End of day­light sav­ing = change your smoke alarm bat­tery

Mansfield Courier - - NEWS -

IT’S al­most that time again. Change your clock and your smoke alarm bat­tery urges the CFA on April 6.

Vic­to­ria’s fire ser­vices are urg­ing all house­hold­ers to change their smoke alarm bat­ter­ies on Sun­day, April 6 as part of the an­nual ‘Change Your Clock, Change Your Smoke Alarm Bat­tery’ cam­paign.

“We know the time we ask ev­ery­one to change their smoke alarm bat­ter­ies seems to come around quickly ev­ery year, but we can’t em­pha­sise enough the im­por­tance of work­ing smoke alarms,” CFA Deputy Chief Of­fi­cer Steve War­ring­ton said.

“The sta­tis­tics alone should raise the alarm for all Vic­to­ri­ans.

“With­out work­ing smoke alarms you are four times more likely to die in a house fire,” he said.

In 2013 Vic­to­ria’s fire ser­vices at­tended more than 3500 house fires.

The fires re­sulted in 13 fa­tal­i­ties and $88 mil­lion in property loss.

A Fire Safety sur­vey found as many as 70 per cent of par­ents are not plan­ning ahead and or­gan­is­ing to change the bat­ter­ies in their smoke alarms ev­ery year.

In­stead they are re­ly­ing on ran­dom prompts from fam­ily and friends, news re­minders or sim­ply wait­ing un­til the smoke alarm starts to beep be­fore re­plac­ing them.

In fact, 43 per cent of Vic­to­rian par­ents only changed smoke alarm bat­ter­ies when prompted by the smoke alarm beep, in­di­cat­ing the bat­tery had gone flat or that the unit had passed its use-by date.

“Wait­ing for the bat­tery to go flat can be too late. Vic­to­ri­ans are plac­ing them­selves in dan­ger by fail­ing to en­sure they have work­ing smoke alarms, ac­cord­ing to this lat­est re­search,” Mr War­ring­ton said.

“Smoke alarms are cru­cial in giv­ing you and your fam­ily the early warn­ing needed to es­cape a fire. When it comes to pro­tect­ing your fam­ily and yourself, a work­ing smoke alarm tested reg­u­larly and a re­hearsed home es­cape plan are easy tasks to en­sure ev­ery­one in the fam­ily is given plenty of warn­ing and knows what to do should a fire oc­cur.

“We rec­om­mend re­plac­ing the bat­tery yearly with a long-last­ing 9 volt al­ka­line unit and reg­u­larly test­ing alarms to en­sure year-round pro­tec­tion.” CFA rec­om­mends house­holds:

monthly: test smoke alarms by press­ing the test but­ton with a broom han­dle;

an­nu­ally: vac­uum around your smoke alarm vents;

an­nu­ally: re­place your 9-volt bat­tery at the end of day­light sav­ing; and

ev­ery 10 years: re­place your smoke alarms.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the rec­om­men­da­tions for smoke alarm us­age and fire es­cape plans visit www.mfb.vic.gov. au or www.cfa.vic.gov.au.

Aus­tralia’s fire and emer­gency ser­vices to­gether with Du­ra­cell are now in their 14th year of en­cour­ag­ing Aus­tralians to have a work­ing smoke alarm and a prac­tised home es­cape plan as part of the an­nual Change Your Clock, Change Your Smoke Alarm Bat­tery cam­paign.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.