Tag: interconnected smoke alarms

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

On February 17, 2023, the Standards Australia Committee published a new Australian Standard for smoke alarms, known as Australian Standard 3786:2023. This standard replaces the previous version, Australian Standard 3786:2014. The superseding of standards is a common occurrence, as standards are regularly updated and amended over time. In the case of Australian Standard 3786, it has undergone multiple iterations since its initial release in 1990. This new standard has been introduced to ensure that Australian homes are equipped with the latest technology and guidelines for fire safety.

Why new Australian smoke alarm standard 3786:2023?

Photoelectric smoke alarm technological advancements

With the emergence of new smoke alarm technologies and the evolution of existing ones, it was necessary to update the standard to incorporate these changes. This ensures that the standard remains relevant and reflects the current technology available in the Australian market. For example, the new standard now includes provisions for interconnected smoke alarms and their remote control devices.

Safety considerations

Safety is of utmost importance in this standard. As new fire risks are identified and existing ones are better understood, the standard has been updated to address these concerns. This involves providing clearer guidelines for the safe usage of smoke alarms and associated testing protocols.

International harmonization

In a globalized world, harmonizing standards across different countries and regions is key for interoperability and mutual recognition of products. Australian Standard 3786:2023 has been aligned with the International Standard ISO 12239:2021 for smoke alarms using scattered light, transmitted light, or ionization.

Feedback and continuous improvement

The development of Australian Standard 3786:2023 was an iterative process that took into consideration feedback from users, stakeholders, and experts. Committee members involved in the development included the National Fire Industries Association, Australian Building Codes Board, Property Council of Australia, CSIRO, and the Fire Protection Association Australia.

Differences between AS 3786:2023 and AS 3786:2014 ?

Recognition of combination and multi-criteria smoke alarms

The new standard acknowledges the introduction of smoke alarms that combine multiple sensors within a single housing, allowing for enhanced detection capabilities.

Inclusion of unrelated sensors in photoelectric smoke alarms

The new standard references the inclusion of sensors within smoke alarms that are unrelated to smoke detection. For example, a smoke alarm could now include a carbon monoxide sensor, creating a dual purpose product that is both a carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm. The new standard also introduces the use of heat alarms.

Additional requirements

The new standard introduces new requirements for smoke alarms powered by mains household power, temporary disablement facilities, smoke alarms using radio frequency links, and assessment for wall-mounted smoke alarms. The standard also outlines additional information to be included in smoke alarm documentation.

Do I need to upgrade my smoke alarms now so they are

compliant with Australian Standard 3786:2023?

If you have interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms that comply with Australian Standard 3786:2014, you do not need to upgrade them to comply with the new Australian Standard 3786:2023. Compliance with a standard only becomes a legal requirement when it is referenced in legislation by the Australian government or other regulatory bodies. Fire safety legislation in Queensland (and the rest of the Australia) still reference Australian Standard 3786:2014. The National Construction Code 2022 (only just adopted by states and territories from May 1, 2023) also references Australian Standard 3786:2014. Therefore, legal compliance to Australian Standard 3786:2014 is the prerequisite, and remains unchanged in the eyes of the law.

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