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Marketing Confusion - Smoke Alarms

I went looking for a replacement smoke alarm and found this:

Alarms labelled according to where they’ll be installed. Question is, what’s the difference?

The ones labelled “Living Area” are ionisation types. The others are all photovoltaic.

Checking the manufacturer’s web site is even more confusing:

The Choice buying guide is clear enough. Presumably Quell has good reasons for the way they label their products.


I can understand your confusion. The consensus seems to be that which type depends on what shor to fire occurs. Obviously, you can’t predict what sort of fire you are going to have.

ABC News: NSW Fire and Rescue say research settles smoke alarm safety debate, critics disagree. The take home message seems to be to use more alarms and interlink them.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) says that each type is better in certain types of fire. They suggest you need both types and location is often more important than which one.

The National Fire Protection Assoc in the US says use both.

So, buy both types {where legally available} and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on location. That way you have a greater likelyhood of one alarm sounding early enough to take action.


Warning or Caution.

The legal requirements differ in each state. We’ve had this discussion elsewhere in the community.

For Queensland start here.

I take it that @Drop_Bear was simply trying to point out the marketing that is aimed to confuse, compared to the Choice consumer guide which is a better source of information.

I take the marketing to be in most instances the same product being relabelled to encourage buyers to put a smoke detector in every room. Eg bedroom, lounge room, kitchen (time delayed?), hallway, etc. A similar deception to how Nurofen was marketed.


Every situation needs a specific solution …



Thank you for pointing the legislative differences @mark_m. I did read about the Qld situation, but didn’t cover it. I have editted my post slightly to allow for the differences.


An article regarding smoke alarms in Qld.