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Smoke alarms

Why do I need a smoke alarm in my home?

In NSW, the law requires you to have smoke alarms because they help to protect your life and your property. Smoke alarms detect smoke and fires early and sound a warning alarm. For this reason, you should not remove or damage them.

The standby battery in the alarm should last for five to 10 years. It does not fit into any other electrical appliance.

Smoke alarms in DCJ properties are connected to the house or unit’s wiring system. They are usually mounted in a high position located in the living room, hallway or bedrooms.

You will notice two different lights on your smoke alarm:

  • A steady green light shows the alarm is being powered.
  • A red light that flashes once a minute shows the alarm is working.

What should I do if the alarm goes off?

If your smoke alarm goes off and you smell smoke, everyone should leave the property immediately. Once outside, phone 000 and report the fire.

Smoke alarms can sometimes be triggered by cooking smoke or steam from showers. To help prevent this, ensure there is enough ventilation when cooking, showering or smoking. If these activities trigger the alarm, you can stop the beeping by pressing the hush button on the alarm or fanning away the smoke or steam.

If the power to your property is turned off, you will hear a short beep every few seconds. When the power is first connected to the alarm, it may sound for two to three seconds and continue to beep once every 40 seconds for around 10 minutes. This is normal.

If a smoke alarm sounds regularly for no clear reason, or you think it is not working properly, contact us. Community housing tenants must contact their provider directly.

How do I look after my smoke alarm?

  • Do not remove or interfere with any parts of the smoke alarm – it’s against the law.
  • A contractor checks the smoke alarm annually. We organise this with you. The law requires this to ensure your smoke alarm is working properly. Please give entry to the contractor.
  • Do not attempt to open the alarm as it is connected to the main power supply and could give you an electric shock.

Insects may be attracted to smoke alarms and can trigger the alarm. If this occurs, spray the ceiling around the alarm with insect surface spray but never spray the alarm directly.

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Last updated: 01 Jun 2020