Interconnected alarms now mandatory
Fatal fires are most likely to occur at night while sleeping
A recent review of the current minimum standards set out within a section of the Building Code of Australia has led to the introduction of an additional requirement when installing smoke alarms, in an attempt to increase the chances of fire detection.
As of May 1, 2014, a necessity exists for owners to interconnect smoke alarms in all new class 1 buildings to increase awareness of smoke in other parts of the dwelling, which is especially important for vulnerable groups including children who are less likely to wake to a sounding smoke alarm. This is of particular importance when parents are sleeping on another level to their child or in a separate area of the home which could be away from the fire ignition point.
“As fatal fires are most likely at night when occupants are sleeping, it is vital that everyone has the best possible chance of being notified of the need to evacuate a burning property” said Smoke Alarm Solutions National Field Operations Manager Adam Graham.
Graham went on, “Although there is an additional cost associated with the amendment to the Code, the safety and peace of mind that ensue are priceless.”
Other vulnerable groups include the elderly, people under the influence of alcohol or drugs and people who are sleep deprived, all of whom have difficultly waking to smoke alarms especially when bedroom doors are closed and alarms are at the upper level of their audible range.
For further peace of mind, property owners can opt to install additional smoke alarms inside each bedroom, which is currently over and above the minimum legislative requirement.
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