August 2020 Newsletter

Hey! Matt and Pat here.

Over 900 Australians died in house fires between 2003 – 2017 and most of them occurred at night. While the figures may seem a little dated, the number of deaths from house fires remains fairly constant. That’s why it’s so important to have the right type of smoke detector installed in your home.

In this newsletter, we’ll explain why we think some smoke detectors are better than others – especially when seconds count!

At Ku-ring-gai Electrical Service, we take your safety seriously. To arrange a time for us to visit your home or office, call us on 0418 442 578 or email For your protection, we follow COVIDSafe guidelines.

Matt Cox & Pat Dobbs


“Aren’t all smoke detectors the same?”

In NSW, every home must have at least 1 working smoke detector installed on each level, regardless of whether it’s owner occupied or a rental property. But we’re not just talking bricks and mortar homes. The legislation covers

  • Relocatable homes
  • Caravans and campervans
  • “Or any other residential building where people sleep”

To be compliant, smoke detectors must meet Australian Standard AS3786 so make sure your smoke detector has this sticker and if it doesn’t, get in touch with us urgently.

All smoke detectors should be located between the kitchen and sleeping areas. Fire and Rescue NSW recommends installing smoke detectors in every bedroom and in the hallways leading to bedrooms.

If a member of your family is deaf or hearing impaired, strobe light and vibrating pad smoke detectors are available. For more information, contact the Deaf Society of NSW on 02 8833 3600 or visit


What do firefighters recommend?
Fire and Rescue NSW recommend installing hard-wired smoke detectors. Hard-wired smoke detectors are connected to your home’s electrical system and have a battery back-up power supply. This provides extra security because the battery will ensure the alarm will work – even if the fire disrupts your power supply.

Hard-wired smoke detectors need to be installed by a qualified electrician, like us.


Legislation has changed
Smoke detectors aren’t designed to last forever. In fact, they only have a 10 year lifespan. So if yours has been around for a while, or you have moved into a new home and don’t know the age of your smoke detector, it’s probably time to get a new one – just to be safe.

In addition, recent legislation changes mean the more traditional type of smoke detector (called ionisation smoke detectors) are no longer available and should be replaced by the photoelectric version.

The reason for the legislation change is that ionisation smoke detectors only tend to activate once there are flames. But a fire can smoulder for many hours before flames occur. In the middle of the night, with the house filled with smoke, this type of alarm makes it difficult to get you and your family to safety. On the other hand, photoelectric smoke detectors can detect smouldering fires to give you more time to get out of harm’s way.


How can you tell if your smoke detector is the photoelectric or ionisation type?
Ionisation smoke detectors (the traditional type) use a tiny amount of radioactive material so they have a radioactive symbol on the unit.

Photoelectric smoke detectors use a different technology so they don’t have a radioactive symbol.

If you see a radioactive symbol, you need to change your smoke detector.


How we can help you
When you are asleep, you lose your sense of smell so a working smoke detector is the only thing you can rely on to alert you if there is a fire in your home. If you don’t know how old your smoke detector is or you suspect you have an ionisation smoke detector, get in touch with us. We’ll install the Fire and Rescue NSW recommended hard-wired smoke detector with lithium battery backup.

It’s too important to put this off so get in touch today.

For all your home and office wiring needs, call the Ku-ring-gai Electrical Service team on 0418 442 578 or email

Double trouble!

Did you know double adapters aren’t manufactured to the same safety standards as powerpoints? So never use double adapters to power heavy load appliances such as washing machines, clothes dryers or vacuum cleaners.

If you currently use a double adapter in your home or office, get in touch. It’s usually very simple to convert a powerpoint to a double or 4 gang point.

What about halogen downlights? Did you know they are one of the leading causes of roof fires? In fact, halogen downlights are so dangerous, there’s legislation that requires a warning notice to be installed in your roof.

The reason halogen downlights are so dangerous is because they create a lot of heat which can cause a fire if leaves blow into your roof cavity.

LED downlights are a safe and energy efficient option to replace any halogen downlights in your home. If you have halogen downlights, get in touch. We’ll be happy to discuss the options with you.

Don’t risk a fire. Get in touch with us by calling on 0418 442 578 or email

Contact us today and let one of our qualified electrical technicians take care of you.
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