Safe smoke alarm disposal

Old smoke alarms can be placed in your red lid rubbish bin.

The Radiation Health Committee identified this as the preferred method of disposal for small numbers of smoke alarms because the:

  • amount of radioactive material in each smoke alarm is extremely small and, from environmental and public health perspectives, the disposal of individual smoke alarms with domestic rubbish does not represent any hazard
  • radioactive material is securely bound in a metal foil within the smoke alarm
  • amount of naturally-occurring alpha-emitting radioactivity in normal soils is equivalent to a dozen or more smoke alarms in every cubic metre. The dispersal of smoke alarms, even in large numbers, through refuse landfill sites is not significant in comparison.

Page last updated: Tuesday, 4 January 2022