ACT Fire & Rescue (ACTF&R) is urging the community to use this weekend as an opportunity to change the battery in household smoke alarms when changing clocks for an end to daylight saving.
"Smoke alarms save lives," ACTF&R Acting Chief Officer Conrad Barr said.
"It is a good habit to get into to replace the battery in all smoke alarms when changing the clock," he said.
"With the winter period fast approaching, ensuring the home has a working smoke alarm will alert residents to any smoke.
"Heaters, electric blankets, overloaded power boards and appliances in the kitchen can all play their part to household fires.
"During 2013, ACT Fire &Rescue attended 187 residential structure fires, 12 per-cent of those occurred from Midnight till 6am.
"Having a working smoke alarm alert the house to an overnight fire greatly increases the chance of survival.
"Occupants cannot rely on the sense of smell to wake them if fire breaks out when asleep."
ACT Fire & Rescue advise all residents replace their smoke alarm batteries with long-lasting alkaline batteries and test them monthly. Smoke alarms should also be installed on or near the ceiling in bedrooms, hallways or corridors on every level of the house. Regular cleaning by vacuuming the cover and vents of the smoke alarm is also recommended. It is also important for smoke alarms to be compliant with the Australian Standard.
The two types of smoke alarms available for residents on the market are an ionisation smoke alarm and photoelectric smoke alarm. A photoelectric smoke alarm may be more effective in detecting smouldering fires. ACTF&R recommend that as your ionisation smoke alarm becomes faulty or nears its expiry date (usually ten years) residents consider replacing it with a photoelectric smoke alarm.
More information and tips on smoke alarms can be found at www.esa.act.gov.au/community-information/home-fire-safety/smoke-alarms/.
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Section: ACT Justice and Community Safety Directorate | Media Releases