If you love a little bit of Better Homes & Gardens, you’re no doubt a lover of all things do-it-yourself, but unlike painting a room, building a fence or planting some flowers, there are a few things best left to a professional; one being smoke alarm installations. 

Smoke alarms are an essential safety feature in every home, alerting occupants to the presence of smoke and potentially saving lives in the event of a fire. While many homeowners may be tempted to save money by installing smoke alarms themselves, it can spell bad news if not installed correctly.

Just as you shouldn’t attempt your own plumbing or electrical work, you shouldn’t attempt to DIY smoke alarm installations. Why? Well, we’ve put together 5 good reasons that all self-proclaimed DIYers should leave their smoke alarm installations to an accredited fire safety practitioner.

It’s against the law

First and foremost, it’s important to note that in NSW, it is illegal for anyone other than a licensed electrician to install 240v smoke alarms in any residential property or commercial facility. Unlike a 9v battery alarm, 240v smoke alarms are classified as “hardwired” electrical devices and must be installed in accordance with the relevant Australian Standards, which sets out specific requirements for their placement, wiring, and testing. If you are caught attempting DIY smoke alarm installations, you could be fined up to $5,500, which is significantly more than paying a professional in the first place.

It puts lives at risk

Installing smoke alarms may seem like a simple task, but it actually requires a certain level of technical expertise. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could be putting your safety at risk by incorrectly wiring the alarms or placing them in the wrong locations. In the event of a fire, improperly installed smoke alarms may not activate, leaving you and your family at greater risk of injury or death. Hardwired smoke alarms also involve electrical wiring, which poses a risk of electrocution if not done properly. 

Insurance may be void

If you install smoke alarms yourself and something goes wrong, you may not be covered by your insurance policy. Many insurance policies require that smoke alarm installations be carried out by a licensed electrician in order for a claim to be valid. If you attempt to DIY smoke alarm installations, and a fire occurs, you may be left without coverage for the damages.

It may the wrong type of smoke alarm

Self-installing smoke alarms mean you may be at risk of choosing the wrong smoke alarm solution for your needs. This could result in installing a smoke alarm that is not suitable for your property or compatible with your electrical system. If you don’t have experience working with electrical systems or selecting fire alarms, you could end up putting yourself and your family at risk by choosing an unsuitable device and be at risk of being uncompliant. This also, once again, can mean you pay more to fix the problem than you would have if you hired a professional at the beginning.

It’s not worth the hassle

Finally, attempting to install smoke alarms yourself is simply not worth the hassle. Hiring a licensed electrician to install your smoke alarms may cost a bit more upfront, but it will provide you with peace of mind knowing that the job has been done correctly and in compliance with all relevant legislation and standards. Plus, it will save you time and energy that could be better spent on other projects around the house.

So, while it may be tempting to attempt to DIY smoke alarm installations, there are many reasons why it’s a big NO. It’s against the law, puts your safety at risk, may invalidate your insurance policy, could be the wrong type, and is often a lot more hassle than it’s worth.

As a leader in smoke alarms in Sydney, we work with a pool of top-tier licensed electricians that install smoke alarms, while our team of accredited fire safety practitioners manage all testing, maintenance and repairs. If you need smoke alarms installed in your home, don’t DIY; contact us today for simple, compliant and cost-effective smoke alarm services.