End of daylight saving = change your smoke alarm battery
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.