Smoke Alarms


There are 2 main types of domestic smoke alarms – IONISATION and PHOTOELECTRIC. What is the difference?

IONISATION – Reacts to fires with lots of flames, this can be a long time after a fire starts.
PHOTOELECTRIC – Reacts to slow, smoulding fires, this is in the early stage of a fire.

All fires begin small and produce lots of smoke, this is when you want your smoke alarm to alert you, not after the fire has been going for some time and filled the house with smoke.

COMPLETE FIRE SAFETY only stock and sell PHOTOELECTRIC Smoke Alarms.
COMPLETE FIRE SAFETY do not sell or recommend IONISATION type smoke alarms.
Here’s why.

Here are 2 tests that show the difference between Ionisation and Photoelectric type smoke alarms.


If you don’t have a working smoke alarm installed in your home, and a fire occurs:

  • You are 57 per cent more likely to suffer property loss and damage,
  • You are 26 per cent more likely to suffer serious injuries,
  • You are four times more likely to die.

When you’re asleep you lose your sense of smell. A smoke alarm is your electronic nose. It will alert you if there is smoke from a fire. A small fire can grow to involve an entire room in two to three minutes. A smoke alarm provides early warning and time to escape.

Smoke alarms are compulsory in every new home.

Tasmanian law states that smoke alarms (complying with Australian standards AS 3786) must be installed in all homes, units, flats and townhouses. It is the legal responsibility of all owners and landlords to install working smoke alarms.

All fire services in Australia recommend photo-electric smoke alarms when installing or replacing existing smoke alarms.  Smoke alarms need to be maintained in accordance with the manufacturers specifications.

All smoke alarms:

  • Must contain a battery,
  • Need to be tested regularly,
  • Need to be replaced after 10 years.


Smoke alarms should be tested regularly

  • Monthly: Test by pressing the test button with a broom handle,
  • Yearly: Vacuum around your smoke alarm vents,
  • Yearly: Replace your 9 volt battery each year at the end of daylight saving, unless the battery is sealed,

Remember all smoke alarms need to be replaced after 10 years.  When replacing an existing nine volt battery smoke alarm consider installing a photoelectric smoke alarm with an inbuilt ten year lithium battery.  This will eliminate the need to change the battery every year.


  • Smoke alarms must be located between each bedroom area and the rest of the house,
  • In addition inside any bedroom where someone sleeps with the door shut,
  • In a two storey home a smoke alarm is required on every storey, located in the path that people will use to evacuate.

Note: Cooking fires are common. High ceilings or the layout of your house may increase the time it takes for your smoke alarm to operate. Consider installing a photo-electric smoke alarm closer to the kitchen area.

Alarms must be installed on, or near, the ceiling in every home.

COMPLETE FIRE SAFETY only stock and sell quality, PHOTOELECTRIC Smoke Alarms. 

  • The FireAngel ST-620 Thermoptek smoke detectors require no maintenance, apart from regular testing and come complete with a 10 year sealed for life battery.
  • The ST-620 Toast Proof smoke alarm uses Thermoptek technology and combines the very latest in optical sensing with thermal enhancement, providing fast reaction to both slow smouldering and fast flaming fires in a single alarm.
  • In the event of false alarms, it is easy to silence because it features a large test and silence button, making the weekly test easy to perform.
FIRE ANGEL ST-620 SMOKE ALARM.Fire Angel smoke alarm

  • PHOTO ELECTIC – Our FireAngel ST-620 Thermoptek smoke alarms
    are Photo Electric with a heat sensor added.
  • FALSE ALARMS – This dual technology reduces the rate of false alarms because there must be smoke and heat present to activate the alarm.
  • QUICK REACTION – With 2 sensors this single alarm has a very fast reaction time to both slow smouldering fires as well as fast flaming fires.
  • 10 YEAR BATTERY – They require no maintenance, apart from regular testing and come complete with a 10 year sealed for life battery.
  • COST EFFECTIVE – If you work out the cost of buying a smoke alarm from a DIY store and then add the price of replacing the battery every year our FireAngel smoke alarms will save you money and provide you with peace of mind.
  • AS 3786 COMPLIANCE -The CSIRO has assessed the FireAngel ST-620, 10 year lithium battery powered, photoelectric smoke alarm and it conforms with the specific requirements of AS 3786-1993 (incorporating Amendments 1, 2, 3 and 4) ‘Smoke Alarms’

If you would like a quote or advice on this equipment or any of our large range of fire fighting and fire safety equipment or a quote on servicing your existing equipment call our Manager – Scott Shaw.

Phone 03 6272 3910 or 0457 300 643

Email: for more information.