60 Minutes expose on Ionisation smoke alarms

Just been advised about a story on 60 minutes coming up this weekend.

See below preview.


The old type (ion) and the one associated with the fire in Logan that has generated this story has the radioactive symbol on it.

The new type - photoelectric is what Smoke Alarms installs, but if they go to a property and it is the old type, still working and compliant they don?t upgrade it.

If a tenant is concerned they can elect to have the smoke alarm upgraded to the photoelectric type. SAS will do this if the Owner has an annual package at the following prices:

9V - $20.00
Hard-wired - $75.00
Smoke Alarm Myths Explained

Report: Smoke Alarm Myths Explained
The latest version of our report, 'Smoke Alarm Myths Explained' will help you sift through the decades of misinformation about smoke alarms.
Please pass this information onto all your friends and family and to your local fire fighters:

Thank you.


Adrian Butler
The World Fire Safety Foundation
Chairman, Co Founder, Former Fire Fighter
45 The Lakes Boulevard
Wooloweyah, NSW 2464​ Australia
You'd think it might be time finally for the government to put in place some uniform legislation around fire alarms. It's such a grey area in regards to landlord/tenants responsibilities state to state.
Lets cut back to the fact that if the smoke alarms didn't work they wouldn't be legal.

Simtr, I agree. Currently in VIC the leases state that tenants need to replace the battery and be testing the alarm (we ensure our tenants do this every 6 months with the inspection) but there is nothing in the tenancy act that clearly outlines the landlords responsibility.

Legally, as the building owner they need to ensure that smoke alarms are up to date and working.

I think it is time for some uniform legislation for residential tenancies as a whole
. :)
Lets cut back to the fact that if the smoke alarms didn't work they wouldn't be legal.
Did you see the story or click on the link from AdrianButler? I was sent this information recently and it seems there has been a huge cover up about the fact that ionisation alarms should not be used. It also seems this information has been hidden from us for decades.
If you click on the link provided by AdrianButler, you will see that this talk of "types" of fires should really be "stages" of fire.

Honestly, after reading the link, it is very clear. It also explained why a dual alarm is not recommended. I suggest anyone who cares about if they live or die in a fire, read the link and make a decision.

I know that if I was not already with Smoke Alarm Solutions and know that they install photoelectric alarms, I would be changing over immediately. It is just dumb luck that I happen to have lucked on a company that is using the right alarm.
I have seen it and read the information and I am not disagreeing that the photoelectric alarms do seem to have some better qualities in some areas, I just don't think that perhaps the ionized alarms are as bad as they are being made out to be.

I think that it is possible, with media support and a few tests favouring the strengths of the ionized alarms that they would, in fact, come out as the better alarm.

As the link that Macca shared, things aren't as dire as 60 Minutes has made out.

I think all people should made an informed choice as to the type of alarms that they have in their home and their investment properties but I don't want to see people having a knee-jerk reaction to one piece of information.

I'm not backing either one over the other, I will be giving my landlords balanced advice and referring to the information Macca has so kindly provided! The choice needs to be theirs with all of the information available :).
I worked in fire protection for a short time and it was 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. Each had its trigger and there was no decisive "one is better than the other". False alarms are apparently more common with ionization either from burnt toast or steam from the bathroom if a detector is located close to either, This causes people to remove the battery and I think this is the main reason for ionization detectors not working - strangely!!!!

The 60 minute story did show in that situation that the ionization did not go into alarm in a situation where you would wish it too. If another test, possibly the ionization would have gone off and not the photoelectic - or possibly both. Using both would cover all scenarios, assuming batteries not removed and minimal cost in the big picture. I only have ionization in PPOR and IP, but will reconsider.

BTW, regardless if battery or hardwired, if tenant wants to stop a noisy alarm there is always a way. I have seen many broken detectors which just happen to have hammer marks on the concrete ceiling beside them in block of units, but tenants say "it just fell down" :D Usually a flat battery giving warning chirps in the middle of the night.
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