How much does it cost to install smoke alarms?

What is a smoke detector and which kind of smoke detector should you buy? How much does it cost to set up a smoke detector? Here’s whatever you need to understand about smoke detectors.

  1. What is a smoke detector?
  2. Smoke detector types
  3. Functions to try to find in a smoke detector
  4. How much does it cost to set up a smoke detector?

What is a smoke detector?

As the name indicates, a smoke detector is a gadget that informs you when smoke or a fire exists. A smoke detector can save lives by notifying you of a fire, giving your household a method to get away from your house in an emergency situation.


Types of smoke detectors

Smoke detectors are not all alike. Some work much better than others, and numerous choices are readily available today to make them more secure and much easier to utilize. The 3 primary kinds of smoke detectors are:

  1. Loonisation alarms include a percentage of radioactive products (inadequate to impact health). They work by finding particles produced in a fire. They are best for fires that break out rapidly and do not give off much smoke. Nevertheless, lots of fires are smoky, and ionization alarms are not as fast at spotting smoky fires as conventional alarms.
  2. Photoelectric alarms have a photocell and beams directed far from the gadget. They spot smoke when a few of the lights are spread by smoke particles, activating the alarm. The disadvantage to photoelectric alarms is that dust and even bugs can activate the alarm.
  3. Double-sensing unit alarms have both ionisation and photoelectric abilities. They have the advantages and downsides of both systems and need to not be set up in restrooms or cooking areas due to the possibility of incorrect alarms.

A smoke detector must be set up in the kitchen area because fires break out in kitchen areas. Some smoke detectors identify heat rather than smoke or air particles. A smoke detector like this is perfect for the cooking area, considering that it will just sound the alarm when heat levels are high.


If you have gas heating, it may be an excellent idea to set up a carbon monoxide gas alarm. These alarms just identify carbon monoxide gas, which is a waste product of gas heating. If a ducted or unflued gas heating unit develops a fault, risky levels of carbon monoxide gas can develop in a home.

Considering that smoke detectors work in different ways, it’s worth setting up more than one kind of smoke detector in your home. Utilize an alarm that finds heat in the kitchen area and others that discover smoke in other spaces. Photoelectric alarms are potentially the very best option due to the fact that a lot of fires are accompanied by smoke. For the most part, photoelectric alarms find smoke in 3 to 5 minutes, offering you enough alerting to leave your house. Ionisation alarms can take up to 20 minutes to react, and the fire might be too advanced already to enable a household to leave.

For the most part, fires smoulder prior to spreading out. A photoelectric alarm will spot a smouldering fire and the alarm will be set off. A heat alarm is best for the kitchen area.

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Functions to try to find in a smoke detector

Aside from selecting the ideal kind of smoke detector, lots of them have brand-new functions that make using them much easier and more secure. The less costly smoke detectors have basic batteries that need to be altered at least once a year. They, too, come geared up with buttons to evaluate the alarm. However, you need to get on a ladder to evaluate the alarm and might not keep in mind to evaluate it as often as you should.


  • Newer smoke detectors have functions that enable you to quickly check the alarm, and numerous have longer-lasting batteries. Lithium-ion batteries can last as much as 10 years. Some smoke detectors can be evaluated and shut off with a push-button control system. Any system must have a battery test system set up that will beep when the battery is low. Some systems have escape lights set up. These can be convenient if there is a power failure.
  • Due to the fact that the light can assist you out of the home in the event of a fire, mains-powered smoke detectors are more costly to set up, but battery failure will not.
  • This could be a problem. Some smoke detectors can be adjoined, so if one goes on, all of them go on.

If you have a hearing issue, some smoke detectors can release a louder sound. One type vibrates and has a strobe light to alert hearing impaired individuals to a fire. Another gadget that can be set up that signals you to a fire, a door knocking, the sound of a phone, and other things a hearing impaired individual might not have the ability to identify. These items are readily available from the Independent Living Centre, or a regional fire brigade might have the ability to inform you where to find them.


How much does it cost to set up a smoke detector? 

Smoke alarms can be extremely economical. Some costs might be:

  • Under R110 for an ionization smoke detector,
  • From under R180 to under R300 for a photoelectric smoke detector,
  • A WiFi smoke detector with a lithium battery can cost under R300 or as much as R600 if it has an escape light.

Other functions discussed above will cost more, maybe as much as R1000, but these are the standard costs. It’s much better to set up more than one smoke detector in your house, and bear in mind that a person’s type will be much better suited for one space than another.


If you’re setting up mains-powered smoke detectors, an electrical expert will need to install them for you. This will need circuitry and setup. In basic terms, a smoke detector installer will charge between R450 and R600 per hour (labour only). Some electrical experts might charge a flat rate of around R1400 to set up a smoke detector, but it might depend upon the variety of smoke detectors they need to set up. Others will provide and set up smoke detectors and recommend the number of smoke detectors required. Supply and set-up can cost roughly R1700 for one alarm or R3100 for two alarms. Make sure they provide a great quality smoke detector and ask if they can set up a heat noticing alarm for the cooking area or a carbon monoxide gas alarm if you have gas heating. You might need to provide them with these.

To see more ‘price of’ guides visit the ‘Cost of homes services‘ page to see a full list.


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