What to look for when Buying a Smoke Alarm

 Which Type Of Smoke Detector I should buy?

Photoelectric or Ionisation?

The latest advancement In Smoke Detection Technology is the Photoelectric alarm they are widely regarded as being superior to ionisation alarms in most aspects. Not only do they respond faster than other alarms  and are less likely to cause annoying false alarms. Photoelectric alarms are particularly effective at detecting smouldering fires, which provides the earliest possible warning of a fire developing in an enclosed area.

If a smoke alarm has symbol a radioactive warning symbol, then it ionisation smoke alarm.

How many do I need to buy?

It is generally recommended that you should install smoke alarms in all rooms where people sleep and the hallways leading to sleeping areas.

In most states of Australia residents must have at least one working smoke alarm installed on each level of their home. This includes owner occupied, rental properties, relocatable homes, caravans and campervans or any other residential building where people sleep. Contact your Local Fire Authority

Are there approved smoke alarms?

The Australian Standard symbol on the packaging shows if the alarm is approved and safe.Smoke Alarms must meet the requirements of Australian Standard AS 3786.

Hard-wired or battery operated?

In some circumstances your alarms cannot be hard-wired, then it is recommended that these photoelectric alarms run on 10-year lithium batteries. Inbuilt 10-year lithium batteries last as long as the smoke alarm so you don’t need to worry about replacing them every year – you simply replace the entire smoke alarm unit once every 10 years.

Hard-wired smoke alarm

A hard-wired smoke alarm consists of a 240-volt smoke alarm connected to a home’s electrical system with a battery back-up power supply.

Battery operated smoke alarm

Most smoke alarms come with a battery but not all batteries are the same:

  • 10 year lithium batteries: These batteries are recommended and last as long as the smoke alarm.
  • Lead or alkaline batteries: Need to be replaced yearly.

Where can I buy them?

Available at most major supermarkets and hardware stores buy approved smoke alarms meeting Australian Standard AS 3786.

Strobe light and vibrating pad alarms

Strobe light and vibrating pad smoke alarms are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. For more information contact the Deaf Society in your local state of Australia

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At Tested & True we can help you advise install and maintain smoke detectors for your workplace and residential requirements!

Call and ask for a quote. 040 7605568..At Tested and True …we come to you at a time convenient to you. We can do an assessment of your Smoke Alarm needs. We will provide a full service and report  for your Fire Safety Integrity. Call Now Mobile 040 7605568

Visit us at http://www.testedandtrue.com.au located in Lonsdale, South Australia

Peter Hill Manager Tested & True ~ test & tag Manager SA 0407605568 January 2017

National Coverage through the Safety Services Network (SA State Member)


Peter Hill Manager Tested & True ~ | test & tag | Lonsdale | South Australia |



Fire Hazards heaters, clothes dryers & electric blankets

Each winter heaters, electric blankets and tumble dryers cause a large number of house fires in Australia. Have you checked and kept up your maintenance by simply following these valuable tips

Removing hazards and safe use of heaters

  • Never leave heaters unattended. If a fire starts it could spread through your home before you are able to respond.
  • Keep flammable materials at least a metre away from the heater. The majority of house fires are caused by people hanging clothes or towels to dry on or in front of the heater. Clothes, upholstery, curtains and other material that could catch fire should be kept more than a meter from any heater at all times.
  • Make sure portable heaters are secured upright and not left in locations where people or pets could knock them over.
  • Avoid using portable heaters on table tops unless they are secure and designed for that purpose. There is a risk of heat damage to the table top and if it falls off it could damage the heater and start a fire.

Electric heater safety tips

  • Don’t plug electric heaters into powerboards, double adaptors or extension cords with other appliances. Heaters consume large amounts of power and may overload the supply and cause a fire.
  • Before using an electric heater check the condition of the appliance and power cords for obvious damage. If there is damage contact an electrician or the service technician to fix it.

Gas heater safety and correct use

  • Never use gas heaters designed or marked for outdoor use inside. They are a fire risk and can also release toxic gases which can accumulate inside and potentially harm you. Using LPG cylinders indoors to provide fuel for unflued heaters or other gas appliances is dangerous and is not recommended.
  • Unflued heaters must not be used in bedrooms, bathrooms or small rooms that have no permanent ventilation. Toxic gases can build up inside and potentially harm you.
  • Never use your gas oven or stove as a room heater.
  • Always check your gas heater is working correctly. Signs of problems with gas heaters may include difficulty when lighting, yellow flames, unusual smells or noisy or inoperable fans.
  • Regularly service your gas heater according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Always use a licensed gas fitter for this task.

Clothes dryer safety

  • Ensure that the lint filter is cleaned regularly. Lint that has built up can catch fire.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions and only place suitable materials into the clothes dryer.

Electric blanket safety

Do you really need them they can be dangerous and not certainly not recommended for use with children (eg Bedwetting) If you really need to use one then every year take it out and give it a thorough check.

  • Electric blankets should be rolled when stored away. Folding an electric blanket can damage element wires within the blanket
  • When using a blanket for the first time after storage, lay it flat on the bed and check for hot spots as it heats up. Only add sheets once you are sure the blanket will operate safely at a maximum temperature.
  • Electric blankets that are not properly maintained can cause fires.
  • Avoid using double adaptors or power boards wherever possible.
  • Older electric blankets might be damaged and may not have the safety features of modern blankets, so consider replacing them.

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Tested & True ~ test & tag  Lonsdale We know how to all types of test sensitive electrical equipment like that of a Heaters and Tumble Dryers…We specifically use the STC ProLogger 2 it can perform RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection and Run Testing all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and up to date. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australian Standards ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price.

Article By Peter Hill… Tested & True ~ test & tag, Lonsdale, South Australia, Contact 0407605568 February 2016 www.testedandtrue.com.au

Electrical fires & Fire Extinguishers

Electrical fires and Fire Extinguishers

But First a bit about Portable Fire Extinguishers…Basically Fire extinguishers are devices that release chemicals and/or water to put out a fire. They keep small fires from spreading, assist in fighting fires but are only first to the incident appliances until the fire department arrives. Fire extinguishers and on site Fire hoses are designed to provide the user with an appliance to attend a small fire during its initial stage. When deciding to attack a fire, always designate another person to raise the alarm and obtain a back-up fire extinguisher. Portable fire extinguishers should be provided in all buildings.

Types of fire extinguishers and their application

There are basically 5  types of portable fire extinguishers used here  in Australia. They are Water, Foam, Dry Powder, Wet Chemical and Carbon Dioxide. Each type of extinguisher may be rated for one or more classes of fire. In some cases, particular extinguishers are not only considered ineffective against certain classes of fire, they can be dangerous in those circumstances. The Classes of fire are:

CLASS A Paper, Wood, Cardboard

CLASS B Solvents, Paint, Petroleum, Ethanol/methanol

CLASS E Electrical fires(this is the one we are going to concentrate on in this article)

CLASS F Cooking oils and fats


To use the extinguisher, you pull out the safety pin (this metal safety pin prevents the operating lever from closing accidentally) and depress the operating lever. The lever pushes on an actuating rod, which presses the spring-mounted valve down to open up the passage to the nozzle. The bottom of the actuating rod has a sharp point, which pierces the gas cylinder release valve. The proper way to use the extinguisher is to aim it directly at the fuel, rather than the flames themselves, and move the stream with a sweeping motion.

Using an extiguisher

Of the 5 extinguishers types 2 are suitable for Electrical fires they Dry Powder and Carbon Dioxide

Dry Powder

ABE powder consists of mono ammonium phosphate and/or ammonium phosphate. It is effective on Class A: B & E Fires .As well as suppressing the flame in the air, it also melts at a low temperature to form a layer of slag which excludes oxygen from the fuel. For this reason it is effective against class A fires unlike a Rating B:E only extinguisher. ABE powder is the best agent for fires involving multiple classes.

Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide is especially effective on electrical fires, Class E Fires, as being a gas; it does not leave any residues which might further harm the damaged equipment. Carbon dioxide (CO2) also works on Classes B and C Fires by displacing the less dense oxygen. This can be problematic in enclosed occupied spaces as we need oxygen too! Although carbon dioxide is exhaled in our own breath, in the high concentrations required to extinguish deep seated fires it is one of the most toxic extinguishing agents used. (Carbon dioxide can also be used on Class A Fires when it is important to avoid water damage, but in this application the gas concentration must usually be maintained longer than is possible with a hand-held extinguisher.)

So as you can see Both of these extinguisher are suitable for Electrical fires but it depends on whether your fighting a fire in a confined space which would make using the Carbon Dioxide Extinguisher out of the question!

Tested & True ~ test & tag  Lonsdale also does fire Extinguisher and smoke Alarm testing to National Standards.. Also we Test and Tag electrical items and we use the very latest in Portable Appliance Testing…The STC ProLogger 2 it can perform RCD testing, Earth Leakage Detection and Run Testing all in one neat piece of equipment. On top this all our Technicians are Trained to National Standard UEENEEP008 in test & tag operations by Intertag in Sydney NSW, all our Equipment is in good repair and in Calibration. Most of all we pride ourselves on our Knowledge of OH&S legislation and the current Australian Standards ensuring that you get Quality Service at a competitive price.

Article By Peter Hill… Tested & True ~ test & tag, Lonsdale, South Australia, Contact 0407605568 www.testedandtrue.com.au