Installing Smoke Alarms
For optimum smoke detection, smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, living area and hallway in the house. This is very important where occupants sleep with a closed door, or where children sleep. Smoke alarms cannot detect smoke through a closed door and research shows that children are more likely to reliably awake to an alarm that is located within their bedroom.
We suggest, at an absolute minimum, that a smoke alarm be installed in the hallway closest to the bedrooms. This should be supplemented with other alarms as soon as possible.
In multi-level houses we recommend additional smoke alarms be installed in the path of travel between each level.
If you have a private garage attached to your home, we recommend installing a heat alarm that complies with AS1670.1. Installing a smoke alarm in a private garage may cause nuisance alarms.
We recommend that smoke alarms be interconnected. This means that when one smoke alarm detects a fire, all alarms throughout the house will sound to alert all the occupants. If your home was newly built since the 1 May 2015, you are required by law to interconnect your smoke alarms.
Laws in Western Australia require homes subject to sale, transfer of ownership, rent or hire to have mains powered smoke alarms installed. See
Legislative Requirements for details.
Positioning of your smoke alarms
- Smoke alarms should be located in the centre of the ceiling.
- Smoke alarms can be installed on the wall provided they area fitted between 300mm and 500mm below the ceiling.
- The distance from the apex of a cathedral ceiling to the smoke alarm should be between 500mm and 1500mm.
The diagram below gives a summary of the recommended smoke alarm positioning.
Where not to install smoke alarms
Incorrectly located smoke alarms may cause nuisance alarms. Smoke alarms should not be placed in kitchens, and near the doorways of bathrooms or laundries.
Special care must also be taken to not place smoke alarms within:
- 300mm of a corner of a ceiling or wall;
- 300mm of a light fitting;
- 400mm of an air-conditioning vent; or
- 400mm of the blades of a ceiling fan.
When installing mains powered smoke alarms, always use a licensed electrician.