How To Identify Types Of Smoke Alarms

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Do you know how to tell the difference between a battery and a 240 V mains powered smoke alarm?

Well today were gonna help and explain the difference and the easily identifiable features between the two types of smoke alarms so that you were able to maintain the smoke alarms at your home effectively and reduce annoying beeps.

The easiest way to spot the difference between the two type of smoke alarms is to look for a solid green light on the smoke alarm head. A solid green light indicates the presence of mains power and that the smoke alarm is a 240 V smoke alarm.

A battery smoke alarm will not have a solid green light. Now this is the fastest and easiest way to tell the difference between the two types of smoke alarms.

In the Northern Territory to comply with the smoke alarm legislation a battery type smoke alarm must be a 10 year lithium battery and it must be sealed and inaccessible, meaning that the battery cannot be replaced.

Whereas a 240 V smoke alarm will have a 9 V backup battery installed within the smoke alarm head that can be accessed and replaced if the battery has failed or perished. As this type of smoke alarm has mains power the battery doesn’t have to be a 10 year lithium battery.

In this video Alex is holding a Brooks branded 240 V smoke alarm which has a 9 V backup battery. It can be a little bit tricky to get the smoke alarm head away from the base of the smoke alarm while it’s against the roof and is not easily identifiable how to do this. So today we wanted to help and show you how to remove the smoke alarm had easily without damaging the ceiling was spending extra I unneeded energy.

On the side of the 240 V Brooks smoke alarm there is a label which has text written to insert a flat tool into the slot and depress the tab within the smoke alarm. Once this tool is installed and the tab depressed, simply push the head of the smoke alarm away from your body and the smoke alarm head will come free from the smoke alarm base mounted to the ceiling.

Inside the back of the smoke alarm head which is now off of the ceiling you’ll see a 9 V backup battery that is installed within the smoke alarm head.

It is safe to remove this battery and the smoke alarm head no longer is connected to 240 V electricity. Simply replace the 9 V battery and reinstall the smoke alarm head. Once the battery has been replaced position the smoke alarm head against the smoke alarm base by lining up the clips so that they sit nicely against each other. Then, slide the head back towards the base so that the smoke alarm head is central against the base.

Check that the green mains powered light has re-engaged indicating that the smoke alarm is now re-energised and powered by mains power.

It is a good idea to now test the smoke alarm by pushing and holding the test button on the front of the smoke alarm head and listen for the smoke alarm sounding in test function.

If your 240 V mains powered smoke alarm is chirping intermittently this may be an indication that the battery is flat and requires the above procedure to be followed and the 9 V battery replaced.

Now let’s look at a sealed 10 year lithium battery smoke alarm. This is also a Brooks brand smoke alarm and is a photoelectric type. To remove the battery type smoke alarm from the smoke alarm base simply turn the smoke alarm head counter clockwise, this will allow the smoke alarm had to release from the smoke alarm base.

Now inspect the rear side of the smoke alarm head, you will notice that there is no battery visible and that it cannot be replaced without causing damage to the smoke alarm enclosure. If it’s 10 year lithium sealed battery smoke alarm is chirping which would indicate a low battery the smoke alarm must be replaced as it cannot be maintained and the battery is not replaceable.

It is also important to note and should be known that for any type of smoke alarm to be compliant in the Northern Territory it must be a photoelectric type. Photoelectric smoke alarms are better at detecting slow smouldering fires and a much more sensitive than the previously used ionisation type smoke alarms.

Photoelectric smoke alarms can be quite sensitive and it is a good idea to regularly clean dust and things such as cobwebs from inside the smoke alarm and around the exterior if present. This can be done quite easily from the ground by using a vacuum cleaner and just run it around the outside edges where the grills of the smoke alarm is present and remove all dust and cobwebs. Moisture can also affect the smoke alarms and cause false alarms.

In the Northern Territory there are requirements as to the locations that smoke alarm are required to be installed. it was a good idea to check the smoke alarm fact sheets and confirm the smoke comes in your property installed in the correct locations and are compliant type.

If you require any assistance or advise with the smoke alarms at your property please contact us today!