Smoke detectors are the most sensitive method of detecting a fire and should be used wherever conditions allow in areas such as bedrooms and lounge rooms. Smoke detectors are, however, vulnerable to false alarms caused by dust, steam or smoke from cooking. Where there is a likelihood of false alarms caused by any of these effects a thermal detector should be used instead. It is important to choose a smoke detector, which is approved to Australian Standards or to a recognised overseas body such as UL or LPC.

Heat detectors are normally used in environments where a smoke detector would generate false alarms – such as kitchens or shower rooms. Rate-of-rise heat detectors will alarm if the temperature goes above a fixed threshold or if the temperature is rising very quickly. This type of detector would be the first choice in an environment where a smoke detector could not be used.

However, detectors are not enough. It is recommended that every home have a fire escape plan that is known by all members of the family. More information is provided by the NSW Fire Brigade on their Fire Escape Plan Website.

Remember to check the batteries at least once a year, a good time to do it is when daylight saving occurs.


The installation of an alarm system is a vital investment in protecting property and
possessions. When you combine this investment with a back to base alarm monitoring you can turn your alarm into an even more effective security system.

A monitored alarm provides a continuous record of conditions at your property (including detailed reports of openings and closings) so you have a complete record of what has happened at your property/premises, even when you are not there.

Any change in conditions can be transmitted immediately to the central station and the appropriate response initiated (tailored to meet your needs, whether police, fire, ambulance, security patrol, maintenance technician or to a list of authorised personnel). It is only a matter of seconds from the alarm being activated to reach the central station monitoring service to provide a response to intruder/burglar alarms, personal attack and duress alarms, power failures and electrical faults or equipment breakdowns and a range of emergency situations from fire to flooding.

Monitoring is the key reporting link in electronic security. An alarm control interfaces with a communications device to deliver a message for response. A pager system, cellular device, radio or digital communicator can send these signals over the telephone or wireless networks. The central monitoring centre receives the alarm signals and responds to the critical information and acts according to pre-set instructions from the user.

ASIAL operates a well-respected grading scheme for central monitoring stations in
accordance with Australian Standard 2201.2-2004 (Intruder Alarm Systems – Central Stations).