Choosing the right smoke alarm

Smoke alarms help keep you and your family safe, and any additional smoke alarms you install into your home help make it even safer. Smoke alarms have a working lifespan of 10 years, after which they should be replaced regardless of which type of alarm they are.  If in doubt of their age, it’s best to replace the alarm.

In addition to alarms installed in hallways outside of bedrooms, Victorian Fire Services strongly recommend installing smoke alarms inside all bedrooms and areas where people may sleep.

The cheapest option is an alarm powered by a 9-volt battery. While these alarms are less costly to purchase upfront, they do require a new 9V battery each year.

Over the alarm’s 10 year life, this is less cost effective than purchasing a smoke alarm with a 10-year, long life battery, and you must remember to change the battery each year.

Battery technology has improved to the point where we now have smoke alarms with a built-in, 10-year, long-life lithium batteries. This eliminates the hassle of yearly battery replacements and is far more cost effective over the life of the alarm. Interconnected smoke alarms are the best type of alarm to install.  

All of the alarms are linked together, either by a physical wire or Bluetooth. This means when any alarm senses smoke, all of the alarms activate. This is especially important when homes have a layout where family bedrooms are located at separate ends of the home, as you may not hear the alarm from your bedroom.

Each type has its strengths and considerations. From affordability to convenience to comprehensive coverage, there’s a smoke alarm to fit every need and budget.