FLAME OUT: Paul Simpson says being fire ready in winter starts with a working smoke alarm.
FLAME OUT: Paul Simpson says being fire ready in winter starts with a working smoke alarm. Contributed

One Oxford scholar may save your life in a fire

WITH winter approaching and many householders thinking of heating it's scary to discover an estimated one in four NSW homes do not have a working smoke alarm.

The implications are obvious with fire authorities warning if you haven't got a working smoke alarm you are four times more likely to die in a residential fire than people with one in working order.

A flat battery is the usual root of the problem.

The end of daylight saving is the popular date for replacing batteries and Paul Simpson of Battery World Coffs Harbour said his company is urging residents to put safety front of mind by offering a nine volt smoke alarm battery for the princely sum of one dollar.

"This year the changeover date on April 1 also coincides with the Easter holidays so there is plenty of time to change batteries for your elderly relatives or neighbours,” Paul said.

"Even hard wired alarms need a backup battery.

"Where ever you sleep, even in your camper van or a RV, you need a working smoke alarm and you need to change your battery now.”

It can take just three minutes for a fire to take hold and often the electricity goes out.

Statistics show of people who died in a house fire over the past 10 years, more than half did not have a working smoke alarm, two thirds were over 65 or had a disability and nearly two thirds lived alone.

"Early warning saves lives and minimises property damage.

"A working smoke alarm is vital, especially at night because when you are asleep you lose your sense of smell.

"The alarm is your electronic nose and will alert you if there is smoke from a fire.” 



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