Smoke alarm reviews

We test 15 battery-powered smoke alarms, including photoelectric, ionisation and dual-sensor models.
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We test 15 battery-powered smoke alarms, priced from $9 to $80

Smoke alarms come in two main types: ionisation or photoelectric. It’s been known for many years that photoelectric smoke alarms usually respond faster to smouldering fires, while ionisation alarms respond faster to flaming fires. Our test of 15 battery-powered smoke alarms, including photoelectric, ionisation and dual-sensor models, confirms there are major performance differences between the two types of sensor, even though all the smoke alarms tested meet the Australian Standard.

See our free smoke alarms buying guide for detailed information including types of alarms, how to install and maintain them, and other fire safety tips.

Watch our video for a quick explanation of the two types of smoke alarm and how they work:

Video: What to look for - smoke alarms

Manufacturers aren't always clear about the capabilities of their smoke alarms. Chris Barnes tells us what to look for.

Brands tested


  • Brooks PFS100TY
  • Family Gard FG888DCAUS
  • Fire Sentry SS168
  • HPM D45/2
  • Kidde 0915CAUS Bedroom
  • Lifesaver 1925
  • Quell SA702
  • Wormald WRS109MK2 twin pack


  • Brooks PFS3105TYCH
  • Fire Smart FS0916
  • First Alert SA710CNAUS
  • Quell SA1000
  • Wormald WRS001PH

Dual sensor (with both ionisation and photoelectric sensors)

  • First Alert SA302CNAUS Ultimate Dual Sensor
  • Kidde PI9000 Dual Sensor
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