Smoke Alarms

 

Smoke alarms are one of the most important items in your home. They are the early warning item that gives you the most time to leave if there is a fire. Did you know that smoke from a fire will put you into a much deeper sleep, and even the fire itself won’t wake you so getting an early warning in vital to you and your families survival?

How to check your smoke alarm.

1/ First things first, all alarms have a life expectancy which is 10 years. After this time their ability to detect smoke may degrade or even stop all together. On all alarms should be a replace by date or a manufacture date that you can use to ensure your alarms are still within this window of time. This is very important.

2/ Always change the battery every year without fail. Batteries cost about $1 each and by changing it you are ensuring you have the most energy available to the alarm when it needs it.

3/ Check to make sure it is clean. Get a hold of the vacuum cleaner or duster and go around the vent areas of the alarm making sure there is no dust or debris in there that will impede the flow of smoke through the unit. Without this flow through the alarm won’t detect the smoke.

4/ Check to make sure the alarm sounds by pressing the test button on the alarm. Most alarms you will have to hold the button for a few seconds to make it sound.

This is how you the home owner can check the alarm. Step 4 only ensures the sounder works in your alarm. To test the smoke detection part of the alarm it is recommended that a test smoke is used to guarantee that the alarm is functioning correctly.

We at A1 Sparky Services can check your alarms for you. We come out and replace the batteries, make sure it works using test smoke, is in date and is clean all for only $55 for your whole house weather you have 1 alarm or 10. $55 is money well spent to ensure your families safety.

If you would like for us to check your alarms, please give me a call on 0417 637 714.

Remember don’t be a fool on April fools, Check your smoke alarms. You and your family’s life depends on it.

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Air Conditioning Maintenance

It is now coming into summer and we all know what that means, It is going to get HOT!! a little bit of maintenance of your Air Conditioner in your home will keep them running at the most efficient during this time of year.

Lets look at the parts of the Air conditioner and what they do.

The outdoor unit ( or condenser )

This part live outside and is what houses the compressor and what gets rid of the heat that has been removed form your house. You need to maintain this by ensuring that the fins and grills are clean of leaves and other rubbish to allow for the best airflow there can be. Also check to make sure all cabling and pipe work are in tact and there is generally no damage to the unit.

The indoor unit ( or Evaporator )

This part of the AC removes heat and moisture from the air inside of your home or office. It also has a grill in it but unlike the outdoor unit it has a filter in it. You need to clean the filter by washing them in soapy water and leaving to dry before putting back in the unit. Also make sure nothing has blocked the grills underneath the filter. Also have a smell of the unit. Animals like mice and geckos and the like do sometimes move into the unit over the winter months and sometime they don’t leave. If you fire up the unit while there is animals in it it can be terminal for the unit. also having a smell also let you know if there is any mold or the like in the unit. Make sure you check the drain on the unit, What this does is when humid air is chilled, the humidity condenses into droplets and the drain takes them away from the unit. check to make sure it is in tact and it is clear.

Ok after you have checked all that you are ready yo start your AC. When the unit is running listen for strange noises from either indoor or outdoor unit. make sure water is coming out of the end of the drain from inside and make sure it is operating like it should.

If you follow these simple steps you are closer to having a interruption free Summer.

Remember the most efficient temperature to run your AC on is 24degC

Enjoy Summer

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Safety Switches

 

 

This post is about safety switches. I am sure not many of you know much about the safety switch in your house or what it does or how it work. Well lets shed some light on these areas

What is a Safety Switch?

A Safety Switch is located in your switchboard and is there to save you, the user. If something was to go wrong with an appliance you are using, you run over an extension lead with the lawn mower, one of the lovely children try to get cheese on toast out of the toaster with a knife, the hair dryer gets dropped in the bath or damage a cable or lead. It will prevent you from getting an electric Shock.

How does it work?

Imagine electricity is like water. You have a feed cable (active) and a drain cable (Neutral). When you turn on the tap in your kitchen the water comes from the feed and goes down the drain, in electrical term’s come in on the active and returns on the Neutral. When the water that comes form the feed/tap can’t return down the drain the sink overflows. Unlike with your kitchen sink, where you only end up with water over the floor and no one gets hurt, they just get a bit wet, electricity finds another path back to the main drain cable in your switchboard and that is though the earth and if you end up in that path, you become part of the path and you get electrocuted. When this happens the Safety Switch will see this and isolates the power preventing you from being hurt. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a device that would do this for your sink? A Safety Switch only prevents harm if it working properly. This is why checking your Safety Switch is so important.

How to test Your Safety Switch.

We as electricians have special equipment to test Safety Switches to make sure they operate and isolate the power within the required time of 300ms (less then half a heart beat). You as the home owner can check the operation of your Safety Switch by pressing the test button on the front. This will give you an indication that the Safety Switch is working. You will not be able to check it operates within the required time but you can see it working. You should test your Safety Switch on a regular basis, preferably monthly but definitely no longer then every 6 months. Your safety relies on it.

If your Safety Switch does not pass the test you need to contact your local electrician ASAP. When it is not working you can be electrocuted if there is a fault. We can fix it for you. Please contact us and we will arrange a time for it to be rectified. Click here for our contact details

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