WHAT SMOKE ALARMS SHOULD I GET? AND HOW DO I MAINTAIN THEM?

All homes in Australia are required to have smoke alarms because let’s face it; it does get a bit warm down under. This means that understanding your needs for new alarms or getting to know the alarms you might already have is extremely important.

 

Perth gets extremely hot which is why we recommend to always getting an opinion from a qualified Perth technician.

The first thing you need to know is that there are two types of smoke alarms, they are battery operated alarms and hard wired alarms. However due to a change in legislation you may be required to install a specific alarm type

Battery operated alarms

These types of alarms are mainly found in older properties both domestic and commercial as they do not meet the minimum requirements and legislation outlined by FESA. This is because they are less expensive than their counterpart. Although cheaper they can still be effective but mainly in the short term,  and for additional protection as a backup in non-mandatory areas which is why if you are purchasing or already have these units installed it is important to constantly check your alarms and re-install new ones about every five  years or sooner if they fault. On the plus side however these alarms are also very easy to install and purchase which means you can decide where and how many you would like on you property. Although this is the case we do recommend getting an electrician or someone with experience in order to determine the best choices in regards to location and amount.

 

 

 

 

ProsCons
  • Inexpensive
  • Shorter life span
  • More customisable
  • Requires a lot of maintenance
  • Able to DIY
  • No backup if batteries stop working

 

Hard wired installed alarms

If you are concerned about your fire safety then getting hard wired installed alarms is the best way to go. These alarms are on the pricier side but for good reason. They are installed and wired into your home’s electrical circuits by licensed electricians. This ensures the longevity and quality of your alarm system and the comfort of knowing an experienced professional has organised the installation. These units do not require as much maintenance as the other system as they are fully wired in and do not solely run off of batteries. They do however also include a battery backup in case of power outages or wiring faults which can occur meaning you are completely secure at all times. As fire safety is such a concern in WA many licensed Perth electricians including our own have great experience and knowledge in this area, which means you know you are getting the best of the best.

 

ProsCons
  • Longer life span
  • More expensive- but can you put a price on your family’s safety?
  • More secure
  • Less customisable
  • Installed in optimum locations
  • If any faults occur you will have to pay to get it fixed
  • Always has a backup

 

Checking my smoke alarms

Both types of systems are designed similarly when it comes to manually checking your alarms are still working. Majority of all systems now have a button placed on the outside of the unit. By pressing this button the alarm will sound and either stop pressing the button or pressing it again will stop the alarm. If the alarm sounds your unit is definitely in working order, however if no alarm sounds that is when you should either replace the unit (if battery operated) or get an electrician in as soon as possible to thoroughly check it (if manually installed).

The best and most secure way to test an alarm however is to engage a qualified electrician to inspect the unit, test the unit with specialised test equipment and finally spray artificial smoke near the alarm to simulate a real life fire condition and prove 100% the alarm is operational.

 

Contact one of our friendly staff for more information, or to arrange a safety check.

 

The risk is real- Get your safety switches installed

Playing it safe with safety switches

Electrical safety is something that you should never take for granted. Safety switches protect you, your family and anyone visiting your home from electric shock. They turn off the power in a fraction of a second if a leakage of current is detected. This can happen if there is a faulty power point or electrical appliance or you accidentally hit a live cable while drilling into a wall.

I have a safety switch – isn’t one enough?

Even if your home has a safety switch installed, one may not be enough to protect you from electric shock. A safety switch only protects you if it’s on that circuit. You should consider having safety switches installed on all circuits in your home, including power points, lights, air conditioning, oven, hot water and pool equipment circuits, even if they are on a separate tariff.

Know your safety switches

To see if you have safety switches installed at your home, look inside your switchboard for a ‘Test’ or ‘T’ button near the circuit breakers. The test buttons can be various colours and range in size and shape. They could also be labeled ‘Safety switch’, ‘ELCB’ or ‘RCD’. If you are unsure, have your electrician check which circuits are protected.

Safety switches vs circuit breakers

Safety switches are often confused with circuit breakers and fuses, but they perform different tasks. Safety switches monitor the flow of electricity through a circuit and turn off the power in a fraction of a second if a leakage of current is detected. Safety switches provide personal protection against electric shock. Circuit breakers protect an electrical circuit by quickly cutting power when there is a high current fault or overload that may cause a hazard.

Testing safety switches

Test your safety switches every three months to ensure they are working properly.

Follow these simple steps:

  • Let everyone know you are about to test your safety switches, especially if they’re using a computer or recording something on TV – the testing process will cut power to those circuits connected to the safety switch.
  • At the switchboard, press the T’ or ‘Test’ button located on the safety switch. If it flicks off and cuts the power, it is working. Check to see which lights or appliances are now off – these are protected by the safety switch. If it has not cut the power to the connected circuit then you are no longer protected and you should talk to your licensed electrician as soon as you can.
  • After testing, turn the safety switch back on. Depending on the safety switch type, push it back upwards or twist it into the ‘on’ position. For circuits with a refrigerator or air conditioner, wait for two to three minutes before resetting to avoid possible appliance damage.

The risk is real.

Call your electrician to see if your home is safe.

burglar

WHAT’S THE BEST SECURITY SYSTEM FOR YOU?

If you’re looking for a great, affordable security system or alarms for your home or residence then you’re in the right place! There are so many security systems and CCTV to suit any needs and any budget.

All you need to know is what you want and what your budget is.

At Camtec we deal with a lot of commercial and domestic jobs that require different levels and qualities of security systems through Perth and WA, we have a great understanding of what CCTV options are available in Perth and this is what we found.

If you are looking for a cheap solution stores such as JB Hifi do offer a variety of home security solutions ranging from the $29 netgear VMA 11000 security cameras all the way up to the complete home solutions such as the Uniden guardian security system at $999. Each has their own drawbacks as well as their own positives. For instance they are an affordable option but they are not always reliable anything could happen they could be hacked, damaged or faulty, but that’s what you get for your money. Think of these systems as more of a placebo than a cure.

If you want a one and final solution for a security system that is affordable then spending the few extra bucks for a proper installation can save money down the track and give you peace of mind when leaving your premises.

Having a licensed installer install your system means that it is completely customisable to your needs and the service is backed by professional and experienced electricians. It also means that you can choose a variety of camera systems to suite your style and needs. At Camtec we offer a variety of customisable options dependent on system types, budget and levels of quality.

Understanding your needs is only half of the solution and when shopping around for the best security system it is important to understand what’s out there. Let’s start at the most common security system types;

Standard Definition Analogue CCTV (SD-CCTV)

  • These systems offer a great value for money option. This system uses coaxial cables throughout your premises which connect to a digital video recorder that downloads all the footage for you.

High Definition- Serial Digital Interface (HD-SDII) systems

  • This is the next level up for security systems and are definitely recommended if your security is more sensitive. This is a higher- end solution with crisp HD imagery but a similar cabling and digital video recorder system.

High Definition Internet Protocol (HD-IP) systems

  • This is the highest level of security systems that include either structured network cables or completely wireless transmission based options where you can access and record from long distances and on chosen devices with real time viewing included. As most industrial and commercial sites are required to have a specific level of security in order to protect their assets this is the option they will generally go for.

15-setting-alarm-432690Each customised system also allows you to determine the types of cameras you would like to use and includes a full range. The most common cameras especially in homes or small businesses are digital home security camera; this is the standard camera and provides a clear image throughout the day and the night. Another type is the Analogue HD cameras, these beauties come with 360 degree coverage and multiple infrared LED’s for crisper and clearer night footage. The final and highest level of camera there are the NVR recorders that monitor 24/7 and can be configured to upload all footage to a cloud storage system which allows you to have access anytime and anywhere.

Each type of security system is completely customisable in that you can upgrade whenever you wish, determine the amount and position of your camera’s and also your price range. What more could you ask for!

Contact one of our friendly staff for more information.