Smoke alarms are often an overlooked safety essential. The domestic smoke alarm is a very simple and effective way to protect the home, and more importantly the occupants within. Thankfully in recent times focus has increased on the importance of having the right type of smoke alarms installed and in the right locations throughout dwellings.
In most parts of Australia there have been new legislation changes introduced, making photoelectric smoke alarms the mandatory type to be installed over ionisation. The interconnection of multiple smoke alarms within the same dwelling is also a requirement to aid in alerting occupants to a fire.
As we know fire can be devastating, lives can be lost and property destroyed. When any smoke alarms are installed or replaced how do we know they are being maintained and tested correctly? The testing of smoke alarms “correctly” has been a debatable issue for quite some time. Should there be a mandatory way to test smoke alarms and how regular should this testing be? Who would monitor and police such activity?
Smoke alarms are designed to activate on smoke entering the chamber in the event of a fire, so isn’t it important the chamber is the part physically being tested? Is simply pushing the “Test Button” on a smoke alarm the right way to be testing the product?
The smokesabre can of smoke available from FlameStop is a major step forward in the eyes of many smoke alarm testers. Not only does the product prevent the can from being used too close to the smoke alarm, but it also eliminates harmful residue while focusing and targeting the canned smoke test gas.
Typically with other aerosol smoke cans on the market they have the inherent drawback that if misused, they leave harmful residue inside the chamber of the smoke alarm or on the outside of the casing. This residue can not only discolour the plastic, but can attract dust, affect sensitivity, and in some cases lead to corrosion, or even complete failure of the smoke alarm. Residue occurs when testing aerosols are used too close to the smoke alarm. Although this article predominantly focuses around smoke alarms in domestic dwellings the same principles apply to testing smoke detectors connected to commercial fire alarm detection systems.
Over the years we have all either seen or heard of batteries being removed, plastic bags and the like being put over smoke alarms (preventing smoke from entering the chamber), and smoke alarms being completely removed! With smoke alarms being a life safety product it is important to have the confidence they will actually work in a true fire scenario. It is all good and well to ensure a certain type of smoke alarm is installed, but should more emphasis be put on making smoke alarm testing mandatory in all dwellings and the frequency of testing?
The availability of smoke alarms is widespread and a smoke alarm can easily be purchased through hardware stores, over the internet, electrical wholesaler, local fire protection companies and even a supermarket! For a Do-It-Yourself end user the options can be somewhat confusing. How many of these smoke alarms are actually tested once they are installed and are they the correct type?
Focusing in on the real estate rental property market, in most places it is a requirement that at the start of every new tenancy, smoke alarms are fitted and checked for location, expiry and battery replacement. This can be carried out by the landlord or property manager, however there is a new trend emerging where skilled and certified smoke alarm companies are being engaged to carry out this service for a relatively small fee, compared to the risk that is involved. The smokesabre has not only become the fire technician’s product of choice, but that of the property manager and household occupant.
When smokesabre is in the closed position the sabre prevents access to the spray button. The aerosol can only be activated when the sabre is fully extended. When in use, air is drawn through the holes in the sabre and this, coupled with the venturi effect involved, assists the velocity and vaporization process of the airborne ‘smoke’ particles. The result is a more effective test, delivering better detector activation, using less gas per test, and reducing costs while eliminating harmful residue. For a landlord, occupant or property manager, a simple yet effective testing method is required and this is where smokesabre has come into play. The key benefits of the product include:
- The end of harmful residue – risk is designed out with the sabre
- Eco-responsibility – 100% bio-degradable sabre, ozone friendly, no CFCs and low GWP
- Detector manufacturer endorsement
- More tests per can
- Faster detector activation and clearing
- Silicone free testing
- UL and ULC Listed
- 150ml can
The sabresmoke product is fast becoming a “game changer” in the fire service industry and it is only a matter of time before industries such as real estate property management take up this user friendly and highly effective testing solution to see that property and people, no matter where they call home, are safe from the threat of fire.
FlameStop Australia is proud to be the Exclusive Australasian Distributor of the smokesabre product, along with a comprehensive range of other testing apparatus. FlameStop have 8 x distribution warehouse centres across Australia and New Zealand for their customers within the fire industry to obtain products and support.
Although there is still more work to be done in this space the recent changes in most parts of Australia have been a long time coming and are a good step in the right direction.
For more information, go to www.flamestop.com.au