What Smoke Alarm To Use For Your Home / Business

Do you want to make sure you’re protecting your family from the potential of house fires? In a worst-case scenario where a house fire has broken out, an early warning is vital in order to evade the fire and survive uninjured.
Each and every home in Australia needs a smoke alarm for that reason. You might notice that there are plenty of different types out on the market, and it can get a little confusing, so we have outlined a few things to help get the most efficient smoke alarm for your household.

There are generally two types of smoke alarms for home use: Ionisation and photoelectric alarms.

Ionisation alarms
Ionisation alarms have a tiny amount of radioactive material inside of it which when reacting to the particles emitted in a fire, sets of the alarm. The benefits to ionisation alarms are that they are the best at detecting fast-flaming fires which don’t create much visible smoke. As most house fires are likely to be smoky and smouldering before flames, these alarms are known to be slow to detect smoke. These alarms can get annoying, as they are prone to nuisance alarms (from cooking). Despite its drawbacks, ionization alarms can be used in addition to photoelectric alarms as an added layer of security. However, it is not recommended to use ionization alarms as a households sole alarm for detecting smoke.

Photoelectric Alarms
Photoelectric alarms are triggered when smoke enters the test chamber of the alarm, the light is scattered by the smoke particles. These alarms are best at detecting the most typical type of house fire, smoky and smoldering fires (as opposed to ionisation alarms). Sometimes, there are false alarms created by dust or insects entering the alarm unit, so occasionally cleaning the unit is important. 

Other types of alarms
These two types of alarms are used for special purposes
• Carbon Monoxide alarms: mostly used overseas to help ensure safe central heating systems
• Heat alarms: Mainly used in kitchens.

The winner: Photoelectric Alarms

Photoelectric alarms are the best way to protect your home from a fire, as its ability to detect smoke is much faster than ionization smoke alarms. Studies show that the average time it takes to detect smoke with a photoelectric alarm is 3 to 5 minutes, whereas an ionised alarm will take a lot more time – up to 20 minutes. As time is of the essence, it will give you and your family a better chance at handling the fire, and escaping unharmed. 

Government Intervention

Australian law dictates that smoke alarms are legally required in most residences in Australia to be mains-powered and installed in each level of the house. Each state has different requirements, so check with your state’s regulations to make sure you’re meeting the state’s requirements.

Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Licenced Electrician Contractor

If you’re known to dabble in the DIY projects, chances are you’ve thought about the pros and cons of hiring a licenced electrician. Doing it yourself can save you a little now but will probably end up costing you a whole lot more down the line. Hiring a licenced electrician (recognised as being a ‘Registered Electrical Contractor’) is the only advisable option for any housing project – big/small or repair/home improvement.

Eliminating injury and safety concerns

There are major safety hazards – for the person doing the electrical job and for the home owners/occupiers who reside in that home. Working with and around electricity is dangerous and could potentially cause injury to those not equipped or knowledgeable.

 Long-term safety concerns

While something can appear to be ‘fixed’, attempting to fix the problem could actually create a host of other electrical or home related issues. If the electrical work is not done properly, it could lead to electrical failures, electrical shocks, and electrical fires, all of which can result in fatalities. 

Getting it done right the first time around

Using a licenced electrician contractor puts your mind at rest that the job will be done right. This assurance means there’s no money wasted by attempting to do the electrical work yourself and you’re also not spending extra money fixing any further electrical issues due to attempting the fix the problem in the first place. 

Knowledge and training

When faced with matters of electrical home improvement or home repair, a licenced electrician has been provided with on-the-job training and education when dealing with many types of customers and many different jobs. Expertise is required for the job so hiring a professional is crucial when you want to figure out the root of the problem.

 Future money savings

Mistakes can be costly. There’s a high potential for unforeseen costs – re-fixing things, again and again, remedying any damage made from attempted repair, and other problems which happened due to not hiring a professional. Since they have been exposed to on the job training and educated in the field, they can spot, alert you to and eliminate any safety concerns not easily visible to an untrained eye.

5 New Reasons to Update Your Home with LED Lighting

By now, you’ve probably heard it all and seen it all about LED lighting. You’ve made your mind up, that’s fine.  Is it time to revisit the option? Survey says it is. Since its release into the consumer market, the LED’s have seen a number of style, functionality and technology updates. It’s probably the right time to say goodbye to the traditional light bulb.

The Obvious Reasons. LED’s are more energy efficient than traditional bulbs which mean you end up saving money in the long term. LED’s have a longer life – the bulbs and diodes have an outstanding operational lifetime expectation of up to 100.000 hours which roughly translates to around 11 years of continuous operation. Not that anyone would leave a light on for that long. LED’s are ecologically sound – they contain no toxic materials and are 100% recyclable.

Prices Have Dropped. Now that the LED lighting market has grown, the prices of bulbs and fixtures have gone down so the upfront cost of setting it up with a licenced electrician contractor has followed suit. It can’t hurt to browse through a few options to see whether any simultaneously catch your eye and fit in your price range.

It’s Trendy. LED is cool and looks like it’s here to stay.  A quick keyword search on Pinterest will bring you a multitude of photos of dream homes and commercial buildings who look better for having updated their lighting. The newer versions of LED can work to update the style of any room, a wardrobe and can cater to a wide range of style preferences.

It’s More Natural Looking. LED lighting has come a long way. Early LED products emitted a sterile or blue light – similar to office or hospital lighting. In today’s marketplace, most LED’s tend to mimic incandescent lighting so it’s hard to tell them apart. Newer LED is available in smaller sizes and is a far cry from the older, clunky LED lighting fixtures of the past. Newer and smaller LED’s are now able to complement countless surface areas as they are available in a variety of sizes, switches and dimmers.

Get Connected. The next trend in lighting is connectivity. Consumers will be able to control the lighting fixtures in every room of the house simply by using an app on their smartphone. In the same vein as a ‘smart home’ but with accessibility limited to your home lighting.  Companies currently working in this arena are Lutron, Leviton, and legrand.

Why You Should Avoid Taking a DIY Approach with Your Electrical Work

Are you a fan of doing it yourself? Have you thought about making a few minor electrical improvements around the house? If you answered yes to either question dont do it. The number one reason to avoid doing your own electrical work is it could end up killing you. The statistics don’t lie. Between the years of 2002 and 2004, more than 1400 Australians were rushed to hospital with electrical-related injuries.

Can I do any electrical work? Besides changing a lightbulb here and there, not really. You should check with your regulatory bodies in your state and territory to find out specific regulations which apply to you.

There’s a big difference between electrical work and your run-of-the- mill home DIY jobs. Electrical work is never a Do-It-Yourself job. This particular area of house renovation/home improvement is best left to the professionals. The laws which help protect homeowners from unlicensed electricians, also extend to the handy homeowner. Australian law dictates that only licenced electricians are allowed to legally undertake electrical work. Basically, these laws that govern the electrical tradesperson strongly indicate the seriousness of undertaking electrical work verbatim. Licenced electricians know it, and they know it like the back of their hand. Even the most qualified electricians with a breadth of experience in the field have had their share of close calls.
But there’s a trade-off surely! Nope, not the case. With other non-electrical DIY projects, successfully beginning and completing a home improvement project has money-saving and aesthetic benefits. Then there’s electrical work. The law advises against it, the dangers are known and fatal: short-term and long-term (electrical fires etc.), and there’s no guarantee that you’ll fix or improve the problem at all (it could actually make the problem worse, and cost you more in the long-run).