Victoria government logo
A child's bedroom gradually filling with black smoke

Is there a working smoke alarm in your bedroom?

A smoke alarm is a bedroom essential. More than 70 per cent of deadly fires start in bedrooms and living areas.

Fires are fast. A small fire can spread to an entire room in minutes.

Without a smoke alarm a fire is more likely to damage or destroy your property. It is also more likely to cause serious injury or death.

When you are asleep your senses are weakened. A working smoke alarm installed in all bedrooms and living areas will wake you if there is smoke.

Smoke alarm recommendations for your home

Victoria’s fire and rescue services recommend all smoke alarms to be:

  • powered by a long-life lithium battery
  • installed in all sleeping areas of the home, including bedrooms and living areas
  • interconnected, if possible, so that when any alarm activates, all smoke alarms will sound
  • installed on the ceiling at least 30cm from the wall
  • tested monthly
  • cleaned with a vacuum cleaner at least once a year to remove dust particles, and
  • replaced every 10 years, regardless of the type of smoke alarm.

Smoke alarms cost from $20

Cost from:

Smoke alarm powered by a 9-volt battery.

Cons: Cost to replace battery each year.

$20 each

A smoke alarm powere by a 10-year lithium battery in a tamperproof chamber.

Pros: The battery will not need to be replaced each year.

$30 each

Wireless interconnected smoke alarm with a 10-year lithium battery.

Pros: When one smoke alarm activates, all alarms will sound.

$90 each

For more information about the cost and differences of smoke alarms, and what Victoria’s fire services recommend, download the flyer:

More information about smoke alarms

For more information regarding smoke alarms and smoke alarm maintenance, visit:

Fire safety information in languages other than English

Reviewed 17 May 2023

Was this page helpful?