No need to get alarmed says Paul!

We all know that a fire can destroy your home in just minutes. And that’s why having safe and working smoke alarms in an important must-have for any property.

We spoke to our very own, Top 3 local electrician pick, Paul Edelman from Edelman Electrics based in Sydney’s Northern beaches, about this topic and this is what Paul has to share.

Smoke alarms are mandatory

That’s right! According to Fire & Rescue NSW: “Legislation requires all NSW residents must have at least one working smoke alarm installed on each level of their home.

This includes owner occupied, rental properties, relocatable homes, caravans and campervans or any other residential building where people sleep.”

In relation to this, Paul answers some common questions on smoke alarms.

Smoke alarms Q&A with Edelman Electrics

Why are Photoelectric smoke alarms preferred over Ionisation?

  • Photoelectric smoke detectors are recommended by Fire & Rescue NSW
  • They respond faster than other alarms to most fire types
  • They are less likely to cause false alarms
  • Very effective in detecting smoldering fires and as a result they provide the earliest possible warning to residents.

How do I know what type of smoke alarms I have?

Paul suggests the following:

  • Ionisation alarms have a radioactive symbol on them
  • If you are not sure, give your local electrician a call and get it checked out

How many smoke alarms should I have in my home & where should I place them?

Whilst legislation requires one smoke alarm per level of your home, Paul recommends that a smoke alarm be placed outside bedrooms or in hallways leading to sleeping areas.

Hardwired or battery operated smoke alarms?


  • It is always recommended to have hardwired interconnected smoke alarms installed. This is the greatest protection for you and your home
  • Hardwired smoke alarms are connected with a 240 volt and also have batteries installed as back up. When your smoke alarm chirps it is because these batteries need to be replaced – generally every single year!
  • Battery operated alarms should be fitted with 10 year lithium batteries. Replace your alarms at the same time as you replace your batteries.

How do I know if my smoke alarms are working?

Paul recommends the following:

  • You can test it’s working by pressing the Test button. Use a ladder or a broom handle for this. It should beep for a few seconds and then stop. If this does not happen, then it is best to get a local electrician to check it out and possibly replace it. Aim to test this at least once a month!
  • If it starts to chirp at any time, this means the batteries need to be changed.
  • Batteries should be changed every year.  Set yourself a reminder to do this when you change your clocks over at Daylight Saving time.
  • If you have any doubt about whether your smoke detectors are working,  immediate call an electrician so they can conduct a thorough test.

Need a trusted Sydney electrician to help?

Why not contact our accredited Top 3 local electrician, Paul Edelman from Edelman Electrics today!

Other Useful Links:

Northern Beaches Electrician

Sydney Electricians

Plumbers Sydney

Plumbers Northern Beaches 

Northern Beaches Sydney Local Directory

Northern Beaches Painters

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