TORC Top Tip for Tenants: Fire Alarm Systems

The fire alarm system in TORC homes (heat and smoke alarms) are ‘mains wired’, however residents should be aware that they also use a battery as a back-up power source. This means that the battery in each alarm unit will need to be replaced periodically. Its important for residents to know when and how to change the batteries in their home fire alarms.

The most fundamental step you can take for fire safety in your home is having a fire alarm system. Early fire detection is crucial and plays a very important role in protecting and saving lives and properties. Fire alarm systems give warnings to home residents or building occupants that there is a fire emergency. This will help you to respond quickly – significantly reducing damages and maximizing fire control efforts.

Some common types of fire alarm systems are:

  • Smoke detectors
  • Heat detectors
  • Carbon Monoxide detectors

Fire Alarm Batteries

Fire Alarm Batteries Fire alarms save lives, provided they are properly installed and maintained on a regular basis. Fire alarms in TORC homes are ‘mains wired’ – they are supplied with electricity from the mains wiring of the building. They are interconnected so that if one alarm is activated, all alarms in the house will sound off.

The replaceable battery in smoke and heat alarms are a back-up system in case of a mains electricity failure. When the battery is low, the alarm will detect this and emit a short beeping sound for a few minutes. Never ignore this and always change the battery immediately. The type of battery required is a 9V battery (rectangle).

How to Change the Battery in a Mains Powered Alarm

  1. Switch off mains power to Alarm – You can do this on the ‘fuse board’. The green power light on the alarm should go out.
  2. Insert a flat headed screwdriver into the removal slot of the alarm. This is marked with an arrow. Make sure to keep the screwdriver horizontal (i.e. parallel to the ceiling).
  3. Slide the Alarm off its base and you should be able to see the battery.
  4. Unclip the battery from the battery snap connectors.
  5. Connect a new battery by clipping back on the battery snaps. Slide the Alarm back on to the base. A click should be heard as the Alarm engages.
  6. Press and hold the test button – horn should sound loudly. Turn the mains power to the Alarm back on (green power light should come on)

You can also watch a step-by-step video guide on how to change a firm alarm battery in the TORC Property Guides page.

*Testing and replacing batteries in fire alarms are the responsibility of TORC residents. However, if you have an alarm in a hard-to-reach area and need support, contact the TORC Repair team.

Torc tp tip fire alarms