Updated 29 Jun 2014

Family Shield


Bottom line: This ionisation smoke alarm is OK at detecting fast (flaming) fires. But it’s extremely poor at detecting slow (smouldering) fires. There are more effective smoke alarms than this.

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Test results

Overall score
Flaming fire
Smouldering fire
Extremely poor

Good points

  • OK flaming fire response.
  • Has hush button.


  • Extremely poor smouldering fire response.
  • Not supplied with a long-life battery.

How we test

Overall score:

  • Flaming fire (50 percent)
  • Smouldering fire (50 percent)

Price is what we paid in December 2013.

About our test
Our test was conducted in the fire laboratory of the Building Research Association (BRANZ). We purchased 3 examples of each model. Our results are the average of the performances of the 3 examples.

The alarms were fixed to a ceiling panel in a mocked-up hallway adjacent to the door opening of a fireproof room (which was about the size of a single-car garage).

  • The flaming fire test: 3 pieces of 40mm-square 300mm-long sticks were set alight using a small quantity of methylated spirits. The resulting smoke built up in the room and flowed into the mock hallway.
  • The smouldering fire test: A 60W electric soldering iron was pre-heated and laid horizontally on to a 1.2 kg piece of 70mm-thick polyurethane upholstery foam. An electric fan was used to evenly distribute the resulting smoke out into the mock hallway.

In both tests, the smoke density was measured at the location of the alarms using a laser light-source and detector.

Full specs


Price guide
Alarm type


Hush button


10-year battery life

Member reviews