Smoke Alarm Brand Comparison

Smoke alarm brand comparisons in Australia are few and far between. So we thought it was time to correct that short coming.

This post is not about determining the best smoke alarm or providing an opinion on the best Australian smoke alarm. In addition, it doesn’t try to assign a smoke alarm rating or provide a smoke alarm review. Rather, it provides some key information and lets you decide based on your needs.

Selection criteria

The criteria used for selecting brands for the smoke alarm comparison was as follows:

  • Photoelectric complying with Australian Standard AS 3786:2014 Smoke Alarms
  • Wire interconnected and wireless interconnected alarms. So as when combined, they communicate an active alarm across both networks at the same time
  • Mains powered and 10-year Lithium battery powered alarms
  • Alarms used by industry professionals. Therefore easy to install and maintain

Missed the cut

As a result, the following alarms were excluded from the smoke alarm comparison:

  • No ionisation alarms. While excelling in identifying burnt toast, they can be slow to react to a serious household fire!
  • Inflexible solutions. In other words, alarms that don’t offer a mix of interlinking and powering options. To clarify, brands are excluded if they don’t offer a solution to signal an active alarm on a mains powered, wire interconnected alarm network across to a 10-year Lithium battery powered, wireless alarm network. So this criteria will be important for you to consider if your dwelling includes existing mains powered alarms and you want to add 10-year Lithium battery powered alarms. The need to add alarms arises if you renovate or due to legislation changes eg New Queensland Smoke Alarm Laws. For example the Bunnings Quell smoke alarms don’t allow hybrid network, alarm interconnection.
  • Special needs alarms. That is, they require special facilities (WiFi), geek skills or mobile phone apps for setup. For instance the Nest Protect alarms fall into this category.
  • Installers curse. For instance mains powered alarms that don’t incorporate electrical terminals as part of the ceiling mounted base. These can be difficult for an electrician to make the wiring safe. It also means touching energised wiring if you need to remove the alarm! For example the China Siterwell alarms that are rebadged by multiple suppliers fall into this category (Bunnings Family First, Bunnings Fire Pro, Evadare, Optilife, IPESA, Voltex)
  • G String alarms. They don’t really cover all the bare surfaces. Their footprint is too small so if you need to replace an existing alarm chances are you will be left with an unpainted part of your ceiling.

Brooks vs PSA vs Clipsal vs Redbusbar

So here we go:

FeatureBrooks EIB3000PSA LifeSaverClipsal Fire TekRedbusbar SmokeSight
Diameter mm150130140148
Height mm55454750
Wired interlink nodes12244040
Wireless interlink nodes12244024
Wireless interlink response time secs< 45< 5< 30< 5
Li Battery life years10101010
Mains backup battery life years1115
Alarm memory
Alarm Snooze
Whole of alarm, automatic testing
Escape lighting when alarming
Clap to silence
Simple wireless network setup
Remote Test / Hush
Family wide, same appearance
Lifetime sensitivity compensation
Obvious alarm removal instructions
Designed inIrelandChinaChinaAustralia
Made inIrelandChinaChinaAustralia
Warranty years51055

I want to learn more…

Published by Chris Devine

Chris is a Registered Practising Engineer of Queensland - RPEQ. He holds a Bachelor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Associate Diploma of Electrical Engineering and is an Electrician.

10 thoughts on “Smoke Alarm Brand Comparison

  1. (Supplier Removed) say (Brand Removed) smoke alarms has 10 year warranty across entire range. Please clarify why your site says only 5 year warranty?
    Thank you.

    1. Thanks Brian for your comment. Yes suppliers attract different customers using different methods. For instance a longer warranty may be used instead of product features to tempt shoppers. It can even be used to give the illusion of quality. Suppliers recognise that the chance of a product failure after 5 years combined with a customer returning the item is pretty low, so they take the risk and offer a longer warranty. Suppliers tend to take this approach more so than manufacturers as the likelihood of them still being in business after 5 years is lower. Manufacturers have a lot more invested in their business and tend to be in it for the long hall. In that way they are more likely to be still in business if you were to need their support.

    2. Could you provide an estimate of current price of each brand of fire alarm to include only Brooks EIB3000, PSA Lifesaver, Clipsal Fire Tek, Redbusbar Smoke Sight.

      1. Hi Peter and thanks for your request. I haven’t gone down that rabbit hole in this post as it depends who is buying them and the quantity. It can vary 15-30%. For that reason I tried to give relative rather than absolute pricing ie $, $$ and $$$. Hope this is of some use.

    1. Hi Nola. Thanks for your question. Alarms were excluded if they didn’t meet all of the criteria that would make them suitable for selection by professionals. And yes the entire Evadare (China-Siterwell) family don’t qualify for this reason. To be helpful though I tried to find the manual to do some reading. No luck. Not sure why they hide it?

  2. HI Chris, Thanks for just talking to me re Heat alarms etc etc. I really appreciate the time you spent and think your whole website and attitude is very professional.
    cheers Nola

    1. Yes I know it can be confusing. What is frustrating is that it should be pretty simple. It doesn’t help that most manufacturers tend to be light on in terms of information

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