your interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms is a relatively quick and straightforward task. You don’t need any special tools or expertise. Smoke alarms have a ‘test’ button that you can press to ensure they are working correctly. It’s a small effort for a significant safety boost. In QLD the smoke alarms must be interconnected (so if one smoke alarm activates, they all do). When testing your smoke alarms be sure to check that all the smoke alarms are interconnected and activate together, usually within about 10 seconds of the test button being pressed on the first smoke alarm. If not, it’s time for some troubleshooting or possibly a replacement. Outside of this spring time activity it is also recommended to test your ZEN smoke alarms monthly.

Smoke Alarm Expiry Date

Smoke alarms don’t last forever and should be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture. According to Australian Standard 3786:2014, the smoke alarm date of manufacture should be printed on the rear of the smoke alarm – go on, have a look. If they’re older than 10 years then they should be replaced with newer models. Why? Photoelectric sensors and other internal components can degrade over time, leading to a less effective smoke alarm.

Photoelectric Smoke Alarm Location

Whilst you’re at it, double-check the placement of your interconnected smoke alarms. Are they strategically positioned throughout your home as per Queensland smoke alarm laws? In Queensland there should be one smoke detector inside each bedroom, the interconnecting hallway outside the bedrooms, and at least one on each level of your home. If there is no interconnecting hallway outside the bedrooms then a smoke alarm must be installed outside the bedroom and other parts of the storey. Proper placement can make all the difference in early detection.

Photoelectric Smoke Alarm Placement Recommendations

Teach Your Family About Smoke Alarms

Checking your interconnected smoke alarms in the spring also presents an opportunity to educate your family about fire safety (especially children). Show them how to test the alarms and what to do and who to call in case they hear one go off. Surprisingly, young children may not automatically associate the sound of a smoke alarm with danger. This knowledge can be invaluable in an emergency situation. Phone 000 (triple zero) for the Queensland Fire Brigade in a real life fire emergency situation. If you do not already have one, spring time is a great opportunity to develop a home fire escape plan and rehearse it with your family.

Conclusion

So there you have it, as you embark on your spring cleaning rituals and home maintenance tasks, don’t forget to check your smoke alarms. It’s a simple yet essential step to ensure the safety of your home and loved ones. With working interconnected smoke alarms in place, you can enjoy the beauty and rejuvenation of a QLD spring with the peace of mind that you are well-prepared for any potential fire-related emergencies. So, make it a springtime tradition to give your ZEN smoke alarms the attention they deserve – because the safety of your loved ones always comes first.

Want to know more? Watch our ZEN quick start video or call us on 0478 596 402 today

We love talking smoke alarms!

ZEN Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

New Farm, QLD, 4005

In recent years, Australia has witnessed a surge in the adoption of lithium-ion battery technology, and Queensland is no exception. Small, lightweight and versatile, these batteries power everything from smartphones to e-scooters, e-bikes and even household renewable energy storage systems. Whilst these convenient batteries have transformed the way we live, work and play, their introduction has been accompanied by a concerning rise in lithium-ion battery fires in QLD homes.

QLD Lithium-Ion Battery Fires Increasing Exponentially

Data collated from Australian state fire departments indicate that more than 450 fires across this country have been linked to lithium-ion batteries since 2021 (including 157 in Queensland). Several of these fires have garnered significant media attention – see below.

Close call! e-scooter battery fires extremely difficult to extinguish

What Is The Cause Of Lithium-Ion Battery Fires?

Numerous factors contribute to this alarming safety trend, but one of the primary culprits behind lithium-ion battery fires is improper charging practices. If incompatible chargers are used, or devices like e-scooters are left charging unattended for extended periods, it can lead to overheating and a subsequent lithium-ion battery fire.


Another common cause of lithium-ion battery fires stems from manufacturing defects in either the battery charger or the battery itself. Poor adherence to quality standards during manufacture can lead to internal faults, increasing the risk of overheating and fire. Furthermore, improper storage and transportation of batteries can cause short circuits, posing a threat of fire. To mitigate these risks, consumers should avoid purchasing cheap lithium-ion batteries and chargers second-hand or from unregulated online marketplaces, as low-quality, counterfeit, and non-original equipment manufacturer (OEM) batteries and chargers can exacerbate fire hazards.


E-scooters and e-bikes, due to their nature of use, are often subjected to rough handling and exposure to environmental elements. Consequently, damage to the battery can occur, leading to internal short-circuits and potential fires. Even seemingly minor physical damage to the battery’s protective casing can create a pathway for ‘thermal runaway’, triggering a catastrophic fire event. When lithium-ion batteries fail, they undergo thermal runaway, involving the violent bursting of one or multiple battery cells, releasing toxic, flammable, and explosive gases, and resulting in an intense, self-sustaining fire. Putting out a lithium-ion battery fire is challenging, as it escalates rapidly with intense heat and cannot be easily extinguished with water or regular fire extinguishers. Additionally, such fires often reignite several times after being extinguished.

ABC report – dangers of lithium-ion batteries in Australia

Photoelectric Smoke Alarm Lithium Batteries – Fire Hazard?

What about my smoke alarms – don’t they also contain a lithium-ion battery?


The 10-year long life lithium batteries in smoke alarms differ in design from lithium-ion batteries used in e-scooters, e-bikes and the like. Photoelectric smoke alarms contain two small 3V, single-use, lithium batteries sealed within the alarm itself. These batteries are non-replaceable and are designed to deplete slowly and steadily over a 10-year lifespan. At the end of this period, the entire smoke alarm is disposed of (including the sealed batteries), and a new smoke alarm is installed. The same fire and thermal runaway risks associated with continuous and repeated recharging of large, high energy lithium-ion batteries are not present with small non-rechargeable smoke alarm lithium batteries.

Photoelectric Smoke Alarm Battery Safety


When purchasing a photoelectric smoke alarm, it is essential to choose one that complies with Australian Standard 3786:2014, as indicated by the official Australian Standard red ‘5-tick’s mark on the packaging and the product itself. Product testing required of this standard helps ensure that the smoke alarm poses no electrical danger during normal use. Additionally, the smoke alarm should carry the electrical Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM), affirming compliance with Australian electrical safety regulations outlined in Australian Standard 3820:2020. Avoiding cheap imported knock-offs without the RCM mark is crucial for battery safety.

ZEN photoelectric smoke alarms – symbols of battery safety compliance

Watch lithium-ion battery fires in this video

Conclusion

The surge in lithium-ion battery fires in Australia calls for a collective effort from manufacturers, regulators, and users to address this growing concern. While the benefits of lithium-ion batteries are undeniable, the risks associated with their usage demand immediate attention. By enhancing safety regulations, improving manufacturing standards, educating and promoting responsible usage and re-charging practices, we can embrace the lithium ion-battery revolution in QLD while ensuring a safer and more sustainable future for all. Please ensure ZEN photoelectric smoke alarms are installed in your home for early detection of a lithium-ion battery fire. For more information on lithium-ion battery safety refer to the QLD Fire and Emergency Services or other state fire department.

Want to know more? Watch our ZEN quick start video or call us on 0478 596 402 today.

We love talking smoke alarms!

ZEN Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

New Farm, QLD, 4005