On 1 May 2006, the NSW Government introduced new legislation following a series of fatal house fires. Division 7A of the ‘Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000’ calls out the minimum requirements for smoke alarm installation in existing buildings and says that;
– Smoke alarms must comply to Australian Standard 3786:2014 and can be either battery operated or hard wired.
– A minimum of one working smoke alarm should be installed on each level of a dwelling(even if there are no bedrooms on that level).
Note that whilst this is the minimum required by NSW law, Fire and Rescue NSW recommends installing smoke alarms in all bedrooms and living spaces (including hallways and stairways).
A new section (64A) relating to smoke alarms has also been added to the NSW Residential Tenancies Act 2010. This new section came into effect on March 2020 and placed extra obligations for smoke alarms on landlords in accordance with the Rental Tenancies Regulation 2019. It states that landlords must replace a smoke alarm within 10 years of manufacture and ensure the smoke alarm is tested at least annually.
Direct links to the NSW Government website are posted below if you would like to read the legislative documents for yourself.
As the name suggests, heat alarms (also called heat detectors) are designed to emit a visual and audible alarm when a change is detected in the ambient room temperature. Our Red heat alarms will activate when the temperature reaches and exceeds 55°C due to a fire.
Which is better – smoke alarm or heat alarm?
We recommend installing heat alarms in your home to compliment an existing interconnected smoke alarm system (not as a substitute for it). The main benefit of a heat alarm is that they are not susceptible to dust, cooking smoke, humidity or other fumes which are often the cause of nuisance alarms in a conventional photoelectric smoke alarm. For this reason, it may be beneficial to install a heat alarm in kitchens (cooking smoke), garages (car exhaust fumes), laundry rooms (humidity), cellars or attics (dust) where these external environmental conditions could trigger false alarming.
Can the heat alarms be interconnected too?
Yes, our Red heat alarms are designed to be interconnected with up to 40 other Red heat/smoke alarms, so if one heat alarm activates it will automatically trigger all the other interconnected heat alarms and/or smoke alarms within the same group. There are two type of heat alarms that we sell – the fully wireless Red heat alarm model RFA10RF. This heat alarm is powered by a 10 year long life lithium battery and can be interconnected wirelessly with other Red smoke alarms and heat alarms. The other heat alarm is the Red heat alarm model RHA240SL. This heat alarm is wired into 240v AC mains power and incorporates a back-up rechargeable lithium battery (in case household mains power is temporary lost). This heat alarm can also be wirelessly interconnected with other Red heat alarms and/or smoke alarms with the addition of the Red wireless module model RHARFM (sold separately).
Are your heat alarms suitable for compliance with the NSW Short Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) Fire Safety Standard?
What the above passage means is that if there is a private locked garage on the same premises as the short term rental accommodation, then a heat alarm must be installed in that private garage (even if the garage is not accessible to the guest) . The heat alarm in the garage must interconnected with smoke alarms in the dwelling. The interconnection can be either hardwired, or wireless.
Our Red heat alarms are fully compliant to Australian Standard 1603.3:2018 Automatic fire detection and alarm systems Heat alarms and are suitable for the NSW Short Term Rental Accommodation (STRA) Fire Safety Standard.