Queensland may have been first out of the gate with their QLD smoke alarm legislation, but the trend is clear – to eliminate home fire and smoke-related deaths and injuries in Australia, interconnected wireless smoke alarms are the future. The entire country is also in the midst of a transition from outdated ‘ionisation’ smoke alarm technology to whiz-bang photoelectric tech, too – which is renowned for detecting even a single smoke particle from a small, smouldering, developing fire.
But even if you think the existing rules and technology were good enough, there is good news – wireless interconnected smoke alarms really are the real deal among the types of smoke alarms. Not only in the way they work but in how reliable and easy they are to install and use. But there are always supporters and naysayers – so let’s weigh up their arguments:
Wireless smoke alarms – The advantages
1. Easy installation
Compared to wired interconnected alarms, the headline news here is the ease, cheapness and speed of installation. Forget running all that electrical wiring all over the house – the radiofrequency signals do all the hard work for you.
2. Flexibility in placement
Without having to worry about physical wiring, you can put wireless smoke alarms wherever you like – even in the most challenging or impractical places. You’ll have to follow your local guidelines for correct or optimal placement, but as far as the technology is concerned, there are few restraints.
3. Seamless interconnectivity
Sure, hardwired interconnected smoke alarms have the advantage of a direct connection – but wireless technology has more than caught up. It means that without a single wire, when one alarm detects smoke or fire, the radio signal is sent out to the other alarms and they all chirp in unison.
4. Easy expandability
Need to add a new wireless smoke alarm to the existing network? It couldn’t be easier – and you definitely don’t need any wiring! Wireless technology makes interconnected smoke alarm systems endlessly scalable and adaptable.
If you cast your mind back 20 years or more, you’ll recall that wireless technology wasn’t overly reliable – the signal was weak and it kept dropping out. Those concerns are now gone, with today’s advanced wireless technology ensuring both robust and secure communication from one device to another, with continuous monitoring of connection levels.
But what about those wireless technology naysayers? Let’s take a look at the usual complaints:
- Signal interference: It’s said that other wireless devices or thick walls may interfere with the signals – but advanced signal processing and frequency hopping techniques have mitigated almost all potential interference.
- Battery maintenance: The naysayers point to the need for constant battery monitoring and replacement – but today’s modern wireless alarms feature low battery indicators and long-life batteries that last years and years and years.
- Limited range: Over very long distances, that wireless signal will eventually reach its limit – but the sort of devices on the market today are specifically designed for even very large properties.
- Cost: Do wireless smoke alarms really cost more these days? While it was the case when the technology was new, that’s no longer the case – it’s standard these days. You also need to remember that the cost of installation is also much, much lower when compared with complex hard wiring.
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