O’Brien® experts continue to be available to service your vehicle glass, glazing, electrical and plumbing needs. We are open, call us 24/7. Given the ever-changing situation, we continue to put increased hygiene and protective measures in place to help keep customers and staff safe, including the latest requirements in Victoria. Read our COVID-19 Plan here.

Articles / Electrical

5 Signs Your Smoke Alarm Needs Replacing

17 September 2020

5 Signs Your Smoke Alarm Needs Replacing

Smoke Alarms (also known as Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors) are an essential part of every Australian home today.

Not only are they required by state law across the country, but most importantly, they help protect the precious lives who live there.

Unfortunately, fire poses a serious risk and can occur when we least expect it, such as during the night. This is why it’s important to ensure your smoke alarms are fully functioning, so they can alert you and your family to any danger.

How do you know when your smoke alarm needs maintenance, a new battery or replacing altogether?

To help you, our Electrical experts have compiled 5 signs that indicate your smoke alarm might need replacing.

1.Smoke Alarm Testing

It’s very important to regularly test your smoke alarms to make sure they are in full working condition. AFAC (National Council for Fire and Emergency Services) recommends that you test your smoke alarms at least once a month by holding down the test button for a minimum of five seconds until the smoke alarm begins to beep. If your test button doesn’t trigger the beep or your alarm is not working properly, then you need to replace your alarm, as it’s not fully functioning to help keep you safe. You can speak to a qualified electrician or the product manufacturer if you have any questions.

2. Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Like other household appliances, smoke alarms can get dirty. However, a build-up of dust, insects or dirt in your smoke alarms can reduce the sensitivity of smoke sensors, likely decreasing their response time to danger and putting you more at risk. To prevent this, AFAC recommends that your smoke alarm should be vacuumed and dusted once a year. However, if your smoke alarm is clogged up, or dirty beyond repair, then you might need to get it replaced.

3. Every 10 years

All smoke alarms need to be replaced every 10 years, or sooner if stated by the manufacturer. It’s important to keep up to date with this timeframe, as after this period, your smoke alarms begin to lose their sensitivity, putting your household at greater risk. You can check the age of your smoke alarm by finding the manufacturing code or date of manufacture, which are required by law to be placed on the device. These codes or dates are usually located near the battery component at the base of the alarm. If your smoke alarm is past its expiry date, it’s an extremely important sign that it needs to be replaced!

4. The Type of Smoke Alarm

Over the years, new smoke detection technologies have been introduced into smoke alarms. Smoke alarms with photoelectric sensors are now the suggested smoke alarms for residential buildings. This is because they are highly effective in detecting smoke and smouldering fires, which are the most common cause of household fires. If it has been a while since your smoke alarms have been updated, then they may not have photoelectric sensors. In this case, it’s a sign for you to upgrade your smoke alarms to ensure you have the best chance of escape from household fires.

5. Speak to an O’Brien Electrician

If you are still unsure whether your smoke alarm needs replacing, contact your local O’Brien Electrician and they will be able to answer any of your questions regarding your smoke alarm and provide you with experienced advice as to whether it needs to be replaced.

Remember – a smoke alarm is there to help keep you and your family safe at home. But it can only do this when it’s in good working order. So, pay close attention to the above signs.

If your smoke alarm does show a sign of needing replacement, contact an O’Brien Electrician to get your smoke alarm replaced by a local expert.

Contact O’Brien Electrical today

Get expert help

Are you sure you want to leave?

Exiting this page will clear your answers.
Sorry, there was an issue saving your booking.

Please try again later.

We are sorry, but that service isn't currently available in your area.
Not available

But we're adding more locations and services to our list!

To receive information regarding new products, services and content from O'Brien®, please enter your email below and we'll be in touch!

Thank you. You will be notified when we are able to service your request.
You'll hear from us shortly

You'll hear from us shortly about your task, and we're looking forward to getting you booked in as soon as we can.

I'm done
Where do you need the work done?
Take a minute to tell us about your task.
What do you need help with?
In what type of property is this task?
Would you like mobile or branch service?
Where will the task be done?
Do you require a repair or replacement?

For windscreens, if the damage is smaller than a one dollar coin and 5cm away from the edge, we may be able to repair your windscreen. We cannot repair side or rear glass.

Will you be claiming on insurance?
Tell us your vehicle registration details
Vehicle registration
Vehicle registration state
How soon do you need the work done?
Is there anything further you'd like to tell us about your task? (optional)
Tell us a few details about yourself
First name
Last name
Phone number
Email address

By clicking submit you confirm that you have read and accept the O'Brien® Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Hi there, our experts have helped 300,000+ Australian families in the last year.

  • 90+ years In Business
  • Locally Available Near You
  • Fast & Friendly Service
  • Mobile & Branch Service

What do you need help with?

Or call us on 1800 059 829