A house fire is not something anyone likes to think about. However, they do happen and they can have devastating consequences. That’s why in NSW every single home must have at least one working smoke alarm. Specifically:

“Under Clause 146A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and Division 7A of Part 9 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, at least one working smoke alarm must be installed on each level in all buildings in NSW where people sleep. The smoke alarms must meet the requirements of Australian Standard AS 3786.”

While the law does provide some protection, it’s worth considering the recommendations from Fire & Rescue NSW and understanding the different types of smoke alarm available. 

Which Smoke Alarm is Best? 

Knowing which smoke alarm is best isn’t easy. There are several different types of smoke alarm on the market including:


  • Ionisation Alarms  – Most useful for detecting fast-flaming fires and not so good for alerting homeowners to smoke. Don’t install near kitchens or bathrooms as can be sensitive to steam. 
  • Photoelectric Alarms – Best for detecting smouldering and smoky fires which are the most common type of house fire. Can be set off by dust or insects.
  • Dual Sensor Alarms – A combination of both ionisation and photoelectric alarms, these are a really smart choice. Best not installed near a kitchen or a bathroom. 

Installing A Smoke Alarm 

Fire NSW recommends that hard-wired and interconnected smoke alarms are installed wherever possible. If this is not possible, a smoke alarm with a 10-year lithium battery is the next best option because you simply replace the whole alarm after 10 years. Mains powered smoke alarms need to be installed by a qualified electrician. If you are looking for an electrician in Nowra to install your smoke alarm, give Walkers Electrical Solutions a call.