People should use the end of daylight saving as a reminder to check their smoke alarms, firefighters say.
People should use the end of daylight saving as a reminder to check their smoke alarms, firefighters say.

Change your smoke alarm batteries

WHEN you change your clock at the end of daylight saving this weekend, you should also change your smoke alarm batteries.

Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said taking a few minutes to ensure smoke alarms were working properly could buy valuable time for families during an emergency.

“Every year, smoke alarms alert hundreds of NSW families to fires in their homes, allowing them a safe escape,” Mr Mullins said.

“Smoke alarms can save lives but only if they are in proper working order. A smoke alarm with a flat battery is just as bad as no smoke alarm at all.”

Last year, Fire and Rescue NSW and the Rural Fire Service attended almost 5000 home fires which killed 30 people and injured hundreds of others.

“It is vital that you protect yourself and your family by making sure you have working smoke alarms,” Mr Mullins said.

“It only takes a few minutes for fire to engulf a home, destroying property, possessions and lives.

“It’s crucial you test your smoke alarm monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. In the event of a fire, call 000 from a safe place and wait for firefighters to arrive.”

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said emergency services often had to travel considerable distances, particularly in remote areas, to respond to house fires.

“So it is absolutely essential that people in rural areas have working smoke alarms along with a practised evacuation plan,” he said.

“Smoke alarms can provide a vital early warning that may prove critical in the event of a fire.”

Firefighters recommend photo-electric smoke alarms be installed in all bedrooms and hallways. It’s also essential to install them in caravans, campervans and other moveable dwellings where people sleep under new laws introduced on February 25.

For more information on smoke alarms visit www.fire.nsw.gov.au.



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